Beef Stock Recipe

A simple cooking staple.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 lb. meaty beef neck or leg bones, cut into 2″ to 3″ sections
2 small Spanish onions
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
1 large leek, roots trimmed, split lengthwise, rinsed well, and cut into 2″ pieces
1 large sprig thyme
1 large sprig flat-leaf parsley
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 bulb garlic, cut in half horizontally (reserve other half for another use)


Step 1: Preheat oven to 475°F. Heat a large roasting pan in oven for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan and distribute bones in a single layer. Roast until richly browned, about 45 minutes, turning each piece only after it is well browned on the bottom.

Step 3: Meanwhile, cut 1 onion crosswise in half. Heat a small nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 onion half cut-side-down. Cook until charred black. (This will add colour to the stock.) Set aside.

Step 4: Remove bones from oven and reduce temperature to 400°F. Transfer bones to a large stockpot. Discard fat from roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to roasting pan and place over medium heat. Using a large wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits. Add resulting liquid to the bones.

Step 5: Add enough water to stockpot just to cover the bones. Add the charred onion half and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, skimming and discarding any fat and impurities that rise to the top. Reduce heat and simmer gently 5 hours, skimming often. If the level of water falls below the bones, add additional water.

Step 6: Meanwhile, cut remaining whole onion into quarters and remaining half onion in half again. Place onions, carrots and leeks into a roasting pan. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Roast 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and roast until vegetables are nicely browned, about 20 minutes more. Set aside.

Step 7: After stock has simmered for 5 hours, add roasted vegetable, herbs, peppercorns and half of garlic bulb. Simmer 1 hour more. Turn off heat and let rest 10 minutes. Carefully ladle the stock through a strainer into a container, tilting the pot to get at the liquid. Strain stock a second time through a fine mesh strainer lined with dampened cheesecloth.

Step 8: Measure the stock: If you have more than 1-1/2 litres, pour into a pot and reduce down to 1-1/2 litres. Strain the stock into a container and cool.


Angus Fergusson