Pressure Cooker Beef Stock





Introduction: Pressure Cooker Beef Stock

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

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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    21 Discussions

    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?

    3 replies

    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.

    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.

    Man, I luv my pressure cooker. Was the stock clear? I have been told to bring it slowly to a simmer and then skim the initial "scum". I did a batch in my pressure cooker, but without the lid. I browned the bones (Venison) first, and then skimmed the scum, and then allowed it to cook normally (not under pressure). To my suprise, it did end up clear, and then I further reduced about a gallon of stock down to two pints. It ended up really good, but with only 2 pints, it only made two batches of Jambalaya.

    9 replies

    No, it's cloudy. I think that since you can't skim in a closed pressure cooker it's probably impossible to make clear stock; for me that's a decent trade-off for the time saved. Venison stock must be incredible. Do you have a good Jambalaya recipe? I haven't been happy with any of the variations I've tried. For that matter, I'm also on the lookout for more good gumbo recipes.


    You really need a cast iron pot to make the roux. I failed several times, but this became child's play after I got the proper pot. Get a metal spatula too. I heat the fat first and then sift in the flour to help work out the lumps.

    I use this recipe here:

    I've got a couple of those, and certainly agree that they make a much better roux. I prefer to stick with a wooden spoon, though. That website sounds useful; lots of things just like my grandma used to make. Nice useful side comments, too! I think I'd vary the gumbo recipe by pan frying or baking the chicken and using separately-made chicken stock for denser flavor. Leaving chicken on the bone can also add flavor, but you've got to be willing to deal with the bones during dinner. My standard gumbo is chicken-peanut gumbo, and I'm working on replicating a catfish & shrimp gumbo without tomatoes- so far none of the versions I've tried match the particularly good one I remember. Chicken peanut gumbo Instructable to follow when it gets colder.

    wood is ok, but I like to have something that I can use to scrape the bottom of the pan during roux making. The most important thing to remenber is that the oil/flour gets much hotter than anything water based. One disaster was trying to use a plastic spatila, and having that melt and mix in with the roux. Chicken peanut gumbo sounds interesting. Can't wait.

    you only need to skim the scum for about ten minutes after you bring it up to simmer, so you could do that and then slap the lid on and bring it up to full pressure. I suppose I'll try that next. I always try to follow the recipe exactly if I'm covering new territory. The reducing part, of course, needs to be done the old way. I was making demi-glace, and it was a great success. they say to make it without salt, then strain with cheese-cloth, and then reduce by half or further. The venison stock was indeed good. Some people who are queasy over eating something hunted vs something factory farmed claim that the taste is "gamey", In my experience the meat only tastes bad if it has been handled improperly after the kill. The fat, however, is the most tallowy, stick-to-your-tongue stuff I have ever tasted. It's passable hot and horrid cold. Hopefully I can get more bones this year, they are usually a waste product. To date, this was the only unqualified success in the stock making biz. I've never tasted real andouille or tasso before. It's funny, because mere miles from home I can get the very best Thai fish sauce, visit a few different Pho places, or buy 6 different types of Central and South American sausage, but I can't find real Cajun ingredients. I use "smoked sausage" (like kielbasa, Hillshire Farms, etc..) and I used diced up Smithfield ham (Virginia, the state is right next door) for the tasso. Someone can whine about the authenticity, but this is a dish where you can toss in *anything*, from leftover chicken, to alligator tail, to bullfish ribs, so improvation seems acceptable. I'll try to dig mine up and attach it, It's good because you don't need a lot of special ingredients. I use kimchee red pepper powder because it's easy and cheap to get (smallest size package is usually one pound)

    I'm a big fan of meat with actual flavor, so venison and I get along well. I'll try the pre-skimming method next time, but suspect that even if it works I'll skip it due to time. I'm quite lazy about things that are primarily aesthetic. I guess I've never dealt with fat on my venison, so thanks for the heads-up.

    good point on the stock, If you are making Jambalaya, no one is going to notice that your stock was not perfectly clear. If you make the stock from some kind of venison according to your directions here, you can taste a bit of the fat after you have frozen the stock and you will see what I mean.

    POOR MAN'S JAMBALAYA Categories: Cajun Yield: 4 servings Seasoning mix: 4 Whole bay leaves (small) 1 ts Salt 1 ts White pepper 1 ts Dry mustard 1 ts Ground red pepper (cayenne) 1 ts Gumbo file (file powder), optional 1/2 ts Ground cumin 1/2 ts Black pepper 1/2 ts Dried thyme leaves 4 tb Margarine 6 oz Tasso (preferred) or other smoked ham, diced 6 oz Andouille smoke sausage (preferred) or kielbasa 1 1/2 c Chopped onions 1 1/2 c Chopped celery 1 c Chopped green bell peppers 1 1/2 ts Minced garlic 2 c Uncooked rice (converted) 4 c Basic beef, pork or chicken stock Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), melt the margarine over high heat. Add the tasso and andouille; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, seasoning mix and garlic. Stir well and continue cooking until brown, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom well. Stir in the rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom occasionally. Add the stock, stirring well. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender but a bit crunchy, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally toward the end of cooking time. Meanwhile, heat the serving plates in a 250 degree oven. Remove the bay leaves and serve immediately. To serve as a main course, spoon 2 cups Jambalaya onto each heated serving plate; for appetizer serve 1 cup. Source: Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen -- notes: I use something without trans-fats instead of margarine. I use black pepper instead of white. The Cajun Trinity is very important (celery, onion or onion tops, green bell peppers), no subs! You can use a red bell pepper instead of green, (just don't tell anyone.) I skip the file powder. If you use it, it's better to add it at the table rather than to the pot while cooking,(it gets kinda slimy.)

    That sounds fantastic- I can't wait to try it! You should really give this recipe its own instructable when you get pictures, since nobody is likely to see it buried here in the comments.