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This hearty stock, based on Hannah Glasse's Strong Broth for Soup or Gravy recipe, combines beef and beef bones with root vegetables, herbs, and spices to produce a broth or stock that is the foundation for a number of sauces and gravies. Recipes for broths, often referred to as gravies, are found in virtually all the old cookbooks, as broth was used to soften tough cuts of meat or root vegetables and was kept on hand as a base for ragouts and stews.

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into chunks
  • 5 to 6 pounds beef bones
  • 1 turnip, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 large carrots, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, trimmed, rinsed thoroughly, and chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried chervil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 7 allspice berries
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 quarts water


  1. In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and bones, and brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.

  2. Add the vegetables along with all the remaining ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

  3. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, let the stock cool to room temperature, and refrigerate in the pan for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Remove the grease and any scum that has risen to the top. Strain the stock thoroughly through a colander into a large saucepan, discarding the solids.

  4. Heat the stock over low heat, bring to a low simmer, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and skimming as needed to remove any more scum that rises to the surface.

  5. Strain the stock thoroughly through a fine-mesh strainer as many times as necessary until it is clear. Pour it into a large bowl, and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Makes about 2 quarts