Rich Beef Stock

Rich homemade beef stock recipe

​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
917 Calories
63g Fat
5g Carbs
77g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
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.)

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. 

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 1 to 2 sprigs 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 the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat the oven to 400 F.

    Trim beef
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Put the bones 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
  4. Roast for 45 minutes, turning a few times so the beef browns evenly.

    Roast until the beef browns evenly
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Transfer the beef and vegetables to a stockpot and set aside.

    Transfer beef and vegetables to a stockpot
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Pour off any excess grease from the roasting pan and place over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    Stirring pan grease with tomato paste
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. Add 2 cups of the water and bring to a simmer. 

    Add water
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  8. 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.

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

    Add bay leaf, parsley sprigs, peppercorns, and thyme
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  10. 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
  11. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, partially cover, 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
  12. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

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

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

    Ladle into jars
    ​The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  15. Refrigerate and use within four days or freeze for up to three months.

    Jars of stock ready for the refrigerator
    ​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.
  • 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.