Beef or Lamb Stock

Guest recipe by Martha Bayne
Author of Soup and Bread Cookbook: Building Community One Pot at a Time

I don’t make a lot of meat stock, but my local butcher (see page 176) gave me this pro tip: Try roasting half the bones before you brown the other half. It’s an additional step, but you’ll get more depth of flavor that way. Note that lamb has a much stronger flavor than beef—err on the side of less meat if you’re working with lamb.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
4 pounds beef or lamb shanks
2 pounds bones, with marrow
1⁄2 cup dry red wine
8 cups water
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves


Remove meat from shanks and chop into large chunks. Set aside, and then roast about half the bones on a cookie sheet until browned, if desired. 

Heat the oil until shimmering in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until soft. Transfer vegetables to a big bowl. Add meat and bones to pot in batches (don’t crowd the pot) and brown for 5 minutes per batch, or until meat is cooked relatively evenly on all sides. Remove meat and bones to bowl full of veggies.

Add wine to pot and cook, scraping gook from bottom of pot and incorporating, until liquid has reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Return meat, bones, and vegetables to pot; cover and reduce heat to low. Sweat all for about 20 minutes, until the juices run from the meat. Turn heat up to high; add water, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. 

Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer at least 2 hours, longer if you like. Skim foam from surface occasionally. 

When done, strain and discard meat, bones, and vegetables. Let cool and skim fat before using.