Recipe video above. This is a classical French-style recipe for homemade beef stock. It's vastly superior to any store-bought stock, and is one of the main things that distinguishes home and restaurant cooking.It takes time to make, but if you truly want the best, it's worth it!Makes: 1.25 - 1.5 L / quarts stock (5 - 6 cups), ready use store-bought strength, UNSALTED. Add 1/3 tsp salt for each 1 cup (250ml) homemade beef stock to match store-bought low sodium beef stock. Other homemade stocks: chicken stock | vegetable stock
Prep Time10 minutesmins
Cook Time8 hourshrs
Cuisine: French, Western
Keyword: beef stock recipe, homemade beef stock
Servings: 1.5litres / quarts
2.5 kg / 5 lbmeaty beef bones, back and neck preferably, plus one marrow bone for richness (or knuckles) (Note 1)
1carrot, unpeeled, cut in half
1/2onion(brown or yellow), peel and cut in half
2tomatoes, cut into quarters (keep seeds in) (Note 2)
1/2tbspcoriander seeds(Note 2)
1tbspapple cider vinegar(Note 3)
1celery stem, cut in half or thirds (leaves on ok)
2bay leaves, fresh (or 1 dried)
2thyme sprigs (or 1/2 tsp dried leaves)
12parsley sprigs, if you have it (not essential)
3litres/quartswater, cold tap water
Preheat oven to 220°C/430°F (200°C fan).
Spread bones out across 2 baking trays. Roast for 1 hour, turning at 30 minutes, or until very well browned.
Drain and discard excess fat, if any.
Place bones into large stock pot (7 litres/7 quarts+ capacity)
Place tray on stove, turn onto medium. Add 3/4 cup water. When it comes to a simmer, start scraping the tray. The drippings (fond) on the tray will loosen and dissolve into the liquid.
Once most of the drippings are removed from the base, scrape all the liquid into the pot. Repeat with other tray.
Add remaining ingredients into the pot. Start with 3 litres of water, then squish the bones etc down to fit snugly in the pot. Add more water if needed, to just cover the bones (ingredients will collapse a bit as stock cooks). The water quantity depends on shape of bone and pot – my water level came to 5.75 litres/quarts mark on pot.
Boil then simmer: Bring to a boil on medium high, then turn down to low so it's simmering ever so gently, with only a small bubble bursting every now and then.
Remove surface scum: Scoop off any surface scum using a ladle and discard.
Simmer for 8 hours on very low, no lid. Liquid level should reduce to around 4 litres/quarts for all - if not, just reduce after straining (Step 3 under Strain & Finish).
Other methods: - Stove 3 hours on medium-low (very gentle simmer, with lid cracked)- oven (lid on) for 8 to 10 hours at 120°C/250°F (100°C fan). Water level will only reduce by about 500ml / 0.5 qt. Strain then rapid boil to reduce to 1.5 lt / 1.5 qt. - slow cooker 8 to 10 hours on low. Reduce after straining to 1.5 lt / 1.5 qt.
Strain & finish:
Strain: Fish out most bones. Strain stock with remaining vegetables through a fine mesh colander / strainer set over a large pot or bowl. Leave strainer for a few minutes to let it drip.
Cool to room temperature: Set stock pot or bowl in sink filled with cold water. Leave stock to cool for around 1h 15 mins, changing water every 20 mins or so as it gets warm.
Measure stock volume: Pour stock into a vessel to measure volume - it should be between around 1.3 - 1.7 litres/quarts. If it's much more, reduce on the stove, otherwise stock flavour will be too weak.
Refrigerate stock. When fat has solidified on surface, carefully scrape off with a large spoon and discard. You should have 1.25 - 1.5 L/Qts remaining.
Ready! Beef stock is now ready to use! This stock is equivalent in strength to store-bought stock, so it can be used 1:1 in any recipe calling for beef stock.
Salt adjustment: Homemade stock is unsalted whereas store-bought stock is salted. Add 1/4 tsp salt for every 1 cup homemade beef stock (250ml) to match the salt level of store-bought low sodium beef stock.
To use: Cold stock has a jellied consistency (Note 4). It takes barely a minute to turn liquid on a medium high stove, or microwave. You can also just add it in jelly form straight into dishes, but sometimes you may need to liquify it to measure.
1. Bones – Be sure to use meaty bones because meat = flavour. If you use meatless bones, the stock will be very bland.It's also good to include a marrow bone if you can get it (ie. the bones split in half to reveal the fatty marrow inside) as this adds a some valuable richness into the stock. Include this in the 2½ kg / 5 lb.Australia - The packs sold as "Beef Soup Bones" at grocery stores are fine to use, they are pretty meaty. But they are more expensive than buying from butchers. Do not use the really fatty bones sold as "brisket bones". All fat, no meat!2. Coriander seeds and tomato – These are not commonly seen is very traditional stocks, but are a terrific cheffy tip that elevates the stock. The tomato adds sweetness and makes the stock colour even richer in flavour, and the coriander seeds adds a touch of extra savouriness. Not the end of the world if you don't have them.3. Cider vinegar – Helps extract nutrients out of the bones.4. Stock consistency when cold is jelly like due to gelatin. Gelatin gives the stock richness that you don't get in liquid store-bought stock.5. Methods of cooking / reducing liquid - you need to ensure the bones are fully covered in water to ensure the flavour of the beef infuses into the water, so the volume of water required will differ depending on the shape of bones. After the required cook time, if the strained stock has not reduced to the target quantity of 1.3 - 1.7 litres/quarts, then strain and rapid boil until you achieve the target amount.
Very low stove for 8 hours with the lid off should get close to the target liquid quantity - 4 litres / 4 qts with the bone in, 1.3 - 1.7 litres/quarts after straining;
Medium low stove for 3 hours with the lid cracked should also get to the target stock quantity;
Oven for 8 - 10 hours will only reduce about 500ml / 0.5 qt so it will need to be rapid boiled after straining; and
Slow cooker will barely reduce at all so will need to be reduced.
Do not rapid boil with the bones, it will make the stock cloudy.6. Leftover meat on bones - the meat left on the bones don't have much flavour because it's in the stock! However, it seems such a waste not to pick it all off, so I always do and Dozer get it for dinner. :)If you want to use it, I'd recommend adding flavour. You could toss with a BBQ sauce or other sauce, and use as pulled beef. Otherwise, you could just pan fry in butter and garlic.7. Storage – 7 days in the fridge, or 3 months in the freezer. I like to portion into usable quantities (1 cup, 2 cups), label and then freeze in jars.8. Nutrition - Calculated for entire batch of stock.