Beef Stock: A Simple Recipe

Beef stock – especially homemade beef stock is remarkably easy to prepare especially using this tried-and-true classic beef stock recipe.   You don’t need purchased beef base to prepare a decent beef stock any more than you need those hateful little granules of chicken bouillon to prepare a chicken stock.   Just a lazy Saturday around the house, some soup bones and vegetable scraps are all that this beef stock recipe requires.

While we mostly use roast chicken stock in our home, from time to time we mix it up by also preparing a good beef stock.   The beef soup bones usually arrive in little paper packages from our meat CSA or for free at the farmers market.   In this beef stock recipe, we couple those beef soup bones with leftover vegetable scraps – you know, the odds and ends of onions, the peelings from carrots and celery leaves.   The inexpensive bones coupled with the vegetable scraps makes this beef stock recipe remarkably inexpensive to prepare.

A long cooking time provides ample opportunity for the wholesome nutrients present in the beef soup bones to leach out and into the water.   The resulting beef stock is rich in nutrients – particularly minerals like calcium.   It is also a rich source of gelatin and glucosamine chondroitin.   You can read more about the benefits of bone broth.

beef stock: a simple recipe

By Jenny Published: June 24, 2009

    Beef stock - especially homemade beef stock is remarkably easy to prepare especially using this tried-and-true classic beef stock …


    • Several Pounds of Grass-finished Beef Soup Bones (I routinely use 5-8 lbs)
    • A freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (carrot peelings, onion tops, celery leaves etc. Don’t use brassicas or beets as they contribute an off-taste to the beef stock.)
    • Fresh, filtered water.
    • 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
    • 2-3 Bay Leafs


    1. Rinse an clean the bones under clean water. Pat them dry.
    2. Roast the bones at 400 ° F for about an hour until the bones are well-browned and fragrant. Roasting the bones ensures a good flavor in the resulting beef stock. Failure to do so may lend a sour or off-taste to the end product.
    3. Once the bones are browned, drain off any fat.
    4. Add the bones to a big pot along with any vegetable scraps you might have. Avoid using brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, turnips, brussels sprouts etc.) as these vegetables will lend a bitter flavor to your stock. Instead, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery add great flavor.
    5. Add filtered water to cover and bring to a boil. Once you’ve brought the water to a boil, add the vinegar and bay leafs.
    6. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for several hours. I usually simmer mine about 24 hours.
    7. Throughout the cooking process, skim off any foam and add water as needed.
    8. When the stock is finished simmering, filter through a fine mesh seive and bottle in mason jars. The stock should set just like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top.
    9. Pick off the fat and reserve it for cooking, then scoop out the gelled stock and reheat to serve as soup. Note that it’s wise to serve this stock very hot as it may gel again once it cools.