Recipe Collection: Homemade Beef Stock Tutorial

Beef stock is…tricky.

I tried making it over and over with not-so-yummy results.  We ate it.  But I didn’t really like it.  I really wanted to resort to just buying boxes of organic “broth” on the rare occasions I really needed beef stock.  I didn’t, but…I wanted to.

Then I got some bones from my recent cow purchase.  They were quite meaty (really mostly meat; I was used to using pretty clean, marrow bones) and they made some really delicious stock.  Ah!  I had learned something new.  From this experience, I’ve gone on to make a few more pots of very delicious stock, so I’d say I’ve “got it” now.

Since it took me so long to master, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you, so that hopefully you will not struggle as long as I did!

(And by the way, if you’re new to stock in general, you might also want to check out my chicken stock tutorial.)

You will need:

  • 3 – 4 lbs. of bones (a mix – marrow, meaty, flat, other; a couple meaty ones is crucial)
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • Celery scraps
  • Carrot scraps
  • Filtered water

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350.  Arrange all your bones on a tray.  It doesn’t matter if they’re frozen or thawed; I’ve done it both ways.  Here are mine:

Note the variety of bones on here.  Are you getting that this is a big deal??  Some meaty, some fatty, some pretty clean, some with marrow.  There’s even some cut up sirloin steak (the scraps of meat, fat, with a little bone) on here.

Roast these bones now for 30 – 40 minutes.  They’ll look like this when done:

Dump these bones in a big pot, and add your veggie scraps to it.  I saved mine in the fridge from the previous week’s meals.  Fill your pot up with filtered water, at least twice as high as the bones (all the way up is best; you’ll see mine’s not because I ran out of filtered water!  I added more later):

Now, cook your stock on low-medium for 2 – 3 days.  Yes, really.  With bones this big and thick, you need to give them time to break down.  Some people add vinegar to help with this process; I’ve never found I needed it.

Here’s my finished stock:

Yes, it has a bit of a skin on it.  I’d turned it down to let it cool and hadn’t stirred it before taking the picture.  Oops.

Now, strain your stock into containers.  You can put it in the fridge or freezer, depending on how quickly you’ll use it.  Here’s mine:

Nice beef stock!  I got a lot more than this (I think 4?  I didn’t do the rest, but I usually get 3 – 4 containers this size), but I’d only done this just to take a picture for you.

Now it’s ready to use.  I did actually use some as it was cooking twice to make dinner.  That’s one great thing about having stock bubbling on the stove!

How do you make beef stock? 

Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Hey there,
    I'm getting half a cow cut up this week and I'm wondering which bones to tell the butcher to save for me. Any ideas? Or should I just tell him to save them all?
    What about the leg bones? If I get those, I'm thinking I should get him to cut them into pieces a few inches long, right?
    Thanks for your input!
    Jessica

  2. Pam says

    Logistical question… how do you let something simmer on the stove for 2-3 DAYS? Don’t you have to turn it off when you leave the house and/or go to bed (fire hazard)? Then heat it back up? I don’t even leave my kitchen when something is on the stove!

    Is making chicken stock about the same? How long does it need to simmer? I don’t have a pressure cooker, would a crock pot work?



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