This homemade beef stock captures the rich, savory essence of roasted bone marrow and stew meat slowly simmered with aromatics, vegetables, and herbs. It is made with all natural ingredients that mingle low and slow on the stove. Beef stock enriches the flavor of everything it is added to and is used to make soups, stews, and more.
Once you have your beef stock ready to go, try it in beef recipes like this Short Rib Ragu and Red Wine Short Ribs.
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Beef stock made from scratch is superior to what’s on grocery store shelves. Stock is the building block of many savory recipes so why not make it as good as possible? This recipe is brimming with fresh flavor that can not be replicated for mass production. With some quality ingredients and a bit of patience, you can make the best beef stock right at home!
Why This Recipe Works
- Better Than Store-bought Stock – Not to knock the boxed version as it is good, in a pinch, but nothing compares to making your own beef stock. This homemade version is made without salt, giving you the flexibility to season to your liking when adding it to your favorite dishes.
- Simple – Although it takes several hours, the process is very straightforward and pretty hands-off with no stirring required.
- Nutritious – The bones are cooked slowly over time in order to extract not only flavor rich in minerals, among other qulaities.
Beef Stock vs. Broth
The terms stock and broth are often referred to and used interchangeably. But they are in fact, different. Stock contains bones, is cooked low and slow, and is unsalted. However, broth is primarily made with meat (vegetable broth is the exception) and is seasoned with salt.
Tools You’ll Need
- 6-7 Quart Dutch Oven
- Cheese cloth
- Mesh Sieve
Ingredients You Will Need for Beef Stock
- Beef bones – This adds a depth of flavor that you can’t get from meat alone. As the stock simmers, gelatin releases from the bones and creates a full-bodied richness that is mouthwatering. Use knuckles with meat attached, and marrow bones.
- Stew meat – I recommend chuck roast and round roast but use whichever cuts you can find.
- Olive oil – Drizzled over the bones and meat before roasting.
- Yellow onion – Quartered, skin on.
- Garlic – Halved crosswise, skin on.
- Fresh thyme – For an earthy, slightly lemony flavor.
- Bay leaf – Lightens the flavor.
- Whole black peppercorn – For a fresh, peppery taste.
- Celery – With leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Carrots – Cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Water – The liquid base of the broth.
How To Make Beef Stock
Making beef stock from scratch takes time but it is so rewarding!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Then place clean and dry bones and stew meat on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until deeply browned.
Step Two: Place roasted bones and stew meat in a 6-7 quart heavy-bottom pan. Add vegetables, herbs, aromatics, and seasonings. Add water. Then place on the stove over medium high heat.
As soon as the the mixture begins to boil, immediately turn down the heat to a simmer. The water should not be boiling, rather a soft bubbling. Lightly lid the pan and cook for 3 hours.
Step Three: Discard bones and vegetables. Using a mesh sieve and cheese cloth, strain the mixture into sterile jars or containers of choice. Cool broth completely to room temperature.
Step Four: Lid the jars and place in the refrigerator. Once the fat has completely solidified at the top, gently scrape and discard. Keep refrigerated until ready to use or place in freezer-safe container and freeze until needed.
Tips and Tricks
- Preserve beef bones and meat trimmings from other recipes in the freezer in zip lock bags. Then you’ll always have some available to make stock.
- Do not skip roasting the meat and bones. That caramelized flavor imparts fantastic flavor for the finished broth.
- Do not wash away the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. After you roast the bones and stew meat, there will be residue. Scrape that and any juices directly into the dutch oven with the other ingredients for extra flavor.
- Be patient. Beef stock must slow-simmer for at least 3 hours but can cook for up to 8 hours. Boiling to speed up the process will only result in a flavorless, cloudy stock.
- Remember that you will need to add salt to any recipes you make using your homemade beef stock because it is unsalted.
- Customize. Feel free to add your favorite medley of herbs or other vegetables like parsnips, tomatoes–the variations are endless!
How to Use Beef Stock
Use beef stock in your favorite recipes. Here are some ideas:
- Soups and stews
Storing Beef Stock
Refrigerated beef stock lasts up to 1 week. Freeze beef stock for up to 3 months in zip lock bags or freezer safe containers.
When freezing, leave an inch of room at the top of the container because the stock will expand when frozen. You can also freeze stock in ice cube trays then store them for later use in a zip lock bag. If you are making beef stock for future use, you can also portion it in 1-2 cup portions for recipes. On-hand beef stock cubes–yes, please!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is beef stock and broth the same?
The key difference is stock primarily uses beef bones while broth is made from meat and vegetables.
What is beef stock made of?
Beef stock contains beef bones, stew meat, and an array of herbs, aromatics, and vegetables.
Is it OK to use beef stock instead of beef broth?
Yes. But remember to add salt to recipes using beef stock to replace beef broth.
Can I use gravy instead of beef stock?
You can use gravy as a beef stock replacement for recipes that require a small amount of liquid, like a pot roast. But gravy can’t be used as a substitute in soups or stews.
Looking for More Beef Recipes
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- 6-7 quart dutch oven
- Cheese cloth
- Mesh Sieve,
- 5 pounds beef bones, knuckles with meat attached, and marrow bones
- 1 pound stew meat
- Olive oil
- 1½ medium yellow onion, quartered, skin on
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise, skin on
- ½ bunch fresh thyme
- 1 large bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorn
- 2 large celery, with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 11 cups water
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Place clean and dry bones and stew meat on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until deeply browned.
- Place roasted bones and stew meat in a 6-7 quart heavy-bottom pan. Add vegetables, herbs, aromatics, and seasonings. Add water then place on the stove over medium high heat.
- As soon as the the mixture begins to boil, immediately turn down the heat to a simmer. The water should not be boiling, rather a soft bubbling. Lightly lid the pan and cook for 3 hours.
- Discard bones and vegetables. Using a mesh sieve and cheese cloth, strain the mixture into sterile jars or containers of choice. Cool broth completely to room temperature.
- Lid the jars and place in the refrigerator. Once the fat has completely solidified at the top, gently scrape and discard. Keep refrigerated until ready to use or place in freezer-safe container and freeze until needed.