Brown Beef Stock

This beef stock recipe is easy and affordable to make, and gives a better taste than purchased stocks.

Brown Beef Stock
  • Degree of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $$
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes 
  • Cooking Time: 4 hours  
  • Yields: 5 liters (1.25 gallon)
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  • By: Nicolas Steenhout

Brown beef stock is a staple of many cuisines. A basis for sauces and dishes of all sorts, it is easy to make. It is well worth the effort




  • 3Kg (6.5 pounds) Beef Bones
  • 1Kg (2.2 pounds) Coarse Mirepoix ( A mix of onions, carrots and celery, usualy in the ratio 2:1:1.) [?]
    • 4 Onions
    • 2 Carrot
    • 2 Celery Branches
  • 1 Bunch Parsley
  • 1 Head Garlic
  • 6 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Cloves
  • Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Water

You could halve the amount of ingredients if you do not have a pot large enough to prepare that much stock.

Mise En Place

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 225°C (450°F).


  1. Place the bones in a roasting pan.
  2. Put the roasting pan with the bones in the oven.
  3. Roast until the meat is a nice, rich, dark brown.
  4. While the bones are roasting, prepare the mirepoix.
  5. Once the bones are roasted, place them in a stock pot.
  6. Put the mirepoix in the roasting pan and return the pan to the oven.
  7. Roast until the mirepoix is coloured a nice golden colour.
  8. While the mirepoix is roasting, add the herbs and spices to the bones in the stockpot.
  9. Add water to the pot. The bones should be covered by about twice the amount of water.
  10. Place the stockpot on the heat on high.
  11. Once the mirepoix is roasted, add it to the stockpot.
  12. Deglaze ( Pour a liquid in a pan and rub the bottom of the pan with a spoon.) [?] the roasting pan with water. You need to give it a good boil and using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan. This will give you a nice dark brown juice, which will help in colouring your stock.
  13. Bring the stock to a boil, control the temperature, and let simmer for several hours. It may take up to 3 or 4 hours to cook gently.
  14. Strain the stock, and throw the bones, mirepoix and other aromatic elements away (some people keep the bones and aromatics for a second "mouillage", I generally can't be bothered).
  15. Cool the stock down as fast as possible. Don't put the hot stock in the refrigerator, as you will heat up the food items in it too much.
    • Place your stock in a pot or other container in a sink full of cold water.
    • When the water has warmed up, empty the sink and fill it again with cold water.
    • Repeat as necessary to cool the stock.
  16. Put the stock in containers to refrigerate, or use it immediately to prepare beef glaze, or Espagnole sauce.


Beef bones before roasting
Beef bones in a roasting pan, before roasting in oven.

Prepared mirepoix - a mix of onions, carrots and celeri.

Beef bones, roasted
The bones, properly roasted should be a dark brown colour, but not quite black or burned.

Mirepoix ready to roast
The Mirepoix in the roasting pan, ready to roast.

Bones in a stock pot
Bones in the stockpot, awaiting water and aromatics.

Roasted mirepoix
The mirepoix is nicely browned after roasting.

Deglazing roasting pan
To retain the flavour of roasted bones and mirepoix, the pan is deglazed with water.

Deglazing juice
The rich brown colour of the juice resulting from deglazing (note: the "jus" is hard to see due to steam).

Water, bones, mirepoix, ready to cook
The stockpot filled with water, the roasted bones, and the mirepoix, ready to heat up.

Head of garlic, sliced in half
Head of garlic, sliced in half

Simmering stock
The stock was brought to a boil, and the temperature controlled to a simmer.

Cooling stock in sink
To cool the stock rapidly, it was placed in a sink of cold water.

Cooled stock, before putting away.
The stock is cooled enough that the fat has floated to the top and started congealing.


This very short video clip shows the stock simmering. It will give you an idea of the level of heat required to cook the stock.

Note: There is no sound on this video. And unfortunately, the steam got a bit in the way of filming!

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It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. Julia Child

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