How to Make Homemade Beef Stock

Rich homemade beef stock recipe

​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

  • Total: 4 hrs 25 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: About 2 quarts (8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
917 Calories
63g Fat
5g Carbs
77g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: About 2 quarts (8 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 917
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 81%
Saturated Fat 26g 132%
Cholesterol 292mg 97%
Sodium 267mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 77g
Calcium 88mg 7%
*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.)

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 stockpot 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. Use a variety of beef bones, such as neck bones, shanks, ribs, etc, along with some beef itself. Keep a food storage bag in the freezer for meat scraps and one for vegetable trimmings. Such trimmings allow you to make vegetable broth at home.

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 pounds beef 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 parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or a sprig or two of fresh thyme)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for rich beef stock
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  2. Trim larger pieces of beef from bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. 

    Trim beef
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Heat the oven to 400 F.

  4. Put the bones (i.e. neck bones, shanks, ribs, etc.) and beef pieces in a large roasting pan with the onions, carrots, and celery. Toss with the olive oil.

    Dress beef and veggies
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Roast for 45 minutes, turning a few times so the beef browns evenly.

    Roast
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Remove the beef and vegetables to a stockpot and set aside.

    Remove beef
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. 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.

    Pour off grease
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  8. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. 

    Add water
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  9. 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 tomato paste mixture
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  10. Add the bay leaf, parsley sprigs, peppercorns, and thyme.

    Add bay leaf
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  11. Put the stockpot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foamy scum from the top.

    Put stockpot over medium high heat
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  12. 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. 

    Reduce heat
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  13. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

    Strain through cheesecloth
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  14. Remove the solid fat from the surface. 

    Remove solid fat
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  15. Ladle into 1-, 2-, or 4-cup freezer containers or jars, leaving about an inch of headspace.

    Ladle into jars
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  16. Refrigerate and use within 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

    Refrigerate and use
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Tips

  • 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.​