Homemade Beef Bouillon Recipe

Beef bouillon
Smneedham / Getty Images
  • 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 6 cups (2 servings)
Ratings (5)

Homemade beef bouillon is easy to make, but it is literally an all-day project, so you should plan ahead. The rich flavor far outshines any canned beef stock. The longer you reduce it, the richer the flavor. It is definitely worth the time. 

What You'll Need

  • 4 pounds lean beef from shank (diced)
  • 2 pounds beef bones
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 quarts water (cold)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced turnips
  • 1/2 cup diced onions

How to Make It

  1. Place beef, bones and whole cloves in a large stockpot.
  2. Cover with cold water. Slowly bring to a boil, cover with a lid, lower heat, and simmer for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Taste the broth and season with salt.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, turnips, and onions to the stockpot.
  5. Simmer 1 hour.
  6. Strain the broth through cheesecloth into another stockpot and discard solids.
  7. Simmer uncovered until broth has reduced to 6 cups or to desired strength.
  1. Let the broth cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
  2. Skim off fat and discard.

How to Use Bouillon:

The bouillon can be used as is for a clear soup course or as traditional beef stock in other recipes.

Some soup ideas to try are beef vegetable, beef and barley, beef, barley and mushroom, beef noodle, beef rice, steak, lentil, vegetable and beef, Mexican-style beef soup or green chilies and beef. Main dish recipes that use bouillon include beef bourguignon and beef stew.

All these dishes are most appealing in the cooler seasons of the year. If you're making soup, serve with either traditional or dolled-up grilled cheese sandwiches, enhanced with red onion, tomatoes or avocado slices and at least two kinds of cheese. Or make the soup a side to any variety of panini you have a fancy for. For a lunch or light dinner, serve the soup with French bread or garlic toast.

Stew and beef bourguignon both are warming main dishes for a family dinner. Serve the beef bourguignon over noodles for a traditional presentation and add a side of bread or garlic toast for both. 

There's no reason why you can't have that glass of wine with a simple meal like soup and sandwiches. Try a malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah, or a blend of two or three of those last three grape varieties. If you're serving beef stew or beef bourguignon, the same wines work. Expand your horizons with pinot noir, Australian shiraz, Burgundy (the dish is named for this part of France), Cotes du Rhone or zinfandel. A blend of shiraz and cabernet is especially good with these two dishes.