How to Make Beef Stock Like a Pro

Hint. Time is your best friend.

how to make beef stock

When I attended classes at The Culinary Institute of America my first class was Skills One where we learned how to slice, dice, chop, and make soups and stocks. One of my favorite lessons was when we learned how to make beef stock. The roasted the bones and the smell that came from the ovens was incredible and the process can be used for other brown stocks as well.

To make a stock as good as the ones we made lightly coat the bones with olive oil and season before putting them in a 450 degree oven to become well browned. You can use a sheet pan if you have a large amount of bones or a cast iron skillet for fewer bones. Stack the bones if you need to but make sure any melted marrow drips into the pan. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes.

When the bones are roasted add them to the stock pot and deglaze the roasting pan with some red wine or a bit of water to loosen any fond, that stuff that give you some extra flavor, add that to the stock pot as well. Cover the mixture with cool water and bring to a slow simmer. When you make beef stock, or any stock, always start with cool water to prevent a cloudy finished stock.

Next sauté the mire poix until the onions are golden brown, then add some tomato paste and cook to a rusty brown color, deglaze the pan with some of the stock water and set this to the side. After about 4 hours this mix goes into the stock pot along with the sachet d’ epices. Keep the slow simmer going for another hour tasting and skimming as needed.

By the time your stock is finished all that roasted bone goodness, vegetable essence, and seasoning from the sachet creates a stock rich in flavor and medium light brown in color. This beef stock is a perfect beginning for French onion soup or to reduce to a rich sauce for your next steak. Now you know how to make beef stock like the pros do.

This recipe is versatile as well. You can replace the beef bones with chicken, pork, or duck bones and follow the same procedure to make those into a rich tasty brown stock as well.

Here’s a recipe that you can use at home with the same great taste as the stock we made at the CIA.


Beef Stock

30 minutes

8 hours

Yield: one gallon

Adapted from the Culinary Institute of America


  • 8 pounds beef bones
  • 6 quarts water
  • 8 ounces medium diced onion
  • 4 ounces medium diced carrot
  • 4 ounces medium diced celery
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tbs olive oil reserved
  • 6 tbs tomato paste
  • Sachet d'epices as follows, wrap in a piece of cheesecloth
  • 1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns
  • 3 parsley stems
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove slightly smashed


  1. Coat the bones in olive oil and place on a sheet tray in a 450F oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn them occasionally for even browning.
  2. Add the bones to a stock pot and deglaze the sheet tray with some red wine to release the fond and add to the pot. Bring the pot to a slow simmer.
  3. Add the olive oil to another pan and saute the mire poix until the onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring occasionally until the color turns a rusty brown. About 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. Deglaze this pan with some stock and return all to the stock pot after 4 hours. Add the sachet at the same time.
  5. Continue cooking for another 1 to 2 hours skimming as needed until a rich flavor develops.
  6. Strain and cool. When cooled you can remove any fat on the surface much easier.
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  • reply Your sister-in-law Pat ,

    Gee David–how did you keep your stomach from growling a lot at the CIA?? Those cooking scents must have made you crazy at first!!! You’re a ‘stock-making master’!!!

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