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Is my beef stock making the grade?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I get soup bones free from my grass fed beef supplier every time I buy some beef. Unfortunately its in small packages and sometimes she can only give me one. I often offer to pay but she refuses since they are pretty small operation and I'm not the only customer she's got.

So it's usually about 3-4 bone slices that I am roasting and cooking with veggies for my stock. I also cut pieces of fat or extra grizzle off of steaks before they are cooked to go in the pot. I use 3 of each onion, carrot and celery. Sometimes only 2 onions if they're big.

My stock used to come out of the fridge needing to be spooned into my ice cube trays because it was so thick and gelatinous. But the last 2 times I've made it, it's been pourable! Does that mean I am not getting enough of the beneficial gelatin that makes bone broths so good for you? Should I wait until I get more than one package at a time? I cook it for about 14 hours, should I cook it longer? Use less veggies? Or is it still ok no big deal? I think the NT recipes for stock call for some packaged gelatin, do I need to start doing that?

post #2 of 8

I'd save them up and use more bones if it isn't gelling like it should.  I'm sure it's fine, just too diluted and since it takes a bit of time to make stock you should make it worth your while.  12-14 hours works fine here.  I wouldn't bother with the gelatin personally.  Make juice jell-o with it instead.  :)

post #3 of 8

It depends on what type of bones you are using and how old the animal is.

A stock made with veal bones (a very young animal) will always be more gelatinous than a stock made with the same amount of beef (mature animal) bones, simply because the veal bones/joints are more cartilaginous.  Likewise, stock made with joints from either beef or veal bones will be more gelatinous than a stock made from the mid-section of bones. 

It doesn't mean your stock is worse-off nutrient wise, it just doesn't have as much gelatin.

Using more bones per water would certainly help, as would using joints, knuckles, or meat trim (tendons, etc).

Beef stock is best simmered for 8-14 hours, so you're just fine on the cooking time.  Cooking longer won't do much. 


To get the most out of the bones you do have, you could do a "remouillage" ("re-wet").  Basically you are relying on osmosis for every last bit of nutrients to leech out of the bones.  So after you strain off your stock, add more water to the bones, then simmer for another hour.  It will be a very weak stock, but reduce it down and add it to your original stock for more calcium, gelatin, etc.


Hope this helps!


post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Does adding a little acid like ACV help too break it down more too? I haven't done that usually but did a little in the last one about halfway through. Didn't notice it doing much difference. But I'm not sure what it's for anyway.


post #5 of 8

Yes, vinegar would help to break down the bone and make more nutrients available.  I don't think you would see/taste any difference, but it's there :)

post #6 of 8

I put the ACV in first and let it sit for an hour before I turn the heat on.  It does help leach the minerals out of the bones.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 


Ok wow I'm going to have to remember to do that. I just forget really. I guess you do that with chicken too. I think I'm going to roast a whole chicken next week and make stock from that for a change up.

I think i should start a new thread....
post #8 of 8

If you're gonna roast one, you might as well do two.  You can freeze the stock, and the meat too for that matter.  That way you won't need to do it again for twice as long.

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