Making Beef Stock Article -
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How to Make Beef Stock

Learn to make beef stock and get recipes for putting it to delicious use!

Beef stock takes about eight hours to simmer, but once it’s done, you’ll have a great base for soups, sauces, stews, and other savory dishes.

1. Ingredients: 1 tomato or 3 ounces tomato paste, 1 large carrot, 2 celery stalks, 2 medium onions, 15 black peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf (optional ingredients: herb stems from parsley and thyme). You can use beef bones and beef trimming without the fat (beef trimming is not required, but adds a lot of flavor), and you can also purchase “stew meat” to enhance the stock's flavor. We recommend using 6 pounds of bones, and 2 pounds stew meat.

    2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), place the bones (not the trim) onto a sheet pan, and put the pan into the oven. Do not heat the oven any higher than 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) or the bones' surface can burn, resulting in a bitter-tasting stock. Cook for about 35 minutes or until the bones are well browned, turning occasionally.

      3.  While the bones are in the oven, coarsely cut up the carrots, celery, and onion. This combination of ingredients is known as mirepoix. Also cut up the tomato (if you are using one). Keep all of the vegetables separate--you will add them at different times.

        4. Place a large stockpot on the stove and turn the heat to high. Once the pot is hot, add 1 tablespoon of light olive or vegetable oil. (This pot will be used first to caramelize the vegetables. Caramelizing of both the bones and the vegetables will create a more complex and robust stock. Without caramelization, the stock will have a very murky look and muddy taste.)

          5. Add onions and carrots, stirring constantly until onion is soft and caramel colored--about 15 minutes.

            6. Add the tomato product. If you use a paste, you will not need to cook the mixture as long as if you use fresh tomatoes.

              7. Once the vegetables are caramelized to a dark color, add the celery.

                8. At this point, the bones should be a light brown roasted color, but not burnt. If they have burned slightly, pick those spots off; or where the bones are too burned, throw the bones away.

                  9. If you have any trim to add to your beef broth, add it to the sheet tray with the bones now.

                    10. Once the bones and trim have turned a consistent roasted brown, add them to the caramelized vegetables. Cover with water to one inch above the level of the bones and vegetables. Once stock has been heated, turn stove to low and simmer. Do not let stock boil.

                      11. Add bay leaf and black peppercorns to beef broth, as well as herb stems from parsley and thyme if, you choose.

                        12. The sheet tray now contains crystallized drippings from the bones and trim, known as fond. The fond contains a lot of concentrated flavor, so you’ll want to add it to the stock. Place this tray on top of a burner and add a small amount of water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. (This is known as deglazing.)

                          13. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the bits of fond. The liquid combined with the heat from the stove will cause the fond to quickly hydrate and blend with the water.

                            14.  Once all or most of the fond has been removed from the pan, add to the stockpot.

                              15. After a while, the fat and impurities from the bones and meat trimming will float to the top. Skim this fat off the top, being careful not to capture too much of the stock in the ladle. Repeat this step over and over as new layers of fat form. You want to prevent fat from getting back into the stock as this is what creates a muddy flavor and cloudy appearance. 

                                16. After about eight hours of skimming and simmering, strain the stock. Often small meat and bones particles can form.

                                  17. Strain the stock through a cheesecloth after the initial straining, just to make certain it’s clean and free of debris.

                                    18. When the beef stock is done it should be dark brown in color.

                                      19. At this point, you can also reduce this stock to create what is known as “glace.” Gently simmer the stock over low heat until it has reduced to approximately 10% of its original volume, and is nearly the consistency of maple syrup. This will take several hours, and great care must be taken that the glace does not burn, especially towards the end of the reduction process. Often people will freeze their reduced stock into ice cube trays and then add one cube at a time to some water, reconstituting the amount to the original strength in consistency, viscosity, and flavor.

                                      Use your stock in these great recipes:

                                      Dec. 21, 2009 8:54 pm
                                      This looks like more trouble than I want to create to make this. However, I may try it just once to see if it really makes that much difference than just buying it in a can. I make chicken, and vegetable stock but this I don't know ..
                                      Jan. 6, 2010 4:00 pm
                                      Your Store Bought Stock is full of MSG. Good thing to create your own for the welfare of your Family!
                                      Jan. 11, 2010 2:27 pm
                                      well we decided to try and see if iy works out
                                      Feb. 17, 2010 10:43 am
                                      whenI deglaze the baking pan, I use red wine instead of water
                                      Mar. 2, 2010 12:04 am
                                      I like the idea of reducing the stock to a demi-glace (new term for me). It will take less space in my small freezer and one ice cube will be plenty for a small batch of fresh soup for myself (I live alone.) or reconstituted to use in cooking rice or in casseroles. Love this idea!
                                      Mar. 2, 2010 10:43 am
                                      Organic stock doesn't have MSG in it!
                                      Mar. 2, 2010 10:44 am
                                      I have made stock before and it doesn't need to take as long as above.
                                      Mar. 13, 2010 7:03 am
                                      I have made chicken stock using this method of baking the chicken bones first. I also baked my mirepoix with leaks, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf for about 50 minutes. It does give the most delicious flavor to soups that require a chicken stock base. I will definately try doing it with the beef.
                                      Mar. 13, 2010 7:11 am
                                      Just try it, and make a good size pot. It will last a few months in the freezer. Plus, it is much healthier for you. Use a little Kosher salt when seasoning, the sodium count is much less than that of table salt, or sea salt. Even if you don't have time in one day, spread it out over 2 days. Just make sure after the 1st day you give it a quick cool down to avoid the temperature danger zone which is between 135 - 41 degrees. This is the time where bacteria grows quickly. I promise you won't be sorry. Yum!
                                      judy sabita 
                                      Mar. 24, 2010 6:33 am
                                      I never made beef stock before, I will definitely try this.
                                      Mar. 27, 2010 6:05 am
                                      Whom ever said they make stock all of the time and it does not take that much time to make, is missing out on a lot of flavor, In my restaurant I make demi-glace every week as a drizzle for our fillet. We use roasted veal bones, and it takes all day. You have to spend time when making stocks, and they are not cheap, but if you love food, it is so worth it.
                                      Jun. 12, 2010 6:59 pm
                                      What do I do with the vegetables when I stain the broth? I hate to waste food.
                                      Jun. 28, 2010 8:12 am
                                      A lot of organic stocks do have msg in them, they are just labeled as "natural flavors" or something similar, which is still msg. That's why I love making my own broths - msg makes me very unwell. Thanks for the directions for beef broth! I've been looking.
                                      Sep. 9, 2010 9:26 am
                                      It does take all day but remember that the stove does the cooking... once it's simmering you only need to watch and skim the fat... well worth the effort :)
                                      Sep. 15, 2010 8:46 pm
                                      sounds delicious. I can't wait to try this. It is worth the trouble, I'm sure. Canned stock is just wrong.
                                      Oct. 10, 2010 10:20 pm
                                      I think the cool fall, and cold winter days ahead are perfect for stock making, bread baking, and such. After you've invested your time and talent creating a great stock though, you don't want it to take on any "freezer flavors". So if you're going to freeze it, be sure to cover the ice cube trays with foil as soon as it's solid. If you cover it while it's still liquid, the foil will freeze into the stock and be difficult to remove. This practice also helps identify the tray so a family member won't put any in their iced tea or soda!
                                      Bev Barnes 
                                      Oct. 21, 2010 5:38 am
                                      Excellent!!! Wanted to add to my Allrecipes recipe box but was unable to do so. What's up with that Allrecipes staff?
                                      Oct. 26, 2010 7:36 pm
                                      One of the reasons I make my own stock is that all commercial stocks contain onions, which give me hives. This recipe works just as well and has as much flavor with the onions omitted.
                                      Nov. 6, 2010 1:49 am
                                      Nov. 12, 2010 10:41 am
                                      I have been making stocks for years. I usually save onion peels, celery bases, carrot peelings, etc. all year in the freezer and when fall comes I throw it into the pot with the roasted (grass-fed) beef bones (54 pounds this year). This year I am going to try following a recipe :P. I bottle my stock in quart jars and it lasts all year; it takes an extra day to get it all bottled, but it adds the convenience of the store-bought stuff to the better flavor/health of homemade. When I have frozen my demi-glace in ice cube trays, I pop them out when frozen and keep in a labeled ziploc - labeled cuz my turkey/chicken demi-glace looks the same :) seriously though, once you have tried a good stock, you won't go back. Take the time. (also, OT - I have a tip for turkey/chicken stock: I gather turkey carcasses from friends and family after Thanksgiving - most people throw them away - until I have about 8, and make my poultry broth for the year from these + the rotisserie chicken carcas
                                      Dec. 13, 2010 8:10 am
                                      Can't wait to try this. Sounds like a good project for the beginning of the year!
                                      Jan. 7, 2011 3:29 pm
                                      has anyone tried cooking this in a crockpot at step 16. Villalady118
                                      Jan. 17, 2011 1:45 pm
                                      Can anyone tell me what you would replace carrots with in this recipe, as I am deathly allergic to carrots, and I would like to make my own soup bases?
                                      Jan. 21, 2011 3:17 pm
                                      I've done this, but after the stock is made I add a bottle of really good red wine, then reduce to a demi-glace. WELL worth the effort. Use the glace as a drizzel for a fine steak and your guests will kiss you right on the mouth.
                                      Jan. 27, 2011 8:26 am
                                      My mother taught me to use other root vegetables in my stock such as parsnips and turnips. They add great, rich flavor and are healthy and delicious as well. I have never spent a whole day to do this but several hours are needed. Maybe I'll see if there's a difference if I spend the extra time but mine is very good.
                                      Jan. 27, 2011 7:33 pm
                                      Scorpioden2001--I felt like that too, the first time I made stock..Just put the veggies back in a pot, and add some of that yummy stock you just made, and VIOLA, you have tonight's dinner ready to go! The only way I can make myself go through all these steps is to promise myself beef veggie soup for dinner that night. It's definetly worth it.
                                      Jan. 30, 2011 4:55 am
                                      I was wondering about step #20. How do you "reduce" the stock?
                                      Jan. 31, 2011 10:28 am
                                      No matter what....homemade stock made 'wrong' is always better and good for you. Store bought broth and even organic broth is FULL of MSG. MSG has a bazillion different names, so you need to be careful if you are keeping MSG out of your diet. I've found that each time I make stock, it gets better. I make it according to my family's tastes. It's always good as long as you stick to the basics.
                                      Feb. 12, 2011 2:42 pm
                                      can't get Beef Stock recipe in recipe box??????????
                                      Feb. 13, 2011 3:17 pm
                                      I wanted to save this to my recipe box and print it, can't find the tabs on this page. Not hard to make and delicious!!!
                                      Feb. 15, 2011 4:19 pm
                                      So has anyone found the answer on how to add it to your recipe box; I want to make it this weekend and it would be nice to have it at my typing tips
                                      Feb. 23, 2011 10:12 am
                                      Making stock from scratch is a process of time and patience, no doubt. Using the right bones also determines a robust flavor. I like the veal bones, beef knuckles baked in the oven. If you want your food to taste fantastic, not just good, not just very good, but 5 star, make your stock from scratch. The difference is like night and day. Be determined, not lazy. Think of what you can do, not what u don't feel like doing. This, I feel, is not an option in cooking. When you are sick and eat these broths, you'll be happy you did and your children will remember all their lives. It is so much more than worth it to put the time into making a great broth from scratch.
                                      Feb. 23, 2011 10:16 am
                                      Teevo- you reduce the stock by simmering. Let the stock simmer, slowly, keep an eye on it and reduce it by 1/2 or what ever the recipe calls for. If necessary, take out the measuring cups, pour the stock in, to see how much you have( 1 cup, 1 1/4 cup etc.) and le t it simmer down. The liquid reduces from the steam released from simmering. Just eye it up. Slow simmer, keep an eye on it until it looks like 1/2 of what you started with.
                                      Feb. 23, 2011 10:26 am
                                      Goofy, as Gloria said, use other root vegetables, use anything. Carrots are not a maker or breaker for any stock, actually. Of course, they're on the menu because they're carrots and that's what chefs do with them. However, leaving the carrots out will not deter the flavor in any way.
                                      Mar. 10, 2011 8:56 pm
                                      Since I couldn't save this recipe to my recipe box, I instead cut and pasted it in a MS Word document - adjusted it the way I want to look and saved it to my desk top.
                                      Apr. 1, 2011 2:03 pm
                                      I think something like daikon or another root veggie (not potatoes) would replace carrot.
                                      Apr. 1, 2011 2:09 pm
                                      Oh and on the Monosodium glutamate discussion, have any of you ever salted a fresh tomato? As the salt ions (sodium and chloride) dissociate in the water of the tomato, the sodium ions bind to glutamic acid naturally occurring in the tomato. This results in Monosodium glutamate, aka MSG. I'm not saying that MSG and symptoms related to consumption should be dismissed but as of right now, no valid research has proven MSG to chemically cause any kind of ailments. It would be nice if someone could figure it out though. I know several people who get severe water retention, headaches, etc from MSG. Although those are also signs of dehydration or high sodium intake. All that said: Yeah, canned stocks suck!
                                      Apr. 14, 2011 10:10 am
                                      I was a sceptic about the MSG too! Until the doctors couldn't figure out why my husband had severe ringing in is ears, dizziness, and bouts of vertigo that left him vomiting and unable to do anything but sit still. Over the course of 5 years they had gotton so bad he was sick 3 or 4 times a week. His doctor told us it was allergies, when allergy medication didn't help, they told us to cut out salt and chocolate, sodas and the problems still continued. The doctors then thought he might have meneires disease and wanted to do surgery. I started checking the internet for some info on the Meneire's and saw a little comment that one person found that if they ate less MSG and Asparteme, they were better. So I went to the web site and found all kinds of help and info. We have DRASTICALLY changeed or life and eating habits. If my husband stays away from MSG and other sources of free glutamic acid, he is fine! It took a while to completely eliminate it but my husband it fine!! I
                                      Apr. 17, 2011 10:26 pm
                                      The way I make homemade stock came actually from food network. I boil all of my vegetables and bones and does not get a mirky look to it. Use whole onions just cut and quartered peelings and all all of the vegetables here and then when the cooking is done strain and then I use beef stew meat or cut up a roast for the meat and then brown it and cook slow with the broth and then add in vegetables that I want in my soup. If you dont like certain vegetables but want the full flavor add in your vegetables that you want in soup but the flavor after all of these vegetables have cooked together is awesome and you will never go back to a box.
                                      Helen Burton 
                                      Dec. 9, 2011 5:19 pm
                                      When I am finished with the broth I give my dog the beef marrow bones which she loves as much as I love the broth!
                                      Dec. 17, 2011 3:31 pm
                                      I have been making Beef Broth from scratch for 15 years now and this is the way I do it. I can up 60 quarts of it every year and the veggies get ground up and put over rice for a side dish. All my Beef recipes benifits from adding the broth to them and I always know my family is getting the very best to eat.
                                      Dec. 21, 2011 2:56 pm
                                      Just add the page to your favorites... so easy.;))
                                      Mar. 2, 2012 9:03 am
                                      Yummy!!!!!!!! This came out fantastic even with bones that had no meat on them. Even watered down it still had good flavor. I did not need to deglaze my pan, I suppose because there was no meat and little fat on the bones. I'll be making this again...alot
                                      Mar. 2, 2012 9:05 am
                                      Oh yes, my family avoids as many forms of MSG as possible so this is a perfect recipe for us. I did find that Kitchen Basics Beef Broth is safe for my family and is very tasty but my husband says this recipe is more flavorful. It is worth the time.
                                      Mar. 3, 2012 1:16 pm
                                      I alway give the left over veggies to my puppies they love em.
                                      Mar. 12, 2012 2:49 pm
                                      If you are about the "Flavour" then it is well worth it.
                                      Mar. 18, 2012 5:19 pm
                                      This is the only way to make your homemade beef stock and it is well worth it. I am going to make this in the fall to can and you can reduce it quite alot and then add water to make it equivelent for recipes. Plan a week-end to make each one (beef, chicken and veggie) and the cost is greatly reduced from canned or boxed plus YOU made it and the pride and taste is out of this world!!!
                                      Mar. 24, 2012 3:22 pm
                                      Can I use beef stock to make Beer Cheese Soup? All the recipes seem to use chicken stock. Why?
                                      Apr. 20, 2012 11:30 am
                                      I am so thnking Christmas presents!! What a wonderful gift to give.. a great addition to those baskets!
                                      Aug. 10, 2012 7:01 pm
                                      TO PRINT: YOU MUST HIGHLIGHT STEPS 1 THRU 19; THEN COPY; THEN PASTE INTO word, notepad, or even email. Once copied, then you can save and tweek as necessary. Not sure why allrecipes won't allow us to add to recipes. I think it's because it's an article, not a recipe. We've purchased/split 1/2 a cow with some friends, so as soon as I have enough bones... I will try this! Sounds like a lazy Sunday project!
                                      Sep. 5, 2012 9:45 am
                                      Love this!
                                      Jan. 6, 2013 4:40 pm
                                      I made this day before yesterday, and I used 12 ounces of it in some bean/barley soup. It was fabulous. It was a day-long project, to be sure, but it was also a project that let me do a ton around the house while it was on the stove. Really, it wasn't terribly work-intensive, you just have to be pay attention to it every half hour or so for short bursts. It was a very productive day and the end result was great. The changes I made: I didn't have tomato paste on hand, so didn't use that. I made up for a little for it by deglazing the pan with red wine (which obviously cooks off over the course of hours).
                                      Jan. 25, 2013 7:38 am
                                      Thank you SO much for this recipe - I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and this way I can be sure my stock is safe for me.
                                      Sep. 19, 2013 8:41 pm
                                      LOVE the idea of no sodium. Trying to keep the ol' blood pressure under control and I eat a lot of homemade soups. Never have tried beef broth, so this will be a new must for me. I live in Mexico now and a small can of Swanson's is the equivalent of $4+ U.S. dollars and I haven't yet learned the names for all of the cuts of beef so I can get the right ones. Just have to eye-ball it. Wish me luck on this new task! And, any additional hints are welcome. Most meats here, even fresh are immediately frozen and then cut. Humidity is high and things don't even keep for long in the refrigerator. Had to learn new methods for food storage!
                                      Mar. 22, 2014 9:26 am
                                      How much stock does recipe make?
                                      Mar. 8, 2015 2:49 pm
                                      Need a really good beef stock recipe. Today at the store I started reading labels on all the liquid and other kinds of stock and broth, they all contain among other things, lots of sugar, if not the first ingredient it is in the top. I don't like my beef or chicken dishes sweet unless I want them to be. Could not find a single one without some form of sugar or sweetener. I found it incredible. How do diabetics manage to avoid sugar when it is in so many products? Thank you for the recipe.
                                      May 8, 2015 7:24 am
                                      One entire day of broth making. I did this in a standard dutch oven & find it was not worth the time or expense. Broth was sub par at best, needing a lot more seasoning Total cost for 4.5 Cups end broth, $14.+ 1-day. I would rather use the restaurant supply paste version
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