Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to Basics : Beef Stock

So here we go with the next installment of Back to Basics. For those of you just joining, I like to post these ├╝ber simple recipes that I believe everyone should know how to make. So far, we've done Vanilla Syrup to naturally flavor your coffee, Scrambled Eggs so you never have rubbery eggs again, and 10 Minute Croutons, which use hot dog buns to whip these up for salads and wraps.

Sure you could buy the boxed stuff, but why? It's convenient, I agree, but you could make this while you're at work, that's how easy it is! It's so much more flavorful and a great way to use up any bones you have left from a T bone steak or spare ribs. I personally bought a package of soup bones from the butcher, since I didn't have any leftover. Once Thanksgiving is over, PLEASE use this recipe to make turkey stock from the leftover carcass instead of beef bones. It's so yummy.

I used this to make the Australian Beef Pie last week, and I really think the stock is what took the pie to the next level. And who doesn't love being able to control how much salt is in there! I personally add none, which allows me to salt the final dish as I like.

Homemade Beef Stock

Recipe based on those from my Dad and Simply Recipes

2 pounds beef bones
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
2 pounds stew meat, any cheap cut will do
Olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup water
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 handful parsley, stems and leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, smashed

Heat oven to 400° F. In a roasting pan, combine the bones, carrots, onion and meat. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for an hour, making sure that nothing burns by flipping halfway through the roasting process. If things start to char, turn the heat down to 350°.

Remove the roasting pan contents and place in a large stock pot or dutch oven. My Martha Stewart enameled cast iron was perfect for the job. Add everything except the wine and water. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners, and turn the heat to medium high. With a wooden spoon or flat spatula, gently scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any baked on bits. Once the pan is hot, add the wine and 1 cup water. It should sizzle, and still keep scraping the bottom of the pan while it bubbles. Turn the heat off at this point, and try to get every brown bit off.

Pour everything from the roasting pain into the dutch oven, and add enough water to just barely cover everything. Cover and turn the heat on low, simmering as long as you can- about 4-6 hours. If you chose to do this part in a crock pot, cook on low for 8-10 hours. Don't stir during the simmering time. If you're home during the simmering, gently skim the fat and any foam that rises to the top with a spoon every now and then, maybe every 2 hours. If you're crock potting it- just do it at the very end.

Once the cooking time is up, and all the visible fat has been skimmed, remove as many of the solid ingredients as you can with tongs and discard. Line another large pot with a fine mesh sieve, covered with a couple layers of cheesecloth if you have it. Pour the stock through the sieve to strain it of remaining solids. Let cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, remove any layer of fat and freeze excess in ice cube trays, then transfer to a ziplock bag.


  1. As a huge lover of pretty much every soup on the planet, I have been meaning to make my own stock...your post definitely inspires me to go for it before the winter months hit! Love the idea of from-scratch cooking!

    1. Thanks, Julia! This stock would do beautifully in a wintery French onion soup, for sure! Things like this are always much easier than you think they are, right? :)


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