A butcher shop is the best source for bones. If you have the option, select a mixture of bones that have meat clinging to them and those that have lots of joints (such as neck bones or knuckles).
- 8 pounds uncooked beef or pork bones
- 2 large onions, unpeeled, chopped
- 1 bunch parsley or parsley stems
- 2 celery roots, or the top half of a bunch of celery, peeled and chopped
- 2 leeks, or the tops of several leeks, chopped
- 8 quarts water, plus more as needed
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the bones and half the vegetables in a single layer in a large roasting pan.
- Roast for about 45 minutes, turning the bones occasionally, until well-browned.
- Drain the fat from the roasting pan and reserve for cooking.
- Transfer the bones to a large stockpot, and set aside.
- Place the roasting pan over 2 burners on top of the stove, and add about 2 cups of the water.
- Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour this browned liquid into the stockpot with the bones.
- Add the remaining water, remaining vegetables, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Skim off any surface foam until no more appears.
- Partially cover the pot, and simmer for 5 to 8 hours.
- Strain the stock by pouring it through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another bowl or pot, and discard all the solids.
- Refrigerate the stock for several hours, until a hardened layer of fat congeals on top and can be lifted off.
- Refrigerate and use within 4 days, freeze for up to 6 months, or pressure can in quart jars for 25 minutes.