Home made Beef Stock

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

parker57

Cook
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
50
Location
Northwest PA
We made our trip to the butcher today, and I bought some knuckle bones, thinking maybe I could make some home made stock. I have made chicken and turkey stock a lot, and we love it, but this is my first attempt at beef. The knuckles are about 1-1/2 pounds each with a good amount of fat and some meat on them. I had the option to buy marrow bones, but at $5 a pound, I opted for the much cheaper knuckles. Would it take both of these knuckles to make a nice batch of stock for soup? If I had to guess I usually add 8 cups of water for a batch. I see some recipes out there that say I need 5 pounds for just 32 oz of soup. Others say 4-5 pounds for 4 quarts of soup.
Also, any tips and tricks for something to add to it? I usually use a variety of spices and herbs, and carrots and onions and celery. One of the things I love about cooking is experimenting and adding a little of this and a little of that. ( you can't do that in baking, so that is why I DON'T bake )
I would love to hear what you put in yours!!
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
When I make stock, I just add a bunch of water. When I think the stock should be done, I tear off a tiny big of meat and see if there is any flavour left. If not, the stock is cooked enough. Then I taste the stock. If it is too weak, I simmer until the volume reduces enough to have enough flavour.

Sometimes I roast the bones before adding water to them. It makes them more flavourful. But, I have found it makes the stock much less clear. Well, I think that was the reason the stock was less clear. I haven't bothered roasting the bones often.

I can't help with additions. I don't season stock at all. I season when I use the stock and know what I will be using it for.
 

parker57

Cook
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
50
Location
Northwest PA
If roasting makes them more flavorful then I will definitely do that.
I just cut up some red and green peppers for a pepper stir fry tonight. Wondering if anyone tosses the tops of the peppers into stock or if that is too strong of a flavor?
 

medtran49

Master Chef
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
5,098
Location
Florida
When you make stock for pho, the Asian lady i know who makes her stock cooks marrow bones cut in 3 inch or so lengths in boiling water for a few minutes, maybe 5 to 10, then pulls the bones out, dumps the water and cleans the pot. After the bones cool enough to handle, she lightly scrubs them with a vegetable brush, rinses, and then starts her stock from scratch. That gets rid of most of the impurities, making a clearer stock.

If you go at a time when they are not busy, the Asian markets we go to the butchers will use the band saw and cut the bones for you. The bones are pretty cheap there too.

I just add a very little salt and pepper, then season my finished dish. I usually reduce my stock a lot so it is concentrated and takes up less room in the freezer then add water or wine or whatever when I am using the stock.
 

Marlingardener

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
339
Location
unincorporated area
Making beef stock, you need to back off on herbs and other additives, including salt and pepper. When you use the stock you can add whatever you need for the dish. Plain stock is so much more versatile.
I get beef neck bones, roast them in the oven until almost burned, add water to the fond, and dump everything into a pot to cook down on low heat until it smells/tastes right.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Unless I am making stock for a specific dish, I do the veggies separately. I save onion skins, bits of mushrooms and onions, carrot peels, dried bits of celery and leaves that are wilting, etc. I make a straight veggie stock out of that. I use it for lots of things. Like Medtran, I reduce my meat stock so it takes less space in fridge or freezer. I dilute with my veggie stock, the one made from scraps. I put just about any sorry looking bits of veggie in that except really starchy veggies (no potato peels) and no brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, turnips, etc.). I have never tried brassicas in stock, but I know what they smell like when they are overcooked and I don't want that in my stock. I definitely use trimmings from bell peppers.
 

Aunt Bea

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
8,026
Location
near Mount Pilot
I stopped making stock in favor of boiled dinners or pot au feu style meals that yield a flavorful stock as a bonus.

Beef shanks, with mushrooms, carrots, celery, and onions make a nice meal with a flavorful stock.

A combination of chicken, beef, and a sausage like kielbasa or pepperoni is good and can take care of the cooking for a week. Don’t cook the meat to death, add different ingredients with different cookings times as you go. The various meats and vegetables cooked this way can appear in different soups, sandwiches, casseroles and a great hash for an easy week of meals.

 
Last edited:

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
I used to make something very similar to that. That was when there was type of smoked ham that was very inexpensive. We would eat most of the ham as sandwiches and other ways, like ground for meatloaf (it was the cheapest meat going), which was delicious. When there was just a little bit of meat left on the bone, I would make something very much like this. We called it ham soup/stew. Day one it was a soup. Day two and later it was a stew. I cut the pieces smaller than he does. It's apparently a traditional Quebec dish, but I don't remember the French name for the one with ham. I doubt it was "pot au feu", because that would have been easy to remember. Veggie stock makes it even better.
 

Aunt Bea

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
8,026
Location
near Mount Pilot
I used to make something very similar to that. That was when there was type of smoked ham that was very inexpensive. We would eat most of the ham as sandwiches and other ways, like ground for meatloaf (it was the cheapest meat going), which was delicious. When there was just a little bit of meat left on the bone, I would make something very much like this. We called it ham soup/stew. Day one it was a soup. Day two and later it was a stew. I cut the pieces smaller than he does. It's apparently a traditional Quebec dish, but I don't remember the French name for the one with ham. I doubt it was "pot au feu", because that would have been easy to remember. Veggie stock makes it even better.
We used to use what was called a Cali or picnic ham as a boiled dinner and then a pot of bean soup or a pan of scalloped potatoes with ham later in the week.

The ‘ham’ was a fatty smoked pork shoulder that yielded a flavorful stock.

My grandmother saved the congealed fat that accumulated on top of the cold stock for frying potatoes.

These days I make a quicker smaller and hopefully healthier version using a vacuum packed ham steak or ring of kielbasa.
 
Last edited:

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,844
Location
Southeast US
When you make stock for pho, the Asian lady i know who makes her stock cooks marrow bones cut in 3 inch or so lengths in boiling water for a few minutes, maybe 5 to 10, then pulls the bones out, dumps the water and cleans the pot. After the bones cool enough to handle, she lightly scrubs them with a vegetable brush, rinses, and then starts her stock from scratch. That gets rid of most of the impurities, making a clearer stock.

If you go at a time when they are not busy, the Asian markets we go to the butchers will use the band saw and cut the bones for you. The bones are pretty cheap there too.

I just add a very little salt and pepper, then season my finished dish. I usually reduce my stock a lot so it is concentrated and takes up less room in the freezer then add water or wine or whatever when I am using the stock.
In the last few years I have been doing the same thing. Bringing whatever protein/meat to a boil, pouring out the water, rinsing them off and wiping out the pot before proceeding with my recipe. It does not change the flavor and no scum to remove.
I also agree it produces a clear stock. Not perfectly clear but just right for Asian dishes.
However. Should I make a beef broth/stock I would always roast very well first. And not drain and rinse. Beef stock IMO should have color. Lots of color. And veggies would be roasted in the same pan together.
I find beef stock to be the most challenging stock/broth to make. So appearance comes into play.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
We used to use what was called a Cali or picnic ham as a boiled dinner and then a pot of bean soup or a pan of scalloped potatoes with ham later in the week.

The ‘ham’ was a fatty smoked pork shoulder that yielded a flavorful stock.

My grandmother saved the congealed fat that accumulated on top of the cold stock for frying potatoes.

These days I make a quicker smaller and hopefully healthier version using a vacuum packed ham steak or ring of kielbasa.
I don't remember for sure if it was smoked pork shoulder or actual ham. The type was called "toupie ham". Toupie is French for top, the kind that spins and refers to the shape. I quit making it after the cheap ones only came boneless. I was so disappointed the first time I made one with no bone. It just didn't have as much flavour.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
8,492
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
When I started buying "toupie ham" it was far more expensive than a lot of other styles of ham. At the time, much coveted in my area. We would rush if they came on sale.
 

Kathleen

Cupcake
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
3,564
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA
Making beef stock, you need to back off on herbs and other additives, including salt and pepper. When you use the stock you can add whatever you need for the dish. Plain stock is so much more versatile.
I get beef neck bones, roast them in the oven until almost burned, add water to the fond, and dump everything into a pot to cook down on low heat until it smells/tastes right.
Neck bones make wonderful stocks or bases. I've not gotten them in a while, but pork neck bones is my secret to good scrapple. I only eat scrapple when I know who made it. :LOL:
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
I almost never see pork bones, unless it's ribs, not even in pork chops. But, I don't know if that's my area or that I only get locally sourced pork through Lufa Farms, my produce basket place. I haven't found any other way of being sure that the pork is locally raised. Well, I'm exaggerating, I can get some of the same cuts, from the same companies health food stores and grocery stores that carry organic meat, but still, no bones. I find this most annoying. I have a number of Danish recipes that call for pork stock.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Taxy.....you need pork bones!
Yeah, I do. I may have to go to an Asian market and forgot the idea of trying to get the bones from locally raised pork. It's not like I ever see containers of pork stock here. And, if I wanted the Better Than Bouillon pork base, I can't get that from the supermarket.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
8,492
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
taxy, I buy/bought BTB at Loblaws. They don't always have all the different flavours but I have gotten them eventually.
What do Lufa Farms say when you ask about the bones. Can you not talk with them direct?
 

Aunt Bea

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
8,026
Location
near Mount Pilot
In this area, pork neck bones and many other odd/interesting cuts of meat are going the way of the dodo bird.

More and more stores in my area are selling prepackaged fresh meat or large cryovac-packed sections of animals that are trimmed and cut in the meat department as opposed to full sides of beef and pork.

I use inexpensive pork steaks in recipes that call for neck bones or beef shanks in recipes that call for ox tails.

 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,643
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
taxy, I buy/bought BTB at Loblaws. They don't always have all the different flavours but I have gotten them eventually.
What do Lufa Farms say when you ask about the bones. Can you not talk with them direct?
Thanks for reminding me of Loblaws, which is Provigo around here, nowadays. I can check online. I don't often order from them. And yeah, I could start bugging them at Lufa. It would require someone to get the farms that sell the meat to sell bones at Lufa and I'm not sure enough other people want the bones to make it worth while. They do sell some bones, but for $1.22/100 grams for beef marrow bones (not organic, but sort of local), I have been looking at organic pork belly ribs at $1.52/100 grams, and those are from Quebec too. They do have a decent selection of local chicken bones, but not organic.

1674066361642.png
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
8,492
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
I saw something at Fortino's (box store, very big here in southern Ontario)(owned by Loblaws, {President's Choice brand}) that amazed me.
THREE that's 3 Freezer bins full of whole pork bellies. I mean the WHOLE cut. Not even sure I could have picked one up. Those were big porkers!
Now I would expect to see this in the Southern States - Texas - summertime BBQ's etc. But in the middle of winter? Here? WOW.
I asked a boy stocking the bins "What do people do with them?" he said "I don't know but they sell like crazy!" o_O
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom