Updated: Jul 9
Old-fashioned cuisine from around the world always starts with a good stock or broth. And if you ask me, the king of all stocks is beef stock. Its deep, rich flavor can be achieved with just a few ingredients, and it’s so versatile. This magical liquid is easily produced by simmering bones and vegetables along with aromatics in water. Beef stock is not only easy to make, but it’s also easy to freeze. If you’re anything like me, you’ll soon be making space for it in your freezer so you always have some on hand. You won’t regret it once you taste the soups and stews made out of this stock!
Broth/Stock is the New Juice
There are so many health benefits in beef stock. It contains minerals, collagen, amino acids, and healthy fats. These days, many health experts recommend consuming beef stock on a daily basis. While you can certainly get some at a store, homemade stocks and broths will be of much better quality. Stock that you buy in a carton at the store will have shelf-stable mystery ingredients that may not be the best for you. Even organic ones sometimes contain unnecessary ingredients. Making your own stock means you know exactly what is in it.
Stock vs Broth
The difference between stock and broth is that broths are made with meat and bones, whereas stocks are made with bones only and take much longer to cook.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Roasting Time: 50-60 minutes
Simmering Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
8-9 pounds bone marrow or knuckles (washed)
6 quarts water
Mirepoix Ingredients (vegetables for seasoning)
2 carrots, cut in half
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut in half
Bouquet Garni Ingredients (herbs & spices for seasoning)
Few bay leaves (fresh or dry)
2 tablespoons salt
Few sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon whole allspice (optional)
1 chili pepper (optional)
Bundle of parsley (stems only)
Few sprigs rosemary (optional)
When making beef stock, make sure your beef comes from grass-fed cows. Grass pasture beef contains more omega-3 than some fish! No wonder some countries that are geographically far from the sea historically ate only meat but still maintained good health.
Marrow or knuckle bones are more common to use for stock, but really any bones will work.
The quality of water matters. Chlorinated water should be filtered before use.
The vegetables don’t have to be an exact size. Just eyeball them, and it should be about 50% onions, 25% carrots, and 25% celery.
1. Roast the bones. To do this, put the bones on a baking sheet and then generously sprinkle salt on them. Put them in the oven at 400F for 50-60 minutes. Turn them over halfway through so they brown evenly.
2. Remove the bones from the baking sheet and put them in a big pot. Set aside the black bits left behind from roasting to add in later.
3. Cover the bones with cold water. You don’t want to cover the bones by more than 2 inches. Generally it’s about 6 quarts of water for 8 pounds of bones.
4. Add the mirepoix (see note above), tomato paste, and bouquet Garni (see note above) and stir.
5. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8 hours.
6. If you're not ready to use the stock yet, freeze in a freezable containers or pour it into silicon molds and freeze until solid. Store the frozen stock in a zip lock bag in your freezer until you need it.
The black bits found on the bottom of the roasting pan are called “fond.” It’s a fancy French term for the caramelized drippings of meat or vegetables (it should add flavor to the final dish, so don’t get rid of it).
Simmering and not boiling is essential to having clear stock.
After the first half hour of simmering you may notice some foam rise to the top. This should be removed because “it tastes nasty” and also clouds the stock. The clearer the stock, the longer its shelf life.