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How to Make Brown Meat Stock

Cuisine: French

French cooking uses stocks as a base for soups and sauces. This is a generic brown meat stock recipe used in French cooking.

Yield: 8 cups
Cooking time: 6-8 hrs
You need: a large sauce pan, a stock pot and a sieve or cheesecloth


  • 1 Kg (2 Lbs) shin beef on the bone
  • 1 Kg veal knuckle cut into 5cm / 1 inch pieces
  • 2 pig feet
  • 1 Kg (2 Lbs) veal and beef bones
  • 60g (2 oz) dripping (fat)
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 + 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 12 cups of warm water


  1. In a large saucepan, place all ingredients except for the bouquet garni, the peppercorns and the water.
  2. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until the meat, the bones and the vegetables become slightly brown.
  3. Move the contents into a stock pot.
  4. Add some water, bring it to a boil, then immediately lower the fire to simmer.
  5. Add the peppercorns and the bouquet garni.
  6. Wait a little.
  7. Slowly add the rest of the water, stirring constantly.
  8. When this is done, let it simmer for 6 to 8 hrs. (Yes, hours.)
  9. Six to eight hours later: turn the fire off, and let it cool.
  10. Strain through the sieve or through muslin.
  11. Refrigerate the liquid.
  12. Next day, skim off the congealed fat.

Notes on How to Make Brown Meat Stock

  • Some recipes use sieves. Other recipes prefer to strain through muslin cloth or cheese cloth. The contention among cooks is about the clarity of the liquid. Some prefer it as clear as possible (hence the muslin or cheese cloth), others don’t mind “impurities” in their liquid.
  • The alternative to those 60g of fat would the equivalent amount of butter.

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