Pressure Cooker Beef Stock





Introduction: Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

Pressure cooking greatly reduces the time and effort necessary to make great stock.

Step 1: Brown Soup Bones

canola oil
1-2 lbs soup bones
7qt pressure cooker

Add a dollop of canola oil and the soup bones to your pressure cooker over medium heat. Stir occasionally so the meat/bones brown.

Soup bones are usually sold as cheap extras, though you may need to specifically ask your butcher if they're not already set out. I prefer to use soup bones from grass-fed pastured cattle or bison due to their lower fat content and better lipid profile.

Pressure cookers vary greatly. I've got a 7qt Kuhn Rikon, which I love dearly. The new pressure cookers are much safer than the old ones that just had a weight set atop the lid, so get one of the newer style if you can. The Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers have multiple safety interlocks and emergency bleed valves. They can be a bit pricy, so I highly recommend checking eBay for a better deal, new or used. Replacing the gasket on a used pressure cooker makes it as good as new.

Step 2: Add Vegetables

2 onions
4 stalks celery
4 carrots
1/2 bunch parsley

Coarsely chop all of the vegetables, add to the pot, and stir.

You may use other root vegetables such as turnips and parsnips, but steer clear of any members of the cabbage family. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and the like can impart a strong bitter flavor to the stock. Beets will turn the stock a bright red/purple, so use with caution.

Step 3: Add Spices

2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, halved
pepper corns
mustard seeds
coriander seeds

cloves (not too many; they're strong)
dried chipoltle pepper (surprisingly subtle and tasty)
allspice berries (one of my favorites)
lemongrass (the resulting stock is quite fragrant)

Add the spices of your choice and stir.

Step 4: Add Water

Add 10 cups of water and stir.

Step 5: Cover and Cook

Wipe the sealing surface of the pot, then close and lock the lid.

Turn the heat up to high, and cook until the pressure indicator reaches the 2nd red ring (15psi). Turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 hour, maintaining the pressure at the 2nd red ring.

Move the pot off the heat and allow it to cool. This may take about 30 minutes or so, depending on the ambient temperature.

Step 6: Open and Drain

Set a large bowl (capable of holding >12cups; the veggies drop water too) in the sink, and place a strainer or sieve above.

Open the depressurized pot and wait for the steam to subside. Carefully pour stock through the sieve, taking care not to let too many chunks fall into the strainer. When you get near the end of the pot turn it upright, give the contents a good shake, and pour out the other side. Repeat as needed, using a spoon to hold back the chunks if necessary.

Dispose of the solid bits: the meat and veggies will have imparted all of their flavor to the broth, leaving a tasteless mush you probably don't want to eat unless you're a starving student.

Step 7: Use or Store

You've now got a steaming-hot bowl of brothy goodness. What to do with it? There are a couple of options.

1) Use immediately in a tasty soup. This would require proper planning, something I'm not terribly good at.

2) Refrigerate for use in the next few days. This enables you to skim any congealed fat off the surface before use. I used this batch of stock for onion soup.

3) Aliquot* and freeze. I use those cheap reusable plastic containers they sell by the sandwich baggies. Make sure to label the lids BEFORE you cover the containers, and leave enough space for the broth to expand upon freezing. Again the fat will congeal at the surface, so you can scrape it off before thawing and using your stock.

*aliquot = a biochem term meaning to divide (as a solution) into equal parts



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    do you need a pressure cooker? or can i just use a regular pot an boil it for about 2 - 2 1/2 - 3 hours?

    For a regular pot you need 24 hours on EXTRA LOW. Make sure the stock is not boiling. I used to do it all the time and had to put my small burner on low and put the 10oz pot on only half of the burner. If you boil it it will not become gelatinous and you will know you boiled out the vitamins and nutrients.

    Yes, you can just cook it in a regular pot, but to get all the nice connective tissues to melt you really want to cook it all day, if possible. Pick a nice chilly weekend day when you're doing stuff at home, and let it simmer (not boil - just simmer) for as long as you can. I'd say 5-6 hours is the sweet spot.

    The time commitment is why I like using my pressure cooker. :)

    well i found an old pressure cooker and it doesn't seem to have any psi readings at all, just the weight and no indication of what the pressure will be.

    Great Idea. We've got a pressure cooker, that we've never used. I've made stock the "all Day" way, but this looks like a way to practice with the pressure cooker.
    When we make stock we cool it to skim off the fat, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. once they're frozen, I transfer them to "zipper" bags. It usually takes a couple of rounds of "freezing/bagging" to put up all the stock, but they're really handy to use. You can grab a bunch for a soup, or just a few for a gravy.

    what happens if you dont keep the chunks in the pot?

    Exactly, then you've got soup.

    huh, i was told pho sounds like your asking "fuh?"

    Nice instructable! Homemade stocks are one of those things that improve your quality of life in all kinds of ways. I strain my stocks through a colander lined with cheesecloth and taped to the outside so it stays put. I just take out the big chunks first, and then pour it through.