Brown Stock

When you add 1/4 cup of this concentrated stock to a slow-cooked beef dish, you’ll get the same succulent flavor as if you first seared the meat in a hot frying pan before adding it to the slow cooker. The stock also gives a delicious flavor boost to slow-cooked tomato sauce or tomato gravy.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 9 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 2 large carrots, scrubbed
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1½ lbs. bone-in chuck roast
  • 1½ lbs. cracked beef bones
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4½ cups water


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the carrots and celery into large pieces. Put them, along with the meat, bones, and onion into a roasting pan. Season with pepper. Put the pan on the middle rack in the oven and roast, turning the meat and vegetables occasionally, for 45 minutes or until evenly browned.
  • Transfer the roasted meat, bones, and vegetables to a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker. Add the water to the roasting pan; scrape any browned bits clinging to the pan and then pour the water into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (It may be necessary to skim accumulated fat and scum from the top of the pan juices; check the broth after 4 hours and again after 6 hours to see if that’s needed.)
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the roast and beef bones. Reserve the roast and the meat removed from the bones for another use; discard the bones.
  • Once the broth has cooled enough to handle, strain it; discard the cooked vegetables. Refrigerate the broth overnight. Remove and discard the hardened fat. The resulting concentrated broth can be kept for 1 or 2 days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to 3 months.