Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Home Made Beef Stock - Why you should bother

Do you make your own stock?  

If you don't then I highly recommend you give it a go because it is really easy and a well made stock is highly nutritious and will contain the minerals from the bones, cartilage, marrow in a form that easy for your body to absorb and use.

When we had our cow killed we asked the butcher to provide us with all the bones for us and our dog Jessie as we want to use as much of her as possible.  I specifically asked for some meaty bones for stock making and I am sure you could ask any butcher to do this for you.

I make mine with the addition of some vinegar which when added during the cooking process helps the bones release minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium into the stock.
Gelatine when taken with food aids digestion as it is hydrophilic (it attracts liquid to it) allowing it to attract digestive juices to the food particles.

'Jewish Penicillin' (chicken broth) and fish head broth are both traditional foods and have been around for hundreds of years.

Stock can be used to inject flavour and nutrition into meals and has long been used in fine dining restaurants where the stock is infused with herbs/wine and reduced down to create delicious sauces.

The way to test if your stock contains good amounts of gelatin is to chill it.  Your stock should thicken if not turn completely to jelly.

I find it is easiest to make really big batches (between 5-8 litres) and freeze the stock in portions in the freezer so that I can add it to meals, use it as the base for soups.  This is my method for making beef stock and I do my chicken stock the same (unless I am making a clear Asian chicken stock which is done at a lower temperature and not allowed to boil).

Beef Stock

2 kg Meaty Beef Bones
4 Carrots
6 stalks of Celery
4 Onions
A Bunch of Parsley
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Place all the bones in a large roasting tray and place into a 180 degree oven and roast until the
bones are really really dark but not burnt.

Add carrots chopped into thirds (I used up old carrots that were in the fridge and were a bit past their best, they had a few spots on them so I peeled them) chopped celery, onions (which I do not even peel I just wash them) parsley and vinegar.

Cover with water (I use about 8 litres), bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 5 hours in a covered pot.

Once the stock is cooked and cooled I strain off the sock into large containers and chill in the fridge overnight.  I then give all of the meat, bones and veg left in the pot to the chickens.  And if you have never fed your chickens meat let me tell you they go crazy for it.  They also peck at the bones and in a couple of days you can go out and pick up the bones that have now been picked clean.

The next day the stock has set to a firm jelly with a thin layer of fat on the top.  I then use a sponn to remove the fat. 

Once the fat has been removed I measure the stock into takeaway containers and label them the they all go in the freezer.
By having the measures on the lid it makes it really easy to use ant the containers stack really well so they are space savers.

Do you have any tips for making a good stock?  What veggies do you use?


  1. I've regularly made stock in my slow cooker during the last year and it feels good to go to the freezer. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. I agree Kathy it is good to know it can make a meal extra tasty with something I have on hand that cost next to nothing.


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