Beef Stock is a staple in my kitchen. I prefer using homemade stock because the flavor is richer, I can control the sodium and I don't have to worry about preservatives or other chemicals.
I keep several containers of beef stock frozen so I have it on hand to use in various recipes such as Salisbury steak, beef stew or my great-grandmothers Swiss steak. Rice cooked in beef stock has a rich flavor. Since Jeff is now dairy-free, I substitute beef stock, or chicken stock, for the milk in mashed potatoes.
I make beef stock by first baking the beef bones with some vegetables. Baking the bones helps to bring out the flavor. If you don't bake the bones first, your beef stock won't have much, if any, flavor. After baking, boil the bones and vegetables, then strain the liquid. The aroma that fills the kitchen when making the beef stock gives me a warm, comforting feeling. Once the stock cools, I put it in 2-cup freezer containers and freeze until I need it. I like freezing in smaller containers so I can thaw and use in small portions. The smaller containers defrost faster and I don't defrost more than I need.
Homemade beef stock doesn't have that dark brown color that we are used to seeing with commercial stocks or foods that contain beef stock. If you want the dark brown color, you can add a browning seasoning to your recipes when using the stock.
- 6-8 pounds beef soup bones
- 1 large onion
- 3 large carrots
- 2 stalks celery including some leaves
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 medium potatoes
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 4 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- 6 quarts water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim root end off of onion. Quarter the onion, peel and all.
- Wash and peel carrots. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Put beef bones, onion and carrots into roasting pan.
- Bake, uncovered 30 minutes, or until the bones are well browned. Turn bones occasionally.
- While bones are baking, wash the celery, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Put the tomatoes, either whole, or cut into quarters into a large stock pot. The tomatoes will break down during cooking, so it is ok to not quarter them.
- Cut the potatoes into quarters and add to the stock pot.
- Chop the celery into 2-inch pieces and add to the stock pot.
- Add peppercorns, parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme and minced garlic to the stock pot.
- When the bones are well browned, add the bones, onion and carrots to the stock pot.
- Use a few cups of water to loosen anything left in the roasting pan and pour into the stock pot.
- Add 6 quarts of water, or until the bones are submerged, to the stock pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 6 hours.
- Stir the pot several times. Add more water, if needed, to keep the bones submerged.
- Use a mesh strainer to strain the stock into a heat resistant container.
- Let the stock cool.
- If you would like to remove fat from the stock, refrigerate overnight, then remove solidified fat from the stock.
- Stock can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- If you would like to freeze the stock, put the stock in freezer containers and freeze up to 3 months. I freeze stock in 2-cup plastic containers. Don't forget to label and date your containers!
- Discard beef bones, vegetables and seasoning. I put these items outside so the crows can have a feast.