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The base to any soup or stew, Korean or otherwise, is a good broth or stock. This article will discuss three methods for adding beef flavor, from the easiest to the most complex.

Debra Boutin, M.S., R.D., chairwoman of Bastyr University’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science, described the healthful aspects of bone broth in a natural medicine column:

Properly made bone broth contains measurable amounts of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and other minerals, as well as collagen, gelatin and amino acids. These nutrients are beneficial for bone and joint health, for muscle strength and action, and for maintaining connective tissues and the gastrointestinal tract.

The gelatin in bone broth has been shown in some studies to stimulate digestion and protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It also is thought to improve digestion of milk, beans, meat and gluten-containing grains.

The Weston A. Price Foundation also has an article detailing the health benefits of bone broth.

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Bone broth will give needed calcium to those on a dairy-restricted diet for health reasons or less availability of dairy products, such as in Korea compared with the U.S.

Easiest: Dashida
Dashida (다시다) is a Korean instant beef stock. It comes in large bags and is found in many grocery stores in Korea or Asian markets in the U.S. You don’t need to use more than a teaspoon or so in most soups. A caveat: It is high in salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

More difficult: Korean beef broth
Korean beef broth takes a little more time to make — about two and a half hours — but the little extra time will produce a much better beef broth. It won’t have MSG, unless you want it.

Ingredients
2 pounds beef brisket
8 quarts (roughly 8 liters) of cold water (enough to fill a large soup pot)

Instructions
1 Rinse the brisket in cold water.

2 Place the brisket into into a pot, covered with cold water, and bring to a boil.

3 Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer.

4 Allow it to simmer, uncovered for a couple of hours.

  • Add some aromatics of your choosing (such as ginger, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, black peppercorns, etc.) and boil until the brisket is completely cooked.
  • Skim the foam off the top periodically to remove fat and impurities.

5 Once the two hours are expired, retrieve the beef and slice it for the soup or stew or reserve it for future use.

  • The same can be done with the broth: Use immediately in your soup or stew recipe or store in the freezer for future use.

Most challenging: Beef bone stock
Beef bone stock is the most time-consuming option but will reward you with a robust and healthful base for any soup, stew, gravy or sauce your want to make.

Summarizing the steps for sizzling and simmering

  • Roast beef bones in the oven until they turn brown.
  • Place the bones in a pot, cover them with cold water and boil until scum appears on the surface.
  • Clear the scum off the broth and add aromatic ingredients, such as ginger, onion and black peppercorns.
  • Continue to boil for at least three to four more hours. Some stock connoisseurs recommend simmering the bones for 12 to 72 hours all together.

Ingredients
2-4 pounds meaty beef stock bones (include some knuckle bones and a hoof)
1 pound meaty rib or neck bones (perhaps, oxtail with meat still on it)
olive oil
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 celery ribs (a bunch/stalk contains several ribs), cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
10 black, red or white peppercorns

Instructions

This is where the fun starts: in your broiler, not on the stovetop. (Photo by Tammy Quackenbush)

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the onions with oil, and place them into a large roasting pan with the bones. Roast the bones and onions for about 45 minutes, turning the bones over about 20 minutes into the roasting time. If the bones start to char, turn the heat down. The bones should be deep brown, not black.

Pre-roasting the bones is a crucial step in this recipe. If you simply put raw bones into the pot and start boiling, the smell will be horrendous and traumatic.

The meat and the bones are golden brown and the onions are a little caramelized but not overly so. (Photo by Tammy Quackenbush)

2 Place the bones and onion into a stockpot.

3 Place the roasting pan on the oven on low heat, covering two burners. Pour a half-cup of water into the pan and let the water come to a boil. Use a metal spatula to scrape off all the cooked bits at the bottom of the pan and add them to the stockpot.

4 Fill up with cold water until there’s enough water to cover the bones by one to two inches.

This is when it's good to skim off the top. It's also the most time-consuming task in creating consomme starter. (Photo by Jeff Quackenbush)

5 Bring to a boil briefly, then turn down the heat for a simmer.

  • Do not take your eyes off the stock pot for the first hour. Carefully remove the scum on top with a spoon.
  • After removing the scum, add the rest of the vegetables and aromatics to the pot and continue to simmer.
  • Skim off the white scum rising to the top.
  • When the water level sinks below the bones, add more water and return to a good simmer. Continue periodic skimming.

Do not dump hot oil or fat down the kitchen drain. It will solidify and block your pipes. Save the grease in a small jar for future use, or discard it in the trash after it has cooled.

6 After simmering the bones for three to 12 hours, remove them from the pot with tongs or a slotted spoon. I simmered my stock for eight hours.

7 Line another large pot with a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Ladle the broth through the screening material into the other pot. Allow the broth to cool before storing it in the refrigerator.

This is what it looks like after it's been refrigerated for a few hours and skimmed. Notice how thick the broth appears. (Photo by Tammy Quackenbush)

8 Skim the fat off the cooled stock. Discard the fat in the trash, or save it for another recipe.

  • At this point, you can put the pot back onto the stove and continue to simmer until you have reduced it by half to make a more concentrated stock.
  • This step might come in handy if your freezer space is very limited.

After more than eight hours of keeping an eye on this concoction one Sunday, I ended up with eight cups of broth, which I put into small sandwich bags and stored in the freezer for future use.

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