Beef Soup or Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 to 6 cups

    of soup or broth.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 2 pounds shin of beef
  • 2-pound veal knuckle
  • Water
  • tablespoons salt
  • 1 onion, peeled and studded with 4 cloves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 carrots, scraped and coarsely chopped
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 white turnip, peeled and quartered, if available


  1. Place the beef shin and the veal knuckle in a large saucepan or kettle and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid.

  2. Add 9 cups fresh cold water to the bones in the kettle and add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer uncovered for 2 hours. Using a large kitchen spoon, from time to time skim all the foam and scum that rises to the top of the soup as it boils, rinsing the spoon occasionally between skimmings.

  3. Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl and line it with a piece of cheesecloth that has been rinsed in cold water. Very carefully pour the soup into the sieve so that it is strained into the bowl. Discard all the solid matter such as the bones, skin, vegetables, and spices. The meat could be used in any recipe calling for leftover beef or for sandwiches, salads, and so forth.

  4. The resulting broth is now ready to be used. It may be served hot as a soup or the broth might be used to make other soups and sauces. Before serving or using the broth, however, you should taste it to make certain it has enough salt. Or you may wish a more concentrated soup, in which case you should not add more salt, but pour the liquid into a saucepan and cook it over high heat, skimming the surface once more, until it is reduced as much as you wish it. Remember that the more you cook the broth the richer it will become. If the soup is reduced this way, add the salt only at the end.