Dear Friends: if there is one thing you should learn from the pantheon of French cooking, it should be a good jus de viande. My instructions here will not include measurements; this is a technique you can learn by estimation and practice.
At the butcher, buy any cut of beef that is a good mix of meat, and bone. I try to buy grass fed beef whenever possible, since French beef is inherently grass fed and the taste is lighter.
In a cast iron pot, heat four or five tablespoons of butter (don’t be afraid of the butter, you toss it later in the preparation). When the pot is heated, drop in the meat and begin to brown it well on all sides. Don’t crowd the meat- make sure there is space for each to brown nicely. You want an caramel colored browning on all sides. Use a wet brush to pull anything that splashes up onto the sides of the pot back down, otherwise these bits can turn black with the heat and shift the taste of the jus. As the meat browns, toss in a few sprigs of thyme and crushed cloves of garlic (skin on, crushed with the side of your knife). Don’t salt the meat. In a second pot, have some chicken stock warming. In France, we always made the stock from scratch. If you are have the time, by all means do make it from scratch. Otherwise, there are several good quality organic brands available ready made. I usually use the low salt variety because a good jus is not very salty.
Once the meat is perfectly browned, turn the meat and butter into a colander over a sink. Drain out all the fat. Return the meat, garlic, and thyme back to the pot. Continuing to brown the meat, add three or four generous ladles of warmed chicken stock. Allow the stock to cook down until the meat is just barely covered, and then add chicken stock again to the preparation. Do this process of cooking down and adding stock three times in a row, and then test your jus. It should be flavorful but light. Drain the jus from the meat, garlic and thyme. This meat is not used after preparing the jus, so if you have a dog it makes for a great treat! (just be careful for the bones!).