First, what should homemade stock taste like? Should it be fairly bland? When I cook other things like pasta sauce, dressing, etc. I can always taste and add seasoning and adjust as needed while it cooks. Since it seems to be a rule to not salt stock, what should I be tasting and adjusting for to know if I'm going in the right direction? Is stock tasting during even a thing or are you supposed to rely on a proven recipe and just wait and hope?
I'm making beef stock for the 1st time and I'm around the 3 hour mark and it tastes pretty bland. I used 2lb oxtail, 4 onions, 1 large carrot, 2 celery stalks, couple bay leaves, 2tsp thyme, 1tsp rosemary and enough water to cover everything (guessing around 3 liters). If it tastes bland at the 3 hour point should I consider adding salt or something else? If after 8 hours, it's still bland, is there any chance of salvaging by reducing?
I always got the impression that stock is pretty versatile and you can throw leftover bones and scraps you accumulate and have tasty base to use but as of right now I'm a bit underwhelmed. Have I overlooked something?