Brown Beef Stock

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield:

    8 quarts

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

In this beef stock, meat and vegetables are browned together in the oven and then simmered in water or broth. While the meat and vegetables are roasting, be sure to turn them over from time to time to ensure that they are thoroughly and evenly browned. If the bottom of the roasting pan begins to darken and burn, add a couple cups of water. Don’t add too much liquid or the bones will steam instead of brown.


onions, 2 medium 1 lb 500 g
carrots, 2 medium 8 oz 250 g
celery, 1 stalk 3 oz 100 g
beef knuckle bones 12 lb 6 kg
garlic head, cut crosswise in half 1 1
cold water or stock (optional) 1 cup 250 ml
cold water or stock 9 qt 9 L
large bouquet garni 1 1


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Coarsely chop the onions (see Note), carrots, and celery. The vegetables need not be peeled if they are thoroughly washed.
  2. Spread the bones, garlic, and vegetables in a heavy roasting pan. (A)

    Roast the bones and vegetables for 30 to 90 minutes, until browned. (B)

  3. After the bones have been browned on both sides, transfer the vegetables to a 25-quart (22-liter) pot, cover with the bones, add the bouquet garni, and cover with the water or stock.
  4. Slowly simmer the stock for 12 hours, skimming every 10 to 15 minutes for the first few hours (C).

    As the bones cook, they will fall into the liquid and release fat, which floats to the top. (D)

    As the stock reduces, the bones will then protrude above and are best removed with tongs or even by hand. (E)

  5. Gently strain the stock through a chinois. Do not push on the pieces of meat or vegetables to force out the liquid, or the stock may cloud. Knocking the side of the chinois with a wooden spoon helps the stock flow through without clouding it.
  6. Brown beef stock can be cooled and stored in the same way as brown chicken stock. If you’re in a hurry, you can skim off the fat before the stock has cooled. (F)

    Alternatively, after the stock has completely cooled, any remaining fat will have congealed on its surface. Carefully scrape it off with a metal spoon.