How to Make Beef Stock


20 Nov How to Make Beef Stock

Earth to Table French Onion Soup made with beef stock - The Messy Baker

Last week, when I posted about homemade French Onion Soup (shown on the left), Cheryl of 5 Second Rule politely asked if I had a recipe for beef stock. Well, Cheryl, I do — only it’s more of a technique than a measure-and-pour recipe.

Stock is one of those wonderful  items where, once you know the steps, you can make it in almost any quantity. All you need is a really big stock pot and some time.

Being new to beef stock myself, I turned to Rouxbe Online Cooking School. Yes, I’m part of their affiliate program, but I’m also a student. Thanks to their videos, I learned that my stocks were too watery because I wasn’t cooking them long enough.

Below are two videos to help you on your way to perfect stock. These are the introductions to each respective lesson. This first video is a prerequisite to Making Veal or Beef Stock, which is the answer to Cheryl’s question. If you already know the basics, feel free to skip it. Need a quick refresher? I posted the basics of Perfect Chicken Stock last year. If you want to see the entire lesson — which has three segments, you’ll need to sign up. Don’t feel trapped. Rouxbe offers a free week trial and you can opt out without penalty. No one will email you or call. No salesman will visit your home.

As I mentioned before, stock does take time, but unlike risotto, you aren’t chained to the stove, stirring like a maniac. As long as you pop into the kitchen occasionally to scoop off the foam and ensure the pot hasn’t boiled dry, you’ll have lots of delicious, thick stock for very little effort.

Now that I know how easy stock is to make and much of a difference it lends to dishes, I buy bone-in meat, “butcher” it myself and then freeze the bones for Stock Making Day. Do you make homemade stock? Any tricks you care to share in keeping the costs down?

Introduction to Making Stocks:

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

Making Veal or Beef Stock:

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

Photograph © 2009 by Edward Pond.

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No Comments
  • Jill
    Posted at 10:13h, 20 November Reply

    I keep a large ziploc bag in my freezer door. Anytime I cut up vegetables I put the extra ‘stuff’ into the bag: ends of carrots, celery tops or bottoms, onion ends and the like. I also stuff the bag with any chicken bones and carcasses from leftovers.

    When the bag is full, I make the stock — and just add whatever tidbits might be missing.


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:39h, 20 November Reply

      I save the ends of onions, but never thought to do so with celery. Great idea. And after a couple of months you have all the items for stock at no extra cost!

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 12:02h, 20 November Reply

    I must confess, I’ve never made my own beef stock. Chicken, yes, many times, but never beef. I’m not even sure why! Perhaps this is just what I need to dive in and get too it … because French Onion Soup sounds mighty good to me right now. :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:41h, 20 November Reply

      I’d never made beef stock either until recently. It’s quite nice. And it makes pan sauces to die for!

      I read on Dana’s blog that originally French Onion Soup was made with water or chicken stock, so there’s no reason why you can’t try it a variety of ways.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 14:40h, 20 November Reply

    Yay!!! You listen to me more than anyone else in my life, and we haven’t even met. I love that.

    I’ve just started squirreling away shrimp shells for a future seafood stock day, but I’m so happy to see these videos up on your site. C-H-A-R-M-I-A-N- AND R-O-U-X-B-E! Go team!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:42h, 20 November Reply

      Cheryl, of course I listen to you. You’re my doppelganger. Couldn’t ignore you if I tried.

      Thanks for the cheerleading. Let me know how your seafood stock turns out. I’ve never made it before.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart
    Posted at 17:14h, 20 November Reply

    I’ve never made meat-based stock, but I do sometimes cook up some veggie stock. It really does add a whole new layer to soups.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:46h, 20 November Reply

      Meat stocks have a different texture and mouth because of the gelatin. But a homemade vegetable stock is far superior to any tinned version. I really must learn to make vegetable broth for my vegetarian friends. Any tips?

  • Sophie
    Posted at 16:34h, 21 November Reply

    I make a veal stock , chicken stock & vegetable stock 3 or 4 times a year. I let them cool off & place them in the freezer for later use. That’s easy that way! There is nothing better then your own home made stock!!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 12:49h, 23 November Reply

    I always save bones and chicken carcasses, but it never occurs to me to save veggie trimmings too. Must start that now.

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