Beef stock is done similarly to chicken stock, but the bones are roasted first to give the stock a more complex flavor. Personally, I find beef stock without the roasted bones to be ok, but the stock made with the roasted bones is fantastic and I’d gladly consume it daily.
I do recommend you include a chicken foot in with the beef stock, if you can source quality ones. You can also include a calf’s foot, but they’re even harder to get ahold of.
Hands-on: 30 minutes
Hands-off: 12-72 hours
7 pounds of a mix of beef bones
2 onions, cut into wedges
4 stalks of celery
1 chicken foot, if available
½ cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 bunch parsley
Take any meaty bones you have, or beef ribs, and place them into a baking pan in a single layer. Place in a 350 degree oven and roast, turning regularly, until the bones are well-browned. Cool completely. It’s best to leave them overnight in the fridge if you can.
Once all of the bones are cool, place them into the stock-pot with the onion, carrot and celery. Add the chicken foot if you can get it, because it imparts extra gelatin to the broth. Measure out one gallon of water and add it to the pot. If the bones are not sufficiently covered, add additional water, one quart at a time. Add your vinegar, putting in a half cup per gallon of water (if you added any additional water, you should add an extra 2 tablespoons of vinegar for each extra quart of water you added beyond the initial gallon). Cover and allow to stand for one hour.
Uncover the pot. Bring the pot to a boil and skim off all of the scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to a simmer, re-cover the pot and allow to simmer for 12-72 hours. If you are using the parsley, add it the last fifteen minutes of cooking time.
Once you are done simmering, use a skimmer or a slotted spoon to carefully remove all of the solids from the pot. Place an empty stock pot in a clean sink and place a sieve over top of it. Line the sieve with a kitchen towel. Pour the stock through the sieve and into the awaiting stockpot, so that the kitchen towel catches any remaining solids. Immediately move the stock to the refrigerator or surround the stockpot with ice water and cool completely. Discard the fat, and move the stock to the freezer in meal size portions for long-term storage.
If you’d like to use a crock-pot instead of a pot on the stove, it will certainly work just as well. I place it on high until it boils, skim and then reduce to low heat for the duration of the cooking period. This method is handy because you can dip out what you need, refill it with the same amount of water and perpetually keep a supply of broth on hand until the broth becomes weak or the bones disintigrate. I use this method through the winter.