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Boxed or Canned Beef Broth/Stock


Shel_B
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I need some beef broth/stock for a few upcoming dishes, but I've no time to make any. What do you recommend in the way of a prepared broth/stock, preferably low sodium. Thanks!

scb

 ... Shel


 

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I need some beef broth/stock for a few upcoming dishes, but I've no time to make any. What do you recommend in the way of a prepared broth/stock, preferably low sodium. Thanks!

scb

I'm not sure about the beef stock, but the Wolfgang Puck chicken stock is about the only one that I find has any flavor at all, so I use it exclusively. Maybe the beef is worth a try?

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I always keep the broths from Pacific Natural in my "pantry." They even come in four-packs of 8 oz. each, and they're a handy substitute when I've run out of home-made frozen stocks.

Check them out here.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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I always keep the broths from Pacific Natural in my "pantry." They even come in four-packs of 8 oz. each, and they're a handy substitute when I've run out of home-made frozen stocks.

Check them out here.

I've used Pacific Low Sodium Organic Chicken broth a few times. I like it. Never tried any beef broth product.

scb

 ... Shel


 

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How desperate are you to actually use beef broth? Can the recipes be adapted, maybe even to just using water? I find that while canned chicken broth is OK if you buy the right brand, that canned beef broth almost invariably tastes basically nothing like beef broth, and seriously pushes the "is it even edible" barrier. In my experience it is sometimes better to sub in something else, be it water, a quick vegetable broth, or even chicken stock, that to use the commercial beef broths. Maybe I just haven't found a good one yet...

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I don't know if you can find this where you live, but it's the best store bought product around, full of fat and flavour, not salt and sugar.

Better Than Bouillon

It comes in a jar as a paste, so you can stir it directly into the pot to add as much flavour as you want. The chicken and mushroom stock are especially nice.

-- Matt.

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I also use Pacific, which are really well priced at Costco.  I seem to remember Cooks Illustrated liking Swanson's - but that may have been vegetable broth.

I always use Swanson's reduced sodium. Last time I checked, it was CI's top pick. For beef broth, they rate Pacific pretty highly too, but I tend to think all canned/boxed beef broth is pretty tinny tasting. You CAN get away with using doctored chicken broth in beef soups though.

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For chicken stock, Better than Bouillion is okay. It won't give the mouth-feel of real stock, but it will do in a pinch. Not the case for beef stock.

No time to make stock? It can be made and ready to use by first thing tomorrow morning. It's really easy and practically cooks itself.

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I have to agree that WATER is the best option, followed by making your own and freezing it -and possibly vacuum sealing it as well. I heartily agree with Ruhlman on the topic of canned stock/broth being inferior to water.

Wouldn't you have to see the recipe before deciding to rely on such broad advice?

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Dave makes a good point: blanket statements about water being preferable to canned stock don't take into account what the dish is that requires the stock.

If it's a soup or a stew where the beef flavor is paramount, I probably wouldn't bother making it without homemade stock or broth. If it's a sauce where the stock is reduced quite a bit, then I probably wouldn't use canned broth because I think any off-flavors would be magnified. But I also wouldn't use water in that case, because I think the umami taste and mouthfeel would be too important to give up, and you wouldn't get those with water. In those cases, I've used More Than Gourmet glace de viande and demi glace and been very happy with the results. And the upside is that because they're concentrated, you don't have to reduce as much, saving some time. Better than Bouillon is also decent, but I think the extra cost is worth it for More than Gourmet, if you can find it.

In cases where you're not really relying on the beef flavor but you want the mouthfeel of stock, then canned chicken stock would be my choice. If there are enough other flavors going on in the dish and all you need is liquid to dissolve taste molecules, then water is fine.

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