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5 Basic Beef Stock Recipes

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Learn a basic beef stock to complete your stock-making repertoire. This article contains some good tips and recipes. 

Also known as a brown stock in the West, beef stock usually contain beef bones paired with a range of aromatic herbs or condiments. Common aromatics include cinnamon, ginger, peppercorns and more.

The Chinese usually parboil meats used in soups but browning is also a good technique to add more flavour to beef soups and stocks. 

Someone asked me where they can buy beef bones. The local supermarkets in Singapore seldom carry beef bones. It would be more likely found at the local wet markets. Let me know if you know of any other places that sell them.

Beef Stock Recipes

1. Light milky beef stock

This recipe produces a light soup base. The stock may become milky because of the calcium from the bones.

Ingredients

  • 3 kg beef bones
  • 1 kg beef
  • 10 litres of water
  • 200g ginger
  • 2 stalks of spring onions
  • 10g cinnamon

Directions

  1. Wash the beef bones and meat
  2. Parboil the beef bones and meat. Trim off any fats
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a big pot
  4. Place the beef bones and meat at the bottom of the big stock pot with the ginger and spring onion
  5. Bring the water back to a boil
  6. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 4 hours
  7. Remove the ingredients and strain the beef soup stock
  8. Use it as you like or store it for later use

2. Baked beef stock

This recipe produces a brown stock with a strong flavor and dark colour because the beef bones and vegetables are baked first. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a Chinese recipe but if you do have an oven at home, why not give it a try?

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef bones
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 radish
  • 2 stalk celery
  • 5 litres water
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine

Directions

  1. Rinse the beef bones
  2. Wash and cut the onion, carrot, radish, and celery into big chunks
  3. Lay the cut vegetables on a baking sheet or tray
  4. Place the beef bones on top of the vegetables
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Bring water to a boil in a big stock pot
  8. Add the baked vegetables and beef
  9. Bring the water back to a boil
  10. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for 4 hours
  11. Remove the ingredients and strain
  12. Use it as you like or store it for later use

3. Aromatic beef stock

This recipe produces a clear spicy aromatic beef broth because of the star anises and peppercorns.

Ingredients

  • 500g beef bones
  • 600g beef
  • 4 slices of old ginger
  • 1 stalk of spring onion
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ml cooking wine
  • 1 litre of water

Directions

  1. Wash and parboil the beef bones and beef
  2. Add everything into a stock pot
  3. Add water
  4. Bring water to a boil
  5. Simmer for 4 hours
  6. Strain for use

4. Beef and preserved bean paste stock

This beef stock is best used for as a soup base for braised beef noodle soup. The baking, frying and use of preserved bean paste 豆瓣酱 (dou ban jiang) produces a very dark stock.

Ingredients

  • 600g beef bones
  • 600g beef tendons
  • 20ml cooking oil
  • 30g minced ginger
  • 30g minced garlic
  • 2 litres water
  • 10ml cooking wine

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius
  2. Bake the beef bones for about 30 minutes
  3. Parboil the beef tendons
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a wok, fry the minced ginger, garlic and preserved bean paste
  5. Add the beef tendons and fry for a minute
  6. Add everything including the rest of the seasonings into a big stock pot
  7. Simmer on low heat for 2 hours
  8. Strain for use

5. Peppery beef stock

This beef stock uses a large quantity of peppercorns, do beware! Use of aromatic spices such as peppercorns and star anise alter the flavour of the stock. 

Ingredients

  • 600g beef
  • 1 kg beef bones
  • 200ml cooking wine
  • 200g peppercorn
  • 300g coriander stems
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 litres of water

Directions

  1. Parboil the beef and beef bones
  2. Place them in a stock pot and add water, cooking wine, peppercorn, coriander stems
  3. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 4 hours
  4. Add salt to taste

Storing Stocks

It is usually a good idea to make a huge batch of soup stock at one go. Stock making takes up considerable time and the stock can be frozen for later use. Frozen stock can be stored up to 2 months.

Here's how you prepare stock for storing. When the stock has cooled, measure out the amount you need for your family needs and freeze them separately in ziplock bags. Freeze them lying flat in baking trays to make it easier to thaw later. You can also use a marker to put down the dates of "production".

Take one or two bags out, thaw by putting them in warm water. If you are not sure of the amount you may need each time, freeze smaller packs. It is easier to use 2 or 3 smaller packs than try to re-freeze un-used soup stock.

Okay, now back to the recipes. Choose from these 5 beef stock recipes:

Happy Souping, Phoebe