As convenient as buying pre-made stocks and broths at your local supermarket is (and I am guilty of this sometimes), it is still far superior to make your own stock, and it really isn’t so difficult.
About 5 litres stock
6-8 hours total (1-2 for cooking meat & bones)
stockpot, colander, mesh sieve
3 medium (2 large)
peeled & chopped
peeled & chopped
washed & chopped
a cheap cut like a pot roast
beef marrow bones
essentially, to taste or you can leave the stock unsalted
Making the Stock
Place the bones and meat in an ovenproof pan and roast for 1-2 hours at 400 degrees –or until everything is nicely browned. Set aside. Browning all the meat adds flavour and umami which makes for a more flavourful stock.
Chop your aromatic ingredients: the leeks, onions, carrots and celery. Keep the celery leaves. Aromatic vegetables and herbs, such as these, are crucial to making any stock.
Measure in roughly 6 litres of water into a large stock pot. If using salt, add it now.
Add the meat and bones to the pot of water and using some of the water deglaze the roasting pan. Bring to a boil. There will be quite a bit of fat rendered from the marrow bones. If you wish to remove it, refrigerating the stock for several hours after cooking will allow the fat to separate and cool becoming hard, making it easy to remove.
Add the chopped aromatics, and herb bundle to the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Then cover, reduce the heat and let simmer for 4-6 hours. Checking every so often to skim crud off the top.
Now the straining and clarifying process. Do a quick strain through a large colander. Keep any cooked meat for another use (soup, perhaps).
Next, pass the stock through a fine mesh sieve to get out any smaller particles. If you really have the patience, you can strain the stock through coffee filters (or cheesecloth), to get a really clear stock, but this isn’t necessary.
There you have it, this whole process will yield 5-6 litres of beef stock. It can be kept refrigerated for a week or two or frozen for a few months. Alternatively, you can reduce the stock to a concentrated form (which will gel when cooled) and freeze it in an ice cube tray. That way you can pop out a couple cubes to add to boiling water for stock on-demand.