Why would you even want to bother with making stock?
There's actually a lot more potential for your stock than just soup. Use it to add richness to polenta, rice, braised meat, and veggies, or make a one-pot meal. The possibilities are, endless and extremely tasty.
Beef broth does an awesome job of deglazing all the yummy bits stuck to your pan from sautéing vegetables. Scrape away!
Any ramen lover knows that homemade stock is the most important part of ramen. It’s recommended that the broth simmers with plenty of bones and fat for six to 12 hours so it becomes thick and gelatinous. Make ahead and keep it in your freezer to give instant ramen new meaning.
Braising is the technique you need to master to turn tough meats and vegetables into melt-in-your-mouth dishes. First, brown your ingredients to create a tasty crust that seals in flavor, then slow cook with a small amount of stock, vegetables and spices.
While you can cook polenta or even rice with water, cooking with stock packs a major flavor boost. LIFE. CHANGED.
Risotto is a vacuum for flavor, which is exactly why you need a good amount of stock. Seriously. Keep adding stock until your risotto becomes velvety, and you can even mix stocks if you're feeling adventurous.
Mushroom gravy is already delicious on its own, but beef stock adds some extra flavor.
Prep: 25 mins Cook: 7 hrs Total: 7 hrs 25 mins Servings: 8 servings Yield: 7 cups
5 to 6 pounds beef bones and trimmings (beef short ribs work great)
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, with leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 1/2 quarts water, divided
1 large bay leaf, or 2 small bay leaves
3 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Trim larger pieces of beef from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F. I actually love to put Short Ribs in my smoker/grill to cook, this gets a ton of the fat off and adds SO MUCH FLAVOR!
Put the bones and beef pieces in an extra-large roasting pan. Roast, turning a few times so the beef browns evenly, about 40 minutes.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Stir in the oil into the pan being sure to coat the mixture.
Roast for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours more, turning a few times so the mixture roasts evenly.
Transfer the beef and vegetables to a large stock and set aside.
Pour off any excess grease from the roasting pan and place over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture darkens, about 2 minutes.
Add 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, scraping the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan.
Add the tomato paste mixture to the stockpot, along with the remaining 3 quarts of water. If the liquid doesn't quite cover the bones, add a little more water.
Add the bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any foamy scum from the top.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 4 to 6 hours, or until the flavors become rich and concentrated.
Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Discard room temperature the solids. Let the liquid come to room-temperature before covering and transferring it to the refrigerator.
When the fats solidify, skim from the surface and discard.
Ladle into 1-, 2-, or 4-cup freezer containers or jars, leaving about an inch of headspace. Refrigerate and use within four days or freeze for up to three months.
Keep food storage bags in the freezer, one for meat scraps and one for vegetable trimmings so you can make both beef and vegetable broth easily at home.
How to Store and Freeze
Beef stock can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To freeze the beef stock, place it in an airtight freezer-safe container, glass jar, or bag—leaving enough room for expansion—and freeze for up to three months. I love to freeze it in ice cube trays, keeping a bag in the freezer with the cubes ready to use in small amounts when needed!
The stock will expand as it freezes, so if using glass jars, it's especially important to leave plenty of headspace.
To be safe, leave the tops resting on the jars until the stock is frozen, then screw them on, but not too tight.
Beef Stock vs. Beef Broth
Although beef stock and beef broth can be used interchangeably in recipes, there is a difference between them. And that is...bones. Stock is always cooked with bones, while broth is not. Broth is typically cooked with meat in it (except for vegetable broth) and does not necessarily have bones included.