It took me a while to give beef stock a try, even longer than chicken stock. For some reason it seemed a little more intimidating. But once I went ahead, I realized it’s no problem at all!
Now most recipes for beef stock have you roast your bones first. I think it’s supposed to give it a deeper flavor. I, however, generally choose to skip that extra step. I don’t want to have to use another pan, heat up the oven, or wait for them to roast. I know it’s lazy, but when you make all of your food from scratch, I’ve decided it’s okay to be lazy now and again!
So I just take my bones and put them directly into my crockpot. I also don’t bother weighing them to see how much I have. I just do an approximate amount. Monica Corrado suggested a while back that having at least a joint or two will really get your stock to gel. And it does! So, my typical method is to start with a couple of joints (I get mine from Rocky Plains) and another bone section, such as a piece of a marrow or shank bone.
I plop those bones in my crockpot still frozen. It might be better to defrost them, I’m not sure. But this is the lazy method! Then I add some onion, carrots, and celery. These are typically all ends I save in my freezer from cutting up vegetables. If I’m short on ends, then I’ll put a quartered onion, a couple of chopped carrots, and a couple of chopped celery stalks. (If I’m really honest, I’ve been know to just stick a whole onion in without bothering to quarter it. Oh, and I’ll usually just break my carrots and celery in half. Why bother getting out the cutting board for this?!)
Then I’ll add about 1/3 of a cup of apple cider vinegar and fill the crock pot with filtered water. I let it sit for about an hour, which helps draw out the good stuff from the bones. Then I turn the crockpot on low and let it go for about 24 hours. Beef stock can go even longer, but I don’t like to give up my crockpot for 48 hours, so I usually call it at 24.
Then I strain it through my colander. I don’t bother lining it with cheesecloth, but I’m not picky about getting my stock particularly clear. I let it cool and then pour it into jars to use within the week. Or I’ll freeze some of it in one or two cup portions for using in cooking.
Isn’t that easy? If you haven’t made your own beef stock yet, I know you can make it with my lazy method. It’s simple and anyone can be successful doing it!