Using classic French culinary techniques, this beef stock recipe produces a rich and full-bodied stock that can be used in countless dishes.
There is nothing quite like the comforting smell of homemade beef stock simmering away on your stove! It's a comforting aroma that can make any kitchen feel like home.
Making it from scratch doesn't have to be daunting – take it one step at a time, and soon you'll be making delicious stocks that will add an unbeatable flavour to all your favorite recipes.
This recipe is based on a recipe from Auguste Escoffier, the godfather of worldwide culinary techniques. So let's get started!
Homemade Beef Stock Recipe
Make this beef stock and add great rich flavor and depth to a variety of dishes. It's also economical to use leftovers and scraps that you may otherwise throw away. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can make delicious homemade beef stock in no time!
It is a must have ingredient to make stews, or beef soup. Or tasty french onion soups just is not the same without at least 2 cups of beef stock.
It is important to point out beef broth / bone broth is made from cooking beef, and to make the stock it is done from cooking the bones.
It is possible to use stock and broth interchangeably. Keep in mind the stock will have a great depth of flavor. Be sure to try our great recipe to make chicken stock.
Step #1) The Beef Bones
First purchase them at the grocery store, call ahead and ask the butcher if they have bones available that day. Store-bought beef bones can also be found at Asian supermarkets, my personally favorite way to get them. Sometimes you get some with meat left on the bones.
You will want a mixture of femur and knucklebones.
- The femur bones are long; most identify as normal bones.
- And the knucklebones are joints and have a lot of connective tissue, which results in a big flavor.
The Femur Bones
Femur bones are large and full of marrow, often called marrow bones, making them ideal for making stock. The marrow helps give the broth its rich flavor, while the size of the bone allows it to release its flavor over long periods of time when simmering in liquid.
The collagen present in the bone also helps add body and viscosity to your beef stock. These qualities make femur bones an essential ingredient when it comes to making delicious beef stock.
Knucklebones for Beef Stock
Beef knucklebones are the ankle bones of cows. They are made up of two bones connected by cartilage and have some tendons still attached. The marrow inside the bones adds an intense flavor that cannot be recreated elsewhere.
Additionally, beef knucklebone helps give stocks a rich color and thickness that you don’t get with other ingredients such as vegetables or herbs alone. This makes them ideal for making flavorful stocks that will stand out from the rest.
Preparing and Cleaning The Beef Bones
We need to clean the bones of impurities. If this step isn't done well, your beef stock will have an off-putting flavor profile. No problem; this step is straightforward.
Add the bones to a large stockpot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. You'll start to see impurities start coming to the surface. You will want to remove as much as you can.
It is essential to boil & skim off the impurities in the bones that rise to the top. Bring to a boil three times, boiling for 5 minutes between skimming. Do this a total of 3 times, removing as much as you can.
Next, remove the bones from the water, discard the water, and clean out the stockpot.
Step 2#) Roasting The Bones
Roast the bones is an important step when making homemade stock because it helps bring out their flavor and adds color and texture to your finished product!
Transfer them to a large cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup and extra heat insulation. Layout the bones with the marrow side straight up and down.
After 30 minutes, paint on tomato paste. Only smear tomato paste on one side. You will not get the beef stock's correct flavor if you use too much.
Place back into the oven for additional 20 minutes. The process will brown and caramelize the natural sugars in the tomato paste, creating a great depth of flavor.
Step 3#) Cooking The Beef Stock
Chop and prepare your mirepoix, which is 50% Onion, 25% Carrot, and 25% Celery. Add the bones and veggies to the stockpot along with the sachet. The sachet is cheesecloth with all the herbs and spices tied with a trusting string.
For the stock, we will be using equal parts.
- 3 large Onions (chopped)
- 3 large Carrots (chopped)
- 3 stalks of Celery (chopped)
- 15 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
- 8 Parsley Stems
- 15 Black Peppercorns
- 7 Bay Leaves
Place the vegetables and sachet into a large stock pot.
Next, add all the roasted bones to the large pot. Other options, use a slow cooker, instant pot / pressure cooker.
Cover the bones with water and place on the stovetop, and boil. Then turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for up to 48 hours.
Please note that you do not have to cook it this long, at least 4 hours. If you want to cook it faster, I suggest boiling at a higher temperature to help release the bone marrow and natural flavors.
The reason for cooking the beef stock for 48 hours is flavor extraction. Over the last 8 to 12 hours of simmering, I suggest removing the lid and allowing the stock to reduce a little bit. Congratulations, you now have excellent beef stock with authentic beef flavor that bought stock is lacking.
Straining The Stock
The finished stock, strain stock through a fine mesh, or strain the stock through cheesecloth. Make sure to cook the brown liquid down to around 72 degrees room temperature. This will reduce the chance of bacteria growing during storage.
Store in the refrigerator covered. The next day you will see the stock has a gelatinous texture. Plus clean tallow beef butter that will rise to the top.
Watch How-To Make Beef Stock
You can see in the photo below, the beef stock looks beautiful in color.
How To Freeze
Once your containers are clean, fill them with the cooled beef stock until they are about two-thirds full. Don’t overfill them – leaving some empty space at the top will allow for expansion as the contents freeze.
Labeling Your Containers
It may seem like an unnecessary step, but labeling your containers is essential! This way you can easily track when they were made and when they should be used by (generally within 2 months). You should also note what type of stock it is - whether chicken or beef - as well as any additional ingredients that might have gone into making the stock (such as onions, garlic, etc.).
Recipes To Try
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- Sous Vide Tri Tip - Max Tenderness
- Best Beef For Jerky | Texas Jerky Recipe
- Sous Vide Burgers | Control The Doneness
- Authentic Texas Chili Recipe: Award-Winning
📖 Recipe Card
Classic French Beef Stock
- 5 pounds Beef Femur Bones Femur & Knuckle
- 5 tbps Tomato Paste
- 3 large Onions Vidalia Onion-Texas Sweets
- 3 large Carrots You can add more if you like a sweeter beef stock
- 3 large Celery
- 15 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 15 Black Peppercorns
- 7 Bay Leaves
- 8 stems Parsley There is a lot of flavor in the stems. Add leaves if you like.
- Cleaning The Bones:First, add the beef bones to a large stockpot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil. You will start seeing impurities come to the top. Boil for 5 minutes and scoop out everything that floats to the top. Repeat 3 times, cooking for 5 minutes each time.Remove the bones and discard the liquid. Clean the stockpot well.
- Vegetable Option: You could roast the onions, carrots, and celery in the oven until tender. It adds flavor but is not required.
- Roasting The Bones:Place the bones on a cookie sheet or roasting pan covered with aluminum foil. Helps with the roasting and clean up.Roast bones in the oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Next, paint on tomato paste to the tops "only" of the beef bones and place back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.
- Cooking The Beef Stock:Place all roasted bones, onion, carrots, celery & Sachet into a large stockpot and cover with water.Bring to a boil, turn the heat low, and cover.Cook for 36 hours, then remove the cover and allow it to reduce, but do not turn up the temperature. Slow reduction.