Beef Stock and Oven Chips in Beef Dripping

by Ciaran Burke
Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011
Roasted beef bones in roasting tin

Last Saturday we made our weekly visit to the Farmers Market in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. My partner Hanna and I love to  do as much as possible of our week’s grocery shopping at the market. Dealing with stall holders in the grounds of the historic King House is such an uplifting and enjoyable experience, it certainly beats dealing with self service tills at a supermarket, or being ignored by bored uninterested, sometime rude, shop employees discussing their previous night’s social life adventures while mindlessly scanning our purchases. Yes, a friendly hello, a smile, costs nothing but is worth so much. The relaxed atmosphere of the market allows time for a chat, a bit of banter and always a smile and a few laughs. The produce is organic and top quality, and cost wise it is good value as we are dealing direct with the grower, the farmer, the baker the supplier. The packaging is a lot less too, much better for the environment.

There are other perks of having a regular supplier for your meat too. I texted Deirdre from Irish Organic Meats earlier in the week to ask if she could supply us with beef bones for making stock, “no problem ” was the reply. When we arrived at her stall there was the usual cheerful greeting and she had brought two bags of bones. Having your own supply of organic beef stock is a great thing when you want to make sauces, gravy and soups. We store the stock in plasctic boxes in the freezer, so handy to have, as so simple to make.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Beef bones ready for roasting

On Saturday afternoon we placed the bones in a baking tray and drizzled over a little rapeseed oil. We placed the tray in the oven set at 180 degrees Celcius and let the bones roast for about two hours. The smell was torturously delicious as it wafted from the open kitchen door while we toiled in the garden. We worked until dark which was well after seven. We were starving, a treat was ahead of us though. A great bonus of roasting the bones is that plenty of clear beef fat is released from the roasting bones. When this cools it becomes a cream toffee tinted colour and has the consistency of full fat butter, this is beef dripping.  The treat in store was oven chips roasted in deef dripping.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Beef fat from roasting the bones

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

One spoonful of beef dripping is enough to give a roasting tin full of chips a full flavour










Thick chunky chips, from potatoes that were dug from the garden only two weeks before. These were the last of the previous season’s crop. The varietry was ‘Tibet’, a late maturing variety, the tubers are ready only in October. It makes a tall growing plant with quite attractive dark purple blooms.

Potato 'Tibet' washed and ready to be peeled

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Thick cut potato chips ready for the oven










The tubers were washed of their soil revealing their red skins. After peeling and cutting the potatoes into large chips, a roasting tin with a good dollop of dripping was put in the oven until it was liquified and sizzling. The chips were then tossed in the hot fat and rolled around before being put in the oven. I set the timer for 8 minutes. When the beeps of the timer rang out I took the tin from the oven and moved the chips about making sure none were sticking and that all were coated in fat. Then into the oven they returned. This I repeated another time, the chips were ready in 24 minutes.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oven chips cooked in beef dripping, sinfully delicious!

They were delicious sprinkled with salt, perfect food for after a hard day’s work in the garden.

The next day, Sunday, we placed the roasted bones in two large saucepans and covered them well with water, about four litres in each pot. We brought the water to the boil and allowed them to simmer for about six hours while we worked all day in the garden. The water reduced down to below the height  of the bones. After it cooled for a few hours we packed into plastic containers, labelled them with dates and stored them in the freezer. Some we put aside and refrigerated to use the following day to make tomato soup for lunch.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Beef stock after water has reduced

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011
Home made beef stock, rich and full of flavour, free from additives.



Beef dripping gives such a rich flavour to the chips and home made beef stock beats anything you can buy in the shops, made from organic produce, free from additives and full of taste. Chicken stock is also easy to make. We always boil the carcass of a chicken and get a couple of litres of rich stock, and the cats get a treat of the left over meat on the bones.



Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Beef Dripping will store for many weeks in the refrigerator

Boyle origin farmers market

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