It is definitely getting cooler in these parts. And getting darker earlier too. Unfortunately, that is the one part of the "out with the old-in with the new" that I don't look forward to this time of year. As night time creeps in a little earlier each day, one of the activities I have been really enjoying lately is stock making. Preparing your own stocks is an easy way to add incredible flavor and depth to your dishes and sauces, or even to just make your own soup. It takes very little actual work, but does take a fair amount of cooking time. I've made a few batches lately which I have been turning into soups for my lunch. The latest batch was made with some less than desirable cuts of lamb. These cuts are perfectly suited for long simmering required by stock making. Because they are not more tender cuts, they are ridiculously inexpensive which never hurts either.
2 tbsp olive oil
For the stock:
In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Brown the lamb in batches and reserve. Cut all of the vegetables into large chunks and add to the stock pot, cooking in the lamb drippings until nicely browned. Add in bay leaves and tomato paste and stir. Pour in 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
** I find that after about an hour, the vegetables will have spent all of the flavor and no longer are required to be in the pot. I remove them at this point. **
Add the neck bones and most of the stew meat, reserving some for later. Add the remaining gallon of water and the thyme. Bring back to a boil and reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for three to five hours. Be sure to skim off any scum that might come to the top. After two to three hours, taste the stock every once in a while to check it's progress. When you are satisfied with the results, remove from the heat.
At this point, I like to remove the lamb and strain the stock. Then I ladle the stock into several plastic containers. I allow the stock to cool. As the stock cools, the fat will collect on the top. Simply remove the fat for a fat free stock that will still have plenty of body. Refrigerate for three to four days or freeze for three months.
For the soup:
Pour the de-fatted stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the reserved stew meat and reduce the heat to a rolling simmer for 30 minutes. About 25 minutes into cooking the stew meat, add the capelli d-angelo and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a garnish of beet horseradish and some thyme.