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How to Make Beef Stock – Homemade Beef Broth Is Easy to Make!

Updated on August 31, 2010
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While many home cooks will at least occasionally make a homemade chicken stock, beef stocks aren’t something that get attempted as much beyond professional kitchens.

And it’s too bad, because there are times when only a beef stock will do – and in truth it’s no more difficult to boil up a bunch of beef bones than it is to simmer down some chicken bones – and once you’ve made a big pot of beef stock you can freeze it in easily manageable portions and have beef stock at the ready for great soups, stews and deep beefy pasta sauces for the next 6 months or more.

Beef bones, because of the lack of demand, also tend to be pretty cheap at your local butcher shop, especially if you’re a good customer.

Tip* When making any kind of stock – simmering, not boiling – is key. Aggressive boiling can cause the fat that rises to the surface to break apart and this can result in a greasy tasting stock. Simmer gently and the fat that rises gently to the surface can be removed with ease – leaving you with a clear and clean tasting broth.

Here’s an easy basic recipe for a good beef stock.

Beef Stock Recipe (Enough to make about 4 quarts – cause’ you might as well make a good sized batch!)

This recipe is based loosely on one from cookbook author Molly Stevens

  • 8 to 10 lbs of beef soup bones. Try to get meaty bones from the shank if you can and ask your butcher to cut them into manageable 2 to 3 inch segments
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled but not chopped
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of black peppercorns (not cracked)
  • 2 and 3 celery stalks carrots roughly chopped
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into large wedges (quarters)
  • ½ cup of tomato paste
  • Enough water to cover the bones
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 and arrange the bones on roasting pans or baking trays. Make sure the baking trays have a bit of a side to them, as some fat will render out of the bones as you brown them.
  2. Roast until the bones are browned, about 30 to 40 minutes, and then transfer the bones to your stock pot. Pour off any fat that has collected in the baking pans and then use a little water to scrape up any browned bit on the bottom of each baking sheet – and then add this browned-bits-water to the stock pot as well.
  3. Add in the carrots, the garlic, the onions, the celery and the tomato paste and then pour in enough water to cover the bones in the pot by about an inch
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over medium. Although it’s tempting to crack the heat, the slower heating period will draw out more sweetness from the bones.
  5. Once the bones have reached a bare simmer, take a few moments to skim the surface of the stock, removing and scum and foam that rises to the top. Once the surface is relatively clear from foam, add in the thyme, the peppercorns and the bay leaves.
  6. Let the stock simmer away for about 4 hours, skimming the top occasionally over the hours as foam rises (be careful to avoid letting the stock come to a boil – a slow simmer is what you need!)
  7. After 4 hours, let the stock cool slightly, discard the solids and reserve the stock in a covered container in the fridge. A few hours later, the stock will have chilled in the fridge and the fat in the stock will have risen and solidified on the top of the stock. Remove this solidified fat and you are ready to go!

Portion the stock into amounts that make sense and freeze until needed.

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    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Paul!

      Soup bones are normally cut from the leg bones or from the neck - cut usually into 2 or 3 inch segments

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I love that you encourage folks to make things that they mostly buy or never try cooking. What type of bone is a soup bone, or does it matter?

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