easy beef stock recipe

Easy Restaurant Quality Beef Stock

Fresh, home made beef stock is incredible and our easy recipe will show you how it just like in a restaurant. Traditional beef stock recipes call for you to simmer beef bones for upwards of 12 hours which is extremely unpractical for the home cook. This recipe keeps it simple and lets well browned, cheap beef flavour the stock whilst using chicken wings, beef shin and veal trotters to add flavour and a rich mouthfeel.

Once you’ve made this, you’ll struggle to go back to synthetic tasting stock cubes. Rich in flavour, quick to make and results in a balanced stock full of gelatine. It’s the perfect stock for French onion soup, beef gravy and even to make a restaurant quality beef jus. It’s also extremely easy to get the ingredients. You don’t need to source beef bones from a butcher or have a big oven to roast them in – this recipe is a one pot stock!

So does rich, gelatinous stock full of natural beef flavour in 2 hours sound good? Read on to discover our easy beef stock recipe (AKA liquid gold!).

reduced beef stock
Reduced beef stock – perfect for sauces and gravies

Why Should You Make Home Made Beef Stock?

Home made beef stock is incredible and so much better than store bought. Making it is, admittedly, relatively time consuming but really worth it if you want to improve your dishes’ flavour and your own skills. Here’s why we think you should make home made beef stock:

  1. Flavour: It’s obvious but the overall flavour is much more rich and balanced than store bought stock. It’s also a lot more complex when cooked down unlike store bought.

  2. Salt levels: As you no doubt will know, store bought stock is really salty. Making your own stock means you can control the salt levels from the very start. We would advise that you avoid seasoning the stock and only use salt when you’re cooking with it.

  3. Thickness: For us, it’s the number one reason to make home made beef stock. Cooking bones and beef in water for a long time breaks down collagen in the connective tissues. This collagen transforms to gelatine in the liquid. When simmered and reduced, the stock thickens and, when done for long enough, results in a restaurant quality beef jus. It also means that if you’re making a traditional gravy, you won’t need to use cornstarch or make a roux. The gelatine content gives the stock body and means it will result in a naturally thick sauce.

  4. It freezes well: Stock freezes really well and can last up to 1 year without any noticeable effect on flavour. You can also reduce down the stock and pour it into ice cube contains for quick flavour bombs.

So it’s much better than the store bought alternative but is it long to make? Not really..

We used this beef stock recipe to make this delicious onion gravy with NO thickeners

Why is this Recipe Quick?

A traditional beef stock calls for a large quantity of beef bones, roasted for an hour and then simmer for upwards of 12 hours. This is just not practical for the average home cook!

This recipe is a one pot stock. The idea is to brown the beef in plenty of oil and without removing it, browning the vegetables and aromatics in the same pot. Once all browned, wine is reduced and the rest of the ingredients are added.

It when only needs to be simmered for 2 hours before you can strain the stock. Easy!

What You’ll Need

To make our easy restaurant quality beef stock recipe you’ll need:

  • Beef: Go for any cut of cheap beef that you can get your hand on. I use a cheap cut of steak and beef shin. You can easily use minced beef (it doesn’t matter about the fat content as this will be removed anyway) for this too. For extra body beef or veal trotters are added as well.

  • Chicken wings: You might be surprised to see chicken wings in this list. These are really important as they add body into the sauce. They’re small but mighty and add a lot of gelatine in the stock. Finally as we’re not browning them, their flavour isn’t particularly strong and we find it rounds off the beef flavour nicely.

  • Aromatics & Vegetables: Onions, carrots and mushrooms are browned with the beef to add extra complexity, sweetness and umami. Peppercorns and fresh thyme are also added to add even more layers of flavour.

  • Wine: We add red wine and port to add even more flavour and acidity to the stock. It also yields a fantastic dark brown flavour without having to use tomato paste.


  • 500g of beef diced into 1cm cubes (this can be a cheap steak, stewing beef or just minced beef)
  • 300g of beef shin, meat removed and diced into 1cm cubes (bone in)
  • 500g of chicken wings
  • 1 veal or beef trotter (if you can’t find this, you can omit it)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced finely
  • 1 carrot, sliced finely
  • 4 medium mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 1 spring of fresh thyme
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 100ml of red wine
  • 50ml of port
  • Water (around 3L)

How to Make Easy Beef Stock

  1. Add a 4 tablespoons of oil to a pot on a medium high heat (don’t worry this will be removed later on!) and add the diced beef. Fry until the beef is well browned all over. Scrape the bottom of the pan frequently to avoid the brown bits burning

  2. Add the sliced onions and carrot and fry until they’re lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two longer. Don’t be afraid to add more oil if needed

  3. Add the wine and port and reduce until syrupy

  4. Add the beef shin bone, the chicken wings and the trotter if using

  5. Cover with water (around 3L), add peppercorns and thyme and bring to a boil

  6. Skim the white scum and fat and reduce to a simmer.

  7. Simmer for 2 hours on the stove top

  8. Pass through a very fine sieve and allow to cool to room temperature

  9. Place into the fridge and allow the stock to set. Once set, remove the layer of fat on the top of the stock.

Beef Stock for French Onion Soup

This is the perfect beef stock for French onion soup and it’s the one we use for our recipe that you can find below!

Why does it work? The stock is rich in flavour and works in perfect harmony with the caramelised onions. The addition of wine also means you won’t need to add any when making the soup.

Check out our quick, authentic onion soup recipe below:

Delicious French Onion Soup Recipe

Improving Store Bought Beef Stock

If you really don’t want to make this beef stock recipe then there is a way to improve store bought beef stock at home. It’s close to the same technique but will give better flavour if you haven’t got access to beef shin, chicken wings and beef trotters. Note that you’ll need low sodium beef stock for this.

Simple brown minced beef in a pot and remove. Add garlic, onions and sweat on a low heat and add fresh thyme. Deglaze with a splash of red wine and add your browned beef back into the pot. Add the store bought stock and simmer for 30 mins to 1 hour. You can also add 1 tbsp of powdered gelatine to mimic the thickness and mouthfeel that you would get from using bones. Strain out the stock and use as desired.

What’s the Difference Between Beef Stock and Beef Broth?

To many of our US readers broth is used frequently in place of stock and it can be very confusing. The actual definition is debated and websites will tell you different things. Many sources will say that beef broth is just beef simmered without any vegetables or bones.

Either way, the gelatine that you get from cooking bones is always going to be better regardless of what you’re using it for. It’ll add richness, texture and thickness. You can use beef stock if a recipe that you’re using calls for beef broth – there will be no difference.

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