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Beef and Shiitake Broth

Serves: Makes 8 servings


  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons flavorless vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 pounds meaty beef shin bones (sometimes called shank)
  • 2 pounds marrowbones, cracked by the butcher
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and stems reserved for the broth, caps reserved for later
  • 1 cup (about 1 ounce) dried shiitake mushroom slices
  • 3 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup minced fresh chives


Use this broth as a base for soups, or pass it through a fine-mesh chinois and serve as a crystal-clear soup. To keep the broth as clear as possible, don’t stir it as it simmers.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the celery, carrot, and onion in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the oil and stir to coat. Push the vegetables aside and add the shin bones and marrowbones. Sprinkle the meat and vegetables with about 1 teaspoon salt. Roast, turning the vegetables with a wide spatula and the bones with tongs every 15 minutes, for 45 minutes, or until well browned. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Set a teakettle half filled with water on the stove and bring to a low boil.

  2. With the tongs, transfer the marrowbones and shin bones to an 8-quart stockpot or other large pot. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the stockpot. Then tip the roasting pan and, with a solid spoon, remove as much of the fat as possible.

  3. Add the boiling water to the roasting pan and use a flat-edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Pour the contents of the roasting pan into the stockpot. Add just enough water to cover the bones by about ½ inch (about 2 quarts). Add the fresh shiitake stems, the dried shiitake, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and allspice. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, without stirring, and immediately decrease the heat to low. Use a fine-mesh skimmer or a solid spoon to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Continue to simmer the broth, still without stirring, for 3 to 4 hours. Periodically skim any foam that rises to the surface, and add small amounts of boiling water if the level drops below the bones.

  4. Turn off the heat and let the broth cool to lukewarm in the pot without disturbing it. Then move the pot to the sink. Place a large heatproof bowl in the sink and rest a fine-mesh chinois on the rim of the bowl. Alternatively, line a large strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth that has been dampened and squeezed dry. Use a large ladle to transfer the broth to the chinois or strainer. When you reach the bones, use tongs to remove them from the pot. Then pour the remaining broth in the pot through the chinois or strainer. Discard the solids. Transfer the broth to refrigerator containers, cover, and chill for several hours or overnight, so the fat rises and solidifies on top. Then, spoon off and discard the solid fat.

  5. Transfer the broth to a 6-quart Dutch oven or other large pot, place over medium heat, and bring to a gentle simmer. While the broth is heating, thinly slice the fresh shiitake caps. When the broth is at a simmer, stir in the tomato paste and the sliced shiitake. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the shiitake are very tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. 6. Ladle the broth into warmed bowls. Top each bowl with a few shitake and a sprinkling of chives. Serve at once.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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