Making beef stock to use in soups and gravies is generally a very simple process, although it usually takes several hours. To make this type of stock, scraps of beef and beef bones should be roasted and browned in the oven before being added to a stock pot or slow cooker. Carrots, onions, and celery should be added as well, and water is also added to the cooking vessel. This mixture should then be gently simmered for several hours, or even a couple of days.
Beef stock is one of the most common types of stock. It is often used as a base or flavoring for beef soup or stew, as well as beef stock gravy. Unlike beef broth, beef bones and vegetables are used when making beef stock, not just meat.
Experts agree the most important ingredients in beef stock are the beef bones. Cooks planning on making beef stock can usually find these bones at their local supermarkets or butchers for very little money. Those who plan ahead, however, can also save any beef bones leftover from previous meals, such as bone-in roasts or steaks.
Meat is also usually used when making beef stock, but some cooks choose to omit this ingredient. Nearly any type of meat can be added to beef stock, including tough, inexpensive cuts of meat. As with beef bones, cooks can also save any meat scraps that are leftover from previous meals. Any bones or meat, however, should be stored in a sealed container in a freezer.
A mixture of vegetables, known as a mirepoix, is also used when making beef stock. This usually includes just onions, carrots, and celery, but other vegetables can be added as well. Chopped garlic, for example, is often added to beef stock. Instead of buying fresh vegetables when making beef stock, some cooks save pieces of these vegetable that they would normally throw out. Carrot peels and celery ends, for example, can be added to beef stock.
Although beef stock is traditionally made in a large, tall pot known as a stock pot, it can also be made in a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker when making beef stock is generally more convenient, since it does not take up any room on a stove top. Slow cookers can also be left on when a person goes to bed or leaves the house, whereas a stove can not.
The beef bones and meat should first be roasted and browned in a very hot oven before they are used to make beef stock. Any vegetables can also be browned on the stove. All of these ingredients, along with the pan drippings, can then be added to either a stock pot or a slow cooker and covered with water. The beef stock will often take anywhere from several hours a couple of days before its ready. Any fat should be skimmed off the top of the stock before it is used.