Whether you think of it as a warm beverage or the foundation for a great soup, beef stock is definitely better when homemade. Stock is quite simple to make. It requires some time and patience, but the payoff is a flavorful liquid that can be used in countless ways (listed below). As part of Firsthand Foods’ mission to utilize as much of the animal as possible, we offer frozen beef soup bones at the Durham Co-Op Market and as a special order item at other retail locations.
Beef stock in its most basic form is a concoction of roasted beef bones, aromatics, vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and water. There are countless possibilities for flavoring a beef broth–think Vietnamese pho or vegetable soup. This recipe is a basic template and can be adapted based on what you plan to do with your beef stock. It is the perfect ingredient to keep in the freezer for adding flavor to a recipe. It also makes a lovely warm beverage to sip on a cold day or when you have a cold. I like mine in a mug with sea salt and lime juice.
A few tips for this recipe:
- Don’t salt your stock until you are ready to use it. Then follow the recipe guidelines for seasoning. You can always add more salt, but you cannot remove it once it’s added.
- The fat that is rendered during the stock making process can be refrigerated for use as a cooking oil–especially if you are sauteing vegetables or making a cast iron steak.
- Do not put the beef fat down the sink if you don’t plan to use it. Allow it to harden as it cools and discard in the trash.
- The longer you cook your stock the more gelatin it will release from the bones. This means your stock will set up once it is refrigerated. Yes, just like beef Jell-O!
Uses for your beef stock:
- Freeze in single serving jars for a quick beverage. Just defrost, heat through, and add lime juice and salt for a savory treat.
- Freeze in an ice cube tray and once frozen, store cubes in a freezer bag. These can be used to deglaze a pan, as the liquid for a lovely gravy, or to season sauteed vegetables or mushrooms.
- Use stock instead of water in a recipe to add another layer of flavor.
- Make homemade French onion soup. It’s easy and really delicious.
- Turn your stock into an Asian soup base by simmering the finished stock with star anise and ginger.