This is a rich venison broth that can stand alone as a broth for pasta or, if you clarify it later, as a consomme. It’s stronger in flavor than stock, so if you use it as a base for stews or soups, remember that — and label your jars accordingly. Making a good stock or broth is an all-day deal. Don’t take shortcuts, or your broth will suffer. Relax and let things happen as they will.
Servings: 1 gallon
- 4 pounds venison bones, with some meat on them
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 celery sticks chopped
- About 1/2 of a bunch of parsley chopped
Coat the bones with olive oil and salt well, then roast in a 400°F oven until brown. If you can stand it, keep some meat on the bones — trim and shanks are ideal for this. It will make a better broth. Put the bones in a large stockpot. I saw the bones into large pieces with a hacksaw; this lets me fit more bones into the pot, again, making a richer broth. Cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Skim the froth that forms on the surface and simmer very gently for at least 4 hours; I let it go overnight. You want the broth to steam and burble a little, not roil.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 2 hours.
Using tongs, grab out all the bones and large bits and discard. Set a paper towel in a fine-mesh sieve that is itself set over another large pot. Ladle the venison broth through the cheesecloth-lined sieve. Discard the dregs in the broth pot, with will be loaded with sediment and other bits.
Add salt to taste to the clarified broth and pour into quart jars and freeze (or pressure-can — you cannot can broth in boiling water). If you freeze, leave about 2 inches of space at the top of the jar or the jars will crack when the broth freezes. Use within a year.