A homemade beef stock is easy to make with roasted beef bones and trimmings, along with vegetables, water, and herbs. Hands-on preparation time is under 30 minutes, and then the stock is simmered to perfection for several hours.
You'll need a roasting pan and a stock pot large enough to accommodate the bones and vegetables, and a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth for straining the final stock.
Homemade beef stock or broth is a good reason to keep the meat trimmings from roasts and steaks. Keep a food storage bag in the freezer for meat scraps and one for vegetable trimmings.
See Also: Homemade Vegetable Broth
- 5 to 6 pounds beefy bones and trimmings*
- 2 medium onions (peeled, quartered)
- 2 large carrots (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 2 ribs celery (with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 1/2 quarts water
- 1 large bay leaf (or 2 small bay leaves)
- 3 to 4 sprigs parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or a sprig or two of fresh thyme)
- *Use a variety of beef bones, such as neck bones, shanks, ribs, etc, along with some beef. Trim larger pieces of beef from bones and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat the oven to 400° F.
- Put the bones and beef pieces in a large roasting pan with the onions, carrots, and celery. Toss with the olive oil.
- Roast for 45 minutes, turning a few times so the beef browns evenly.
- Remove the beef and vegetables to a stockpot and set aside.
- Pour off any excess grease and place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
- Add the tomato paste mixture to the stockpot, along with the remaining 3 quarts of water. If the water doesn't quite cover the bones, add a little more water.
- Add the bay leaf, parsley sprigs, peppercorns, and thyme.
- Put the stockpot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foamy scum from the top and then reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 3 to 4 hours. The stock should be flavorful and reduced slightly. If you want a richer, more concentrated flavor, cook longer to reduce more.
- Strain through cheesecloth lined strainer into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Remove the solid fat from the surface and ladle into 1, 2 or 4-cup freezer containers or jars* leaving about an inch of headspace. Refrigerate and use within 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Makes about 2 quarts of beef stock.
*The stock will expand as it freezes, so if using glass jars it's especially important to leave plenty of headspace. Use a wide mouth jar and leave about 1 inch for headspace. To be safe, leave the tops resting on the jars until the stock is frozen, then screw them on, but not too tight.