Adding this deep-flavoured beef stock to your cooking elevates it to restaurant quality. Your kitchen will be transformed into a little French bistro.
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Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the beef bones, onion, garlic, carrot and celery on a large baking tray. Roast for 30 mins or until caramelised.
Transfer the bone mixture to a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the vinegar, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and 16 cups (4L) water.
Place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, skimming the surface of any scum occasionally, for 5 hours for a medium-strength stock or until cooked to your liking.
Use tongs to remove and discard bones. Place a fine sieve over a large, heatproof bowl. Strain the mixture into the bowl, discarding solids. Set aside to cool. Cover with wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to chill and for the fat to solidify.
Use a metal spoon to carefully remove and discard fat from the surface of the stock. Transfer stock to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
The amount of stock this makes will depend on the size of your saucepan or stockpot and how much the stock reduces during the cooking time.
Try adding sliced fresh ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks and fennel seeds to make an Asian-style stock suitable for broths like Vietnamese pho. You could also add Indian flavours such as cumin and coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks and dried chilli.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Beef stock will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. It also freezes well. Divide it into 1-cup portions, place in sealable bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Either defrost in the fridge overnight or add to your recipe straight from frozen.
Use it up: Save your bones from a leftover roast and use in this stock for extra flavour.
Root to tip: In this beef bone stock recipe, we don’t peel the vegetables. Keeping the skin on adds flavour and means less waste.
Nothing beats the rich and meaty flavour of slowly simmered homemade beef stock. While store-bought stock is a great product for adding flavour to various recipes using beef stock, most of the supermarket stocks don’t actually have meat in them. Instead, the beef flavour is produced by yeast extracts. Making your own stock is low effort and there are lots of benefits. With only 10 minutes of prep, the stock just does its own thing, roasting, simmering and finally chilling, with only the occasional skim required. What results is a shimmering, glossy stock that rounds out and deepens the flavour of any recipe with beef stock, including your favourite soups, stews and sauces.
The most important part of making beef stock recipes is to give yourself enough time. In our recipe, to add extra flavour, roast the onion, carrot, celery and beef bones until a deep golden colour. Next, pack the bones and vegetables in a large saucepan or stock pot, then add the water. It should just cover the mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer. Scum will rise to the surface, so give it a good skim and discard. Continue cooking, with the water barely simmering; just a few little bubbles should pop to the surface. You want the liquid to evaporate very slowly to deepen the flavour of the stock. When straining, you need to pass the stock through a fine sieve so that no bits of beef or vegetables escape into the stock – you want it to be as clear as possible. If you don’t have a fine sieve, line a colander with some muslin or an unused clean (unscented) Chux cloth. You can remove the fat while it’s still warm, but it’s far more effective to chill the stock, so the fat forms a thick layer on the surface. You can then easily remove it and discard it with a spoon.
After transferring the beef bones and vegetables to the stockpot, pour off any excess fat from the roasting dish. Add about half a cup of water into the dish and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the tray to release any caramelised bits of meat and vegetables that may have become stuck. Pour this into the stockpot. These bits are loaded with flavour that really boosts the complexity of the final stock. Now simmer for at least five hours. Taste the stock and if it’s a bit watery, keep on simmering. You really want a deep, beefy stock that you could drink alone as a consommé. We add a full bunch of thyme and parsley, as well as three bay leaves to our beef stock, so the herby flavour doesn’t become lost in all that liquid. You may have noticed that we only season with peppercorns and no salt. Beef bones naturally contain salt, which becomes more intense the longer you simmer them.
For the best beef stock, use a variety of bones. Bones are an excellent source of collagen that breaks down into gelatin when simmered. This gelatin is what gives the stock its body and glossy sheen. Bones contain very little flavour on their own, so it’s important to use ones that still have a fair bit of meat attached. Both neck bones and tail have loads of marrow, which also adds flavour, and it's good to throw in a meaty piece of beef shank (also known as beef osso bucco) that adds both marrow and beefy flavour.
Now you have your beautiful batch of stock, you’ll need to find recipes with beef stock. Start with a French onion soup or add homemade stock to a creamy beef stroganoff or this beef bourguignon pot roast. Beef stock really lifts stews and braises like these braised beef short ribs and hearty slow cooker beef cheesy dumplings. It can also be added to sauces and is used in the all-time favourite Diane sauce or a classic red wine sauce.