Dem Bone

Let’s say you have a bone “left over” from processing a bone-in rib eye that you prepared as per the recipe posted HERE. Or even some scraps of fatty meat left over from the procedure described HERE. You can use it to make a sauce just like people in the FB Group are always complimenting me on as if it was difficult. It’s not. It takes a little while, which means you wait. Waiting is not hard. More on that later.

Put a few drops of oil in large skillet and put the bone in with the flattest surface down as shown.

Turn the burner on medium heat, approximately 250 F/121 C. Brown the bone as well as possible, but don’t worry that most of the sides are not flat against the bottom of the pan. You can roast the bone if you prefer, but this method is a little quicker. There is a common misconception that the color of the sauce comes from the meat/bone. It does not. You can use fish bones, or even no bones at all to make a sauce that looks like this.

Add one carrot, three stalks of celery and one onion cut coarsely as shown. You may have to add a few drops of oil to keep it all sizzling. Any excess oil will be removed later, so not to worry.

Avoid stirring excessively. That only slows down the process. Give the vegetables about half an hour to get well browned on all sides.

Add 3 oz/90 g of tomato paste mixed with an equal amount of water, wine, or unseasoned sous jus.

Stir to coat the vegetables with the tomato puree.

Continue browning. Give this part of the process time. At least another 20 minutes for the tomato puree to brown as well.

Not yet.




Okay, add water to fill the skillet; about 1.5 quarts/1.4 liters.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.

Cook for at least two hours to fully extract the flavor from the bone. You can load it into a Ziploc gallon bag and sous vide process at 183 F for six hours if that is more convenient, but the results will be the same.

Strain the sauce/stock. The yield should be approximately 24 oz/350 ml. Refrigerate the stock and the excess fat will form a crust on the top that is easily removed.

In this state, the stock can be seasoned to taste, thickened with roux and used as what is colloquially referred to as “brown gravy.” If you reduce 2 oz/60 ml of the stock by half, gradually incorporate 1. 5 oz/45 ml of cold butter and season very lightly (sodium occurs naturally in meat), you end up with something like this:

That’s not hard. Teaching my wife how to use her iPhone for anything other than just making a keypad phone call is harder. It takes about the same amount of time.

Norm King