Rich Beef Stock

Rich beef stock in a pot

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 7 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 7 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1088 Calories
80g Fat
5g Carbs
87g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 1088
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 80g 103%
Saturated Fat 35g 173%
Cholesterol 340mg 113%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 87g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 10mg 53%
Potassium 953mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade beef stock is easy to make with roasted beef bones and trimmings, along with vegetables, water, and herbs. Although it takes several hours for the stock to simmer to perfection, the hands-on preparation time is under 30 minutes, meaning that without much effort you will have a rich beef stock to use for a variety of recipes.

Homemade beef stock or broth is a good reason to keep the meat trimmings from roasts and steaks. Use a variety of beef bones, such as neck bones, shanks, ribs, etc., along with some beef itself. For this recipe, you'll need a roasting pan and a stockpot large enough to accommodate the bones and vegetables, and a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth for straining the final stock. 

“Beef bones were on sale so I made a batch of Rich Beef Stock. Roasting the bones on the front end of the recipe deepened the color of the stock. I simmered for 6 hours to extract flavor from the bones and meat and am delighted to freeze 7 cups of stock for later use.” —Mary Jo Romano

Rich beef stock in a measuring cup
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 5 to 6 pounds beef bones and trimmings

  • 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 stalks celery, with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons 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 fresh parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make rich beef stock gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Trim larger pieces of beef from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F.

    Beef pieces on a white plate

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Put the bones and beef pieces in an extra-large roasting pan. Roast, turning a few times so the beef browns evenly, about 40 minutes.

    Roasted piece of beef and bones in a roasting pan

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Stir in the oil into the pan being sure to coat mixture.

    A pot with onion, carrots, celery, oil, and roasted bones and beef

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Roast for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours more, turning a few times so the mixture roasts evenly.

    A pot full of roasted beef, bones, and vegetables

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Transfer the beef and vegetables to a large stockpot and set aside.

    Roasted beef, bones, and vegetables in a pot

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Pour off any excess grease from the roasting pan and place over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture darkens, about 2 minutes.

    Roasting pan with beef drippings and tomato paste

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Add 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the the heat to low and simmer, scraping the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. 

    A pan of water, tomato paste, and beef drippings

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Add the tomato paste mixture to the stockpot, along with the remaining 3 quarts of water. If the liquid doesn't quite cover the bones, add a little more water.

    A pot with beef and vegetables covered with the tomato paste mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Add the bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns.

    Bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns added to pot of beef stock

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foamy scum from the top.

    A small bowl of scum from the top of the stock

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  12. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 4 to 6 hours, or until the flavors become rich and concentrated. 

    A partially covered pot of simmering beef stock

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  13. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Let the liquid come to room-temperature before covering and transferring to the refrigerator.

    Beef, bones, and vegetables in a cheesecloth-lined strainer

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  14. When the fats solidify, skim from the surface and discard.

    A thick layer of solidified fat removed from the stock to a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  15. Ladle into 1-, 2-, or 4-cup freezer containers or jars, leaving about an inch of headspace. Refrigerate and use within four days or freeze for up to three months.

    Beef broth in glass jars

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi


  • The stock will expand as it freezes, so if using glass jars, it's especially important to leave plenty of headspace.
  • To be safe, leave the tops resting on the jars until the stock is frozen, then screw them on, but not too tight.​
  • Keep food storage bags in the freezer, one for meat scraps and one for vegetable trimmings so you can make both beef and vegetable broth easily at home.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Beef stock can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • To freeze beef stock, place in an airtight freezer-safe container, glass jar, or bag—leaving enough room for expansion—and freeze for up to three months.

Beef Stock vs. Beef Broth

Although beef stock and beef broth can be used interchangeably in recipes, there is a difference between them. And that is...bones. Stock is always cooked with bones, while broth is not. Broth is typically cooked with meat in it (except for vegetable broth) and does not necessarily have bones included.