My Lazy Method for Making Beef Stock

I must admit that I’m quite lazy when I make my beef stock.  It’s really easy to make, and I make it even just a little bit easier!

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!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Sunday SchoolMonday ManiaFat Tuesday.

Comments

  1. YES YES YES! I do that all the time. I just toss the frozen beef bones in, cover with water, slosh in a healthy amount of vinegar, and cook. No veggies even! Gasp! And my beef stock always gels nicely. In fact normally after 24 hours I strain the bones and do a second batch with the same bones, which yield a softer gel, but still gel!

    PS – I just wanted to let you know that I chose you for the Liebster Award. :) You can read about it here. http://nerdymomspeaks.blogspot.com/2012/04/winning.html

    • Mindy says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! That’s great to hear that you get a second batch out of the bones. I might have to try that at some point. Especially while on the GAPS diet, I’m always worried about getting as much gelatin as possible out of my stock so I’ve never done more than one batch with the same bones. I’m glad to hear you get it to gel a bit still.

      Thanks for choosing me for the Liebster Award! How fun!

  2. Margaret says:

    Can I admit that I don’t usually throw veg in? I wonder if it makes a big difference. I’ve never been unhappy with it.

    • Mindy says:

      I might have to try skipping the veggies the next time I don’t have any ends saved up and see if I notice any difference. That’s even easier than tossing whole pieces in!

  3. Monica says:

    What cuts of beef are considered joints? I bought a bag of soup bones, but I have no idea if there are joints in there or not. How did intro go for you this time? Reading about other peoples’ GAPS experiences keeps me motivated to continue on with GAPS (I’ve been on it for about 7 months).

    • Mindy says:

      You know I’m not exactly sure. Monica Corrado talked to the owner of the shop where I got mine and explained exactly what part he should cut up and start selling. Now there’s a group of us here who keep buying up those parts! I’ll ask her and let you know what part it is.

      Intro went really well for me this last time. It was much easier and I felt a lot better this time around. I’ll try to get a more detailed post up next week about my experiences with it.

      I always love reading about others experiences on GAPS, too. It definitely helps keep me motivated!

  4. Meghan says:

    Hi Mindy,

    I’ve selected you for a Liebster Blog Award! See my post: http://wholenaturallife.com/2012/04/12/liebster-blog-award/

    • Mindy says:

      Thanks, Meghan! Wow, I hadn’t heard of any of the other blogs you selected. I’ll have to check them out.

  5. Allison says:

    Awesome – love the onion honesty! LOL

  6. Tom R says:

    I have used old rib bones and dried onion soup mix. It works great. You can also use cheap pork bones, like from ribs or a roast and when I roast a chicken (or even lazier, buy one already roasted), I cut the back out and the tips of the wings and throw them immediately into a little crock pot I have just for that. Just cover with water and let it cook for a while, like 24 hours. No brainer.

    • Mindy says:

      Thanks for sharing your quick and easy tips! I always love hearing the variety of ways to make stock. I would caution those on GAPS to not try your onion soup mix idea, though. They are typically full of ingredients that are off-limits.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Sarah Cooper says:

    I take it one step further and can the stock I’m not going to use within the week (I just am too lazy to thaw stock out and don’t want to give up precious freezer space). I just jar the wonderful stuff up, and pressure can it for 25 minutes at 11 pounds (what I need for my altitude). Check out http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE%205%20Home%20Can.pdf for the details.

    I totally do the lazy method, though. I’m all about the slow cooker. I have 3 and could use another one some days. I’m also thinking about getting a 6 qt pressure cooker to do my stock faster. I have neighbors that save their venison bones for me, along with a farmer who saves joints for me when he butchers. Stock-making is so easy and wonderful, and once a method like your “lazy stock” is incorporated into life, it is soo easy. Try a ham bone sometimes. I can the stock up and then use it in split pea soup. We don’t even miss the actual ham. :)

    • Mindy says:

      Doesn’t the lazy method make it so easy and do-able?! How great that you get to make some from venison bones. I’ll have to try the ham bone – I’ve got one in my freezer at the moment. Thanks for the idea!

  8. gina says:

    What slow cooker do you use? The picture looks like the hamilton beach “stay or go” with programable timer. I was using that one but the lid and the seal gets utterly disgusting with bone broth making and I just can’t get it clean! Have you found this problem with yours?

    • Mindy says:

      Hi Gina,

      That is the one I’m using. It does get pretty messy, especially with making beef broth. I’ve found it helpful to soak it in baking soda and water for a bit before scrubbing it. And it usually does take some scrubbing to get it clean again!

  9. Stephanie says:

    I love lazy methods. I will definitely try this.

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