How to Make Beef Stock or Beef Broth

Beef Bones and Vegetables for Stock
Beef Bones for Homemade Stock. Photo: Diana Rattray
    4 hrs 25 mins
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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 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 is a good reason to keep the meat trimmings from roasts and steaks. Keep a food storage bag in the freezer for scraps and trimmings.

What You'll Need

  •  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, divided
  • 1 large bay leaf or 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

How to Make It

*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 scum from the top, 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 more concentrated flavors, 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 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.

Some Recipes Using Beef Broth or Beef Stock

Herb Crusted Top Loin Roast With Pan Gravy

Tuscany Peasant Soup

Meat Loaf With Mushroom Gravy

Beef and Guinness Stew