You are here: HomeCooking TipsHow To Make Brown Stock
Making a good brown beef stock is not really a mystery.  You've probably heard stories about the big cooking schools putting their students through arduous and mysterious stock making  sessions.    Hey, it's not hard, they just want you to think it is!  

Here's a simple, easy, foolproof way to make wonderful, rich brown stock:  The ingredients are simple.  I don't add herbs because I want to be able to season the dishes I make with the stock individually instead of having the stock dominate the flavors.    If you want herbs or garlic, feel free to add them in the simmering part of the process.    Do not use any salt in the stock at any phase of the cooking.

   5      pounds         beef and/or veal bones in about 2" long pieces
   1      bunch           Carrots - green tops cut off, cut in big chunks (wash, don't peel)
   3                             Onions -- yellow, unpeeled cut in big pieces
   1      head             Celery  - chopped in big pieces          

1.  Roast the bones in an uncovered roasting pan for about one hour at 400.Beef Bones  Use an oven thermometer if your oven  tends to run a little hot or cold.  Watch the bones, you want them to be getting nice and brown, not burned or blackened.   

2.  After an hour, place the chopped vegetables in the pan with the bones and
     roast for one half to one  hour.

3.  Place the roasted bones in your large soup pot and add 1 quart of  COLD  water  for  each pound of bones.     De glaze the roasting pan with a little water and add   the roasted chopped carrots, celery,and onions,  with peel and all to the stock   pot. (the onion peel will help give lovely color to the stock.)
4.  Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer.  Boiling will make your stock cloudy and you want clear stock.   Simmer the stock uncovered and skim off the stuff that collects on the top once in a while.

5.  Simmer the stock  for 6  hours.  You may need to add water to keep stock up  to same level.   You want to wind up with 4 good quarts of stock.   Your stock will become a rich brown color.          Do not salt the stock.Brown Stock

6.  Strain the stock by pouring or ladling it through a damp cheesecloth and  cool it by setting the pot of stock in an ice bath or pouring it into roasting   pans  and putting it  in the refrigerator.   Discard the bones and vegetables, all the goodie has been rendered out into the stock and they are now only fit for the garbage.

7.  When the stock is cold the fat will have risen to the top and congealed.  Skim  off the fat and discard it.

8.  Put whatever portions of stock you are not planning to use in the next few days  in containers that are a size suited to your use and freeze them.  Freezing does not harm the stock flavor.

Now you have rich, healthy, homemade stock without excessive salt or any  'mystery' ingredients for your soups or sauces.    Once you have made your own and see just how easy it is,  you may never go back to buying the packaged stuff.