Large raw bones are very easy to use for making stock: long slow cooking helps the meat fall right off. This meat won’t be stringy, so it can either stay in the stock, chopped roughly, or be used separately in a casserole or sauce. Alternatively, a raw bony joint can be used directly in a soup recipe, such as bean soup or Irish stew. Smaller bones follow the same principles, but don’t need to cook as long.
A simple way to use an uncooked carcass is similar to my earliest attempts with homemade soup: Start by putting your raw bones in a good sized pan or stock pot and cover with just enough water. Add a bay leaf or two, a couple of peppercorns and any other ‘solid’ herbs/spices you like. For my lamb bones, I include a generous sprig of fresh rosemary. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the meat is coming away from the bones and the bones are falling apart. You can stop here, remove the bones and solid spices, and store the stock with or without the meat, until you’re ready to use it.
However, if you want to make a soup right away, simmer only for an hour to begin. While the bones are simmering, prepare vegetables, dicing them to the final size you want them for your soup spoon.
After the hour, remove solid spices. They will be too difficult to remove later. Break up large bones if you can and return them to the pan. Add prepared vegetables to the pan. Cover and simmer another hour. Skim off any excess fat. Remove bones from the pan, allow to cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones, discard bones and chop meat roughly. Return meat to pan, together with any already cooked/leftover vegetables you want to have in your soup. Bring it back up to a simmer so everything heats through. Check seasoning and add salt if necessary. Thicken or bind the soup as desired. Garnish and serve.