Beef Stock

Just started making my own chicken stock and am ready to try beef stock next. I've read the following (and their comments) as well as a few others:
My questions:
1. Roast all the bones? Half roasted, half not?
2. Vinegar?
3. Add brown sugar to tomato paste rub during roasting?
4. What quality does adding meat lend? And is there a recommended cut to use or avoid?
5. Any other insight/advice?

Kim McB
  • Posted by: Kim McB
  • February 9, 2016


Kim M. February 9, 2016
Thank you all for the advice.
Susan W. February 9, 2016
I agree with CV. Using meat doesn't add much, if anything. The vinegar is used to extract minerals, not to add flavor, so I only add 1-2 TBS per 4-4.5 lbs of bones.

A pressure cooker is nice, but not at all necessary. A long slow simmer on the stove creates a very flavorful stock. I actually use my slow cooker out on my deck. I cook my chicken or turkey "bone broth" for 20 hours. I cook my beef or veal "bone broth" for up 36-40 hours.

I rarely brown the bones these days. My stock is always full flavored and gelatinous.

I save all of my onion (peels add a lovely golden color), carrot, celery trimmings and parsley and thyme stems for my stocks in the freezer.
LeBec F. February 9, 2016
susan, perhaps our difference is explainable . When I worked for a wonderful French chef long ago, he used reduced sauces for most of his dishes. And he always had his sous sautéing off meat hunks and pouring stock over them- to further strengthen the meatiness for the reduction sauce.
Susan W. February 9, 2016
I can see that. It would add all of the flavor from the browned meats to the sauce. I wouldn't do it for a stock though. I don't think it adds much. The exception would be when you use a whole chicken to make chicken soup. I just did that a couple of days ago. I removed the chicken after two hours of simmering and added the meat back to the soup though. Totally different story.

Voted the Best Reply!

Sam1148 February 9, 2016
Get a pressure cooker.
Kim M. February 9, 2016
On my wish list!
Nancy February 9, 2016
agree with good advice so far.
in addition, just start and keep making it. anything you make at home will be tasty, relatively inexpensive, good use of basic ingredients, a good base for other dishes.
you will gain mastery as you make the stock over and over again (but likely never exactly the same way twice).
the articles you cite are helpful guides.
don't fuss things like roasting half and not roasting half the bones (though I, and many others, would do all).
remember to skim the foam (crud, whatever you call it).
people skim the cooled fat to have not-fatty soup or broth. but it - like duck fat, etc - has good flavor. and if your health doesn't prescribe, save & use it for frying, adding flavor to stews.
702551 February 9, 2016
The French make two basic stocks from veal bones (not beef). The first is fond blanc (white) and the bones aren't roast. The second is fond brun (brown) and the bones are roasts; this latter stock also gets a small amount of tomato paste.

1.) Depends on the stock you're making. Either roast or don't roast. Whatever you do will affect the final product, so just do what you want for that batch.
2.) Nope.
3.) Nope.
4.) The flavor comes mostly from the bones, and the gelatin from the collagen. That's why you use bones instead of meat. I don't use meat. People have been making "bone broth" for centuries because they're trying to extract flavor from the bones which are left over after you've eaten all the meat.
5.) Ignore most of the advice you find online and just use a stock recipe from a 100-year-old cookbook.
Kim M. February 9, 2016
Thank you!
ChefJune February 9, 2016
cv's reco #5 is spot on. Not necessarily a book that old. You might try Julia or Jacques. Both are very traditional and very good recipes for stock. (Please don't call it "bone broth!"
LeBec F. February 9, 2016
p.s. it's alot of trouble so make ALOT, dependent on your supply of large stock pots. Jacques Pepin's stock recipes I have followed for 40 years.
LeBec F. February 9, 2016
MY STAB AT THIS: roast all the bones// keep sugar out of savory cooking as much as possible. Unnecessary//adding meats makes for a more full flavored stock, always a useful thing.//use cheap cuts like shoulder//a bit of vinegar is good// get bones cut up as small as possible(dependent on the butcher's tolerance). Good to make stock in winter when you can cool down, outdoors and overnight , your big pot, after removing solids. Cool stock in as tall and narrow a pot(s) as possible so that it is easiest to remove fat layer after it has solidified. After fat is removed, cook down stock so will use less room in freezer. As much as possible, include high collagen bones like veal knuckles. (usually hard to find.)
Kim M. February 9, 2016
Thank you!
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