Primitive Basics – How to Make Homemade Beef Stock

There is really nothing so darkly primitive and luscious as roasted beef marrow bones. Add in some vegetables and cloves of garlic and the beauty and fragrance is simply divine.

I’ve made homemade stock for many, many moons because I don’t like things to go to waste and I really like knowing that the stock I use is full of a bunch of good stuff. I use roasted chicken or turkey carcasses, ham bones, beef and lamb shanks, tough asparagus or broccoli bottoms, onion skins and roots, carrot tops, celery bases, herb stems, you name it. When I make stock, I try and use just about everything I can.

I prefer to use roasted bones and carcasses, as they have a much richer, more intense flavor. There’s nothing like the caramelization that happens when something is roasted…the layers of flavor truly intensify. So, if you have them and are wondering what to do with beef marrow bones, my answer to you is to make bone broth.

This isn’t to say I don’t keep the canned or boxed stuff around because I do, just in case I run out of my homemade stock. I always need to have stock on hand, as it’s a necessity in a lot of dishes. I just highly prefer my own homemade stock over the store-bought variety.

Behold, roasted beef marrow bones with vegetables:


That, my non-vegetarian friends, is a beautiful sight.

Homemade Beef Stock Recipe Using Roasted Beef Marrow Bones

Preheat oven to 425°

  • 2.5 to 3 pounds beef marrow bones, with some meat still attached
  • 2 whole carrots, scrubbed & cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 leek, white and tender green section, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 head of garlic, gently crushed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the stockpot:

  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 few sprigs of fresh thyme or a tablespoon of dried
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley (I use the stems)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Place beef bones in a large roasting pan, sprinkle everything with salt, and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn bones over, add veggies and garlic. Return to oven and roast for 30 minutes more. The beef bones and vegetables should just be caramelized, without being burnt.

Place the bones and veggies in a large pot and add enough water to cover everything, plus a few more inches. Add your bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low heat, with the lid only partially on, for about 4 hours.

Let cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, scrape off most of the solidified fat and discard. Strain through a colander and discard all solids. Strain stock again through a cheesecloth-lined colander.

You now have beautiful, clear, flavorful homemade beef stock. This freezes really well for a few months, and I like to divvy mine up into cup-sized containers before freezing, so I can use just what I need. You can also freeze some of your stock in ice cube trays, for even smaller amounts.

Depending on how you use your stock, you can add a variety of herbs and veggies to this, to amp up the flavor and vitamin content. Don’t be afraid to play with your food; I’ll bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.


17 thoughts on “Primitive Basics – How to Make Homemade Beef Stock

  1. Cnawan Fahey says:

    “Darkly primitive”…very well said – my former lover would make bone broth and the aroma filling our home was just that. Remarkable nutritional value, and remarkable for its effect on the senses. So powerful is this to the psyche, I even wrote it into my my post-apocalypic story. Must try your recipe.

    • Thank you so much! Bone broth does have remarkable nutritional value, in addition to waging a delectable assault to our senses while it’s cooking. This is truly a back-to-the-basics preparation that many seem to have lost the knowledge of in today’s world. Thank you for commenting!

  2. I love you. Jody and I constantly have debates about posting things like this, about whether people will appreciate them, let alone cook them. You’re hardcore–great! Ken

    • Thank you! Making stock is such a simple endeavor, really, but I still know a number of people intimidated or mystified by it, so I thought I’d share. I tend to add herbs and veggies as my refrigerator supplies and garden veggies allow – again, maybe not a classic way of doing things, but always rich and flavorful. And nothing’s quite as comforting as a bowl of stock simmering away on the stovetop.

  3. I have been cruising through your blog! You have some amazing recipes! Like you, I like simple! Thank you for the follow, and be sure to check out my category “In the kitchen” for some of my recipes! ^..^ B

  4. Wow – what a fabulous dish! I have to admit I have never made marrow bones, but I do enjoy eating them. Ooh that texture, that flavour!

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