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What Is Beef Stock?
Beef stock is made by combining bones with a small amount of meat, a mirepoix (mixture of onions, carrots, and celery stalks), aromatics in water, then simmering in a stock pot for three to six hours on the stove top. The solids are then strained, leaving a clear stock that can then be used for stews, soups, braises, sauces, and other recipes.
What's the Difference Between Beef Stock and Beef Broth?
Beef stock is typically made of bones and contain a small amount of meat, while broth is typically made with more meat than bones. Stock is typically simmered for a longer amount of time than broth (between three to six hours versus one to two), resulting in a thick gelatinous texture. Broth doesn’t gel when chilled.
6 Ways to Use Beef Stock
- Stews and Soup: Beef stock makes a rich base for many soups and stews from cuisines around the globe (think Vietnamese pho, French onion soup, and English beef stew).
- Braises: Use beef stock to add flavor when braising meats such as oxtail, brisket, and shank.
- Italian Risotto: Using homemade beef stock as a base for risotto pairs well with heartier ingredients like wild mushrooms, short ribs, and sausage.
- Drinking: Instead of hot tea, sip on a mug of beef bone broth to add nutrients and minerals to your diet that help build and strengthen your bones. It also contains many other healthy nutrients, including vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.
- Gravy: Use beef broth to make brown gravy and serve with turkey, roast beef, or mashed potatoes.
- Sauces: Beef broth can be used as a base to make sauces such as demi-glace, barbeque sauce, red curry sauce, ginger sauce, and au jus.
2 Variations on Cooking Beef Stock
- In a Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot: Follow the first step above, then place the roasted bones, meat, vegetables, and remaining ingredients into a slow cooker. Deglaze the roasting pan with ½ cup water and add the browned bits and water to the slow cooker. Fill with cold water, covering the bones by 1–2 inches. Set the slow cooker on low, cover and cook for 18 to 36 hours, until the broth is a rich brown color.
- In a Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot: Follow the first step above, then place the roasted bones, meat, vegetables, and remaining ingredients into a pressure cooker. Deglaze the roasting pan with ½ cup water and add the browned bits and water to the pressure cooker. Fill with cold water up the the max-fill line. Close pressure cooker, bring to high pressure, and cook for 2 hours 30 minutes. Allow cooker to depressurize naturally.
Learn how to make stocks and sauces in Chef Thomas Keller’s MasterClass.
Homemade Beef Stock Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time4 hr 20 min
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 4-5 lbs meaty beef bones (with bone marrow), knucklebones, and trimmings
- 1 lb beef stew meat (chuck or flank steak), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 1 large celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan, drizzle olive oil generously over the bones, meat, carrots, and onions. Roast in oven until browned, about 45 minutes, flipping bones and meat halfway through cooking.
- Transfer the roasted bones, meat, and vegetables to a large stock pot.
- Place the roasting pan on the stove over low heat. Pour ½ cup water over the pan and use a metal spatula to scrape up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Pour browned bits and water into the stockpot. Add celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Fill the stockpot with cold water, covering the bones by 1–2 inches. Place over high heat, bringing the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot loosely and let simmer for 3-4 hours. Skim off any foamy scum from the top. If you want a richer flavor, cook longer up to 6 hours.
- Strain out and discard the solids with a slotted spoon. Pour through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Remove the solid fat from the surface.
- Ladle into freezer containers or mason jars, leaving an inch from the top. Try freezing in ice cube trays, for convenience. Refrigerate and use within 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Makes about 4 quarts.