2 quartered onions
4 halved carrots
the heel of a celery bunch worth of celery (heart is the best - you can save them up or freeze them)
1 t whole black pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, whole
2 bay leaves
Twigs of rosemary and/or thyme (the equivalent of about 1 t minced herb per 5 lbs. of bones, although the woody stalk of fresh herbs gives the stock backbone)
1 diced tomato or 1 T of quality tomato paste
splash of apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
Roast bones on both sides in a roasting pan in the oven at 450 degrees F until nice and brown. Remove to stock pot. Roast onions, carrots, and celery, but also at 450 until golden. Toward the last of your vegetable roasting, add the tomatoes or tomato paste and roast that, too, for a few minutes. Roasting adds depth of color and flavor to stock, although it is not absolutely necessary if you're not up for it. Put the vegetables in the stock pot with the bones. Deglaze the roasting pan either on your stove top or in the oven by adding 1/3 cup red wine and 1/2 c water, occasionally scraping bottom of pan with spatula.
Wrapping the herbs, peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic in a cheesecloth is nice, but you don't have to. Add them to the bones and vegetables, and a splash of apple cider vinegar (brings out the minerals in the bones), and cover with COLD water, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for at least 8 hours, covered. You can simmer for 24 hours or longer. In the last hour of cooking, begin adding salt, little by little, starting with a teaspoon, stirring, letting it mix in, then tasting again. You don't want it to get too salty, which it will if the stock reduces much. When it reduces, all flavors intensify - including the salt. You don't want it too salty, but salt will bring out all flavors and if you use good sea salt, Himalayan, or French Bay salt, you will be getting the goodness of all those minerals.
Allow broth to cool, strain, then put up by canning, freezing, or in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Freezing in ice cube trays is very convenient for adding to sauces, braises and thaws quickly. Depending on how long you've simmered your stock, the veggies will be too soggy to include in a soup, but the meat may be ok. Just taste it to make sure it's what you like. You've already gotten its gifts in flavor and nutrients.
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