Step three: Chop your onions into quarters (paper on or paper off), peel your garlic and rough cut your ginger (1/8" rough slices). Get out your large cast iron crock pot, add your vegetable oil and brown your garlic, onions and ginger. You want some deep brown parts here but don't let it burn . This will dramatically enhance the flavor of the broth.
Step five: Once the meat is ready drain it. Transfer the meat to the veggie pot. Add filtered water (3/4" from the top) Add your leeks and your green onion bottoms. Crank up the heat! You want a steady boil not a rolling boil. The broth is going to boil down over an eight hour period. You will have to add filtered water over and over again during cooking.
Step seven: After about four hours it is time for "soup maintenance". Most of your veggies at this point will have turned to mush. This is the time to add your flavor enhancers. These are the items you want to boil the flavor out of and remove before they turn to mush. I added some dried kelp or Kombu (pronounced Come-Boo). This is different than the dried seaweed snack which is super thin. Kombu is thick and once re-hydrated is a thick slimy sheet. It is FULL of flavor. You only need one sheet/piece. We also added some dried shitake mushrooms. We re-hydrated the mushrooms in a bowl of filtered water, then added them to the pot.
Step ten: Put all of the filtered broth back in the stock pot. Turn down your heat. You can stop boiling it now. The broth should be super hot but not boiling. A film might collect on the top and make a skin of sorts. You can leave this till you are ready to serve. Skim it off before you plate it though.
A few things here. This broth is amazing and full of flavor but has almost not salt. For some reason I wanted it to be salty. Resist the urge to add salt. When you plate your ramen you should first add a high quality soy sauce to the bowl before adding your broth. This will provide the salt. Also when we get to part two and three you can add all kinds of stuff to boost. The broth has a purity to it that you should try to retain.
On to step two.......