Preparation: Less than 30 minutes | Cooking: Over 2 hours | Serves: Makes 2.5 litres
Beef stock is used to add rich flavour to soups, stews, gravies and sauces. Not sure what the difference between a stock and a broth is? Basically, it’s all in the bones. Beef stock uses bones – as opposed to meat – to create a thick, rich and gelatinous liquid. Stock uses meat, and can be eaten as a stand-alone dish.
Everyone needs a simple but delicious beef stock recipe in their repertoire – here’s yours.
- 2-2.5kg of beef bones (rib, leg marrow bones – you can buy these from your butcher)
- 3 onions, unpeeled
- 1 whole head garlic
- Large bouquet garni of parsley, sage and thyme. Learn how to make a bouquet garni here.
- 2 leeks, cut in half
- 2 carrots, cut in half
- 1 stalk celery, including the leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Chop the bones into manageable pieces with a cleaver (if your butcher hasn’t done this already). Put the bones in a large roasting dish.
- Cut the onions in half and add them to the roasting dish with the bones. Cut the garlic in half across the middle and add to the dish. Pour about 1.5cms of water into the tin and roast the bones and vegetables in the oven for 40-45 minutes, topping up the water occasionally, if necessary.
- Meanwhile, place a large stockpot on your biggest stove burner. Fill with 4-5 litres of cold water (should be about two-thirds full) and bring the water to a simmer.
- Once the bones, onions and garlic are roasted, add them to the simmering water. Make sure to scrape all the browned bits from the roasting dish, as these create the best flavour.
- Add the bouquet garni, leeks, carrots, celery, tomatoes, salt and peppercorns.
- Gently simmer the stock, covered, for 4-6 hours (or longer if you have time). Top up the water if necessary. Six hours should give you a good strong stock to work with.
- At the end of cooking time, strain the stock of all solid ingredients and discard them.
- To reduce the stock, pour the liquid stock back into the pot and turn the heat up to medium. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, which will take about one hour, perhaps longer. The further you reduce the stock, the stronger and more intense it will be. The stock can be used as is, or can be reduced further or frozen for future use.
This great beef stock recipe is adapted from BBC Food Recipes.