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Homemade Beef Broth

Roasting soup bones in the oven first gives hearty beef flavor to this basic beef stock. In addition to soups, use the beefy broth to provide extra flavor in stews, gravies, sauces and vegetable dishes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 5-1/2 hours + chilling
  • Makes
    about 2-1/2 quarts


  • 4 pounds meaty beef soup bones (beef shanks or short ribs)
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Cold water


  • Preheat oven to 450°. In a large roasting pan, bake soup bones, uncovered, 30 minutes. Add carrots, celery and onions. Bake 30 minutes; drain fat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer bones and vegetables to a large Dutch oven. Add warm water to roasting pan; stir to loosen browned bits. Transfer pan juices to Dutch oven. Add seasonings and enough cold water just to cover. Slowly bring to a boil, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-5 hours, skimming foam. If necessary, add water during first 2 hours to keep ingredients covered.
  • Remove beef bones; cool. If desired, remove meat and discard bones; save meat for another use. Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander, discarding vegetables and seasonings. If using immediately, skim fat. Or refrigerate 8 hours or overnight; remove fat from surface.
  • Broth can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen 4-6 months.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 209 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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  • Jeannine
    Jan 18, 2019

    I'm making this broth now. After reading the comments, I will definitely cover the broth after roasting the bones, then adding the water, and continuing on to simmer with the other seasonings. The broth must be covered while simmering to incorporate all the flavors and keep all the liquid from boiling off. If you want to reduce the amount of liquid and/or intensify the flavor, you can simmer the broth AFTER removing the beef bones and straining the broth.

  • Joal
    Dec 5, 2018

    Confused! I followed the directions exactly and ended up with barely a quart of broth. Simmering uncovered results in the liquid being greatly reduced even though I added water as instructed. This was WAY too work intensive for the results. Where did I go wrong????

  • hotfudgesundae
    Dec 22, 2017

    This was so tasty! Will keep this recipe handy!

  • shortbreadlover
    May 24, 2015

    eassy and good. i used beef marrow bones they have tons of flavor. i give the meat dripping to my dogs as a treat in their food.

  • jmkarcz
    Apr 21, 2012

    Could someone please tell me when do you add the 3 quarts of cold water?

  • ediev
    Oct 26, 2011

    I've made beef broth from scratch before but this was definitely the easiest and tastiest recipe I've tried. I'll certainly make it again.

  • ediev
    Oct 26, 2011

    I've made homemade beef broth before but this was certainly the easiest and fastest recipe I've tried. I'll definitely make it again.

  • Angelique177
    Apr 15, 2011

    To save money we buy locker beef from our local butcher shop. It always comes with beef soup bones. This is a great way to use up all the soup bones. I chill the finished broth and the extra fat can be removed easily.

  • daldricht
    Jan 13, 2011

    Followed recipe the first time - and have purchased another load of bones from my meat market to make another batch. This is the best thing to have measured and frozen in my freezer for various dishes. I have even taken an old ice cube tray to freeze small amounts of the broth just to use around a hamburger in a pan - makes it taste like a steak! Beef stew was the best ever and plan to make many more dishes using the homemade beef broth. Highly recommend everyone to have a batch in freezer!