How to Make Beef Stock
This post will show you How to Make Beef Stock, and homemade stock is not only frugal and tasty, but it makes your house smell great.
Making stock is a great Saturday or Sunday activity. It makes the house smell great and there’s time to coax every ounce of flavor from the ingredients by cooking the stock all day. If you’ve never made your own beef stock before, I’ll tell you in one word why it’s worth the time: FLAVOR!
There’s no comparison between soup or stew made with canned broth and one made with homemade stock. The homemade beef stock has a richness of flavor that takes the finished dish to a whole different level. And this post can show you everything you need to know about How to Make Beef Stock!
Besides the incredible flavor, a side benefit is that you make the stock mostly with ingredients that would have been thrown away, so it’s almost free. (No one seems to mind that!)
I already posted about how to make chicken stock, and the process for beef stock is similar, but there’s one very important difference. Do you know what it is? Read on.
What ingredients do you need for Beef Stock?
- beef scraps (with bones if you have some)
- Better Than Bouillon Beef Base (affiliate link), optional but recommended
Getting started and simmering to make Beef Stock:
- I keep two large containers in the freezer, and whenever I get beef scraps I save them until I have enough to make stock.
- The second photo shows how the procedure for beef stock varies from chicken stock. It’s important to put the beef scraps on a cookie sheet and roast the meat for about 30-60 minutes at relatively high heat. This produces browning which produces flavor. For beef stock, roasting also releases fat.
- I roasted about four pounds of beef scraps to make this batch of stock, and here’s how much fat was roasted out of the meat.
- Besides roasted meat scraps (and bones if you have any) and water, the other three essential ingredients in beef stock are celery, carrots, and onions. Use the celery ends and outside pieces you would otherwise throw away.
- This is a perfect use for carrots that are a little past their prime. If you buy whole carrots, save the ends and peels for stock.
- I also use onions that are starting to get shoots. Throw away any green parts when you add the onions to the stock. (Celery, carrots, and onion scraps can also be frozen and saved to use stock.)
- Much as I might like to be a stock purist, I always add a little bit of beef base, preferably one that has meat as the first ingredient. I use 2-3 tablespoons of Beef Base like this in a huge pot of stock. If you don’t want to use it, just cook your stock a little longer so it cooks down more.
- This last photo barely shows how my stock looked when it had cooked about six hours and I was just about to remove the meat and vegetables and strain the stock.
Finishing the Beef Stock
- This tool, called a Fat Skimmer (affiliate link), is great for removing meat and vegetables while letting the flavorful stock run back into the pan. It also catches sediments and coagulated proteins. If you don’t have one of those, just scoop out meat and vegetables with a large slotted spoon.
- I strain my stock through a colander, then strain it through this Yogurt Strainer (affiliate link) into a Fat Separator (affiliate link). As you can see, there’s not a lot of fat because most of it was removed by the roasting. (Strain the stock with whatever equipment you have.)
- After I strain the stock, I put it back in a clean pan and cook it down until it’s a deep brown color and has a lot of flavor. (Sorry, forgot to take a photo of that!) I just keep tasting it until it’s as strong as I want.
- Here is how much beef stock I got from a bit pot of water in which I simmered 4 pounds of meat scraps and probably an equal amount of vegetables. I like to use containers that hold two cups or one cup so it’s easy to use the stock in recipes.
- Beef stock freezes well and it lasts a long time in the freezer.
How to Make Beef Stock
This post can show you How to Make Beef Stock, and turning scraps of beef and vegetables into homemade stock is a great weekend activity, and it will make your house smell great!
- 3-4 pounds beef scraps (with bones if you have some)
- 1 - 2 onions
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 - 3 large carrots
- enough water to completely cover the beef and vegetables in a large pot
- Better than Bouillon Beef Base (see notes)
- I keep a large container in the freezer, and whenever I get beef scraps I freeze them until I have enough to make stock.
- When you're ready to make stock, put the beef scraps on a cookie sheet and roast the meat for about 30-60 minutes at fairly high heat. This produces browning which produces flavor. For beef stock, roasting also releases fat.
- Add the roasted beef scraps to a large stock pot.
- Peel onions and cut into quarters.
- Cut each stalk of celery into a few pieces. Include the celery leaves if you have some.
- No need to peel carrots, just cut each one into about three pieces.
- Put vegetables into the stock pot with the beef scraps. Fill the pot with enough water to completely cover the meat and vegetables.
- Add two or three tablespoons of beef flavor base if using.
- Simmer the mixture on low for 4-6 hours, adding more water as needed.
- I like to use a tool called a Fat Skimmer (affiliate link) for removing meat and vegetables while letting the flavorful stock run back into the pan. It also catches sediments and coagulated proteins. If you don't have that just scoop out meat and vegetables with a large slotted spoon.
- I strain my stock through a colander, then strain it through a Yogurt Strainer (affiliate link) into a Fat Separator (affiliate link). As you can see, there’s not a lot of fat because most of it was removed by the roasting. (Use whatever tools you have to strain the stock and remove bits and pieces of meat and fat.)
- After I strain the stock, I put it back into a clean pan and cook down until it’s a deep brown color and has a lot of flavor. I just keep tasting it until it’s as strong as I want.
- I freeze the stock in one cup and two cup containers so it is easy to use in recipes.
I am a huge fan of Better than Bouillon Beef Base (and their other flavor base products as well) but there are a lot of good brands.
Want to see all my recipes that use beef stock?
If you enter Beef Stock into the search bar on Kalyn’s Kitchen you’ll get more than 70 results of all the soups, stews, chilis, and casseroles where I’ve used beef stock!
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27 Comments on “How to Make Beef Stock”
salt?? bay leaf?? did not see any seasonings mentioned other than the veggies
I like to season the dish I am using it in, but you can certainly add anything you'd like. If you use the beef soup base, that definitely adds some salt.
I make this with scraps I've saved, so I just throw the meat away. Most of the flavor has gone into the stock, but you could use it if you wanted.
What do you do with the leftover meat? Do you toss it or use it?
Sarah, I haven't made stock in the slow cooker, but I've been thinking of trying it!
I did a search for beef stock recipe and yours came up. I'm so glad it did! Your instructions are thorough and easy to understand.
I make my chicken stock in the slow cooker this way http://muminbloom.blogspot.com/2010/02/recipe-homemade-chicken-broth-slow.html
Thank you for sharing this with us 🙂