While it’s not hard to find, or make your own, there may be times when you find yourself without any. Fear not! If you need a good substitute for beef broth, Greedy Gourmet has got you covered!
It’s like liquid gold! Beef broth brings a depth of flavor and richness that forms the essence of so many of our favorite dishes.
How is beef broth made?
Beef broth, or beef stock, is made by simmering beef bones (normally ribs or shanks) along with various herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions and garlic, as well as various other flavorings like peppercorns, mustard seeds and vinegar.
All these ingredients are simmered for a few hours, until the liquid has taken on an intense, concentrated flavor that sends the taste buds into overdrive!
You can of course get beef broth online, or from most supermarkets and grocery stores, although making your own is always the best way to go.
What is beef broth used for?
Pretty much any beef stew, casserole or soup is going to need some beef broth to bring an extra level of flavor. It helps everything to cook at a slower pace, infusing flavor into the meat and other ingredients.
Aside from stews, casseroles and soups, beef broth is a key ingredient in rich curries as well as baked dishes like lasagne, cannelloni and cottage pie.
11 Beef Broth Substitutes
Are you looking for a Beef Broth Substitute? In this comprehensive list you’ll learn 11 ideas for an alternative.
When it comes to cooking with broth, the good thing is that many of them are interchangeable. Chicken and beef are very easy to switch and swap, as they work in much the same way, albeit with slightly different flavors.
Chicken broth will bring a meaty, salty richness to any dish where beef broth is called for. While there are other substitutes on this list that will bring the beef flavor, using chicken broth – especially if it’s homemade – will bring an authentic rich taste.
When swapping chicken broth for beef broth, substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
Another great substitute for beef broth, particularly for vegetarians, is vegetable broth. A large part of the taste of beef stock comes from vegetables, so it’s a logical substitution.
If you want an extra level of richness, add a teaspoon of marmite (see later) along with a cup of vegetable broth for every cup of beef stock.
A quick and easy beef broth substitute is bouillon cubes, or stock cubes. When it comes to convenience in the kitchen, instant stock is an absolute godsend.
Use one cube or one teaspoon of granules with a cup of boiling water per cup of beef broth. Bouillon cubes tend to be saltier than beef broth, so try to reduce the salt content in your recipe or, alternatively, get low-salt bouillon cubes.
If you’re looking for a meat-free option to bring some concentrated, rich umami flavor, mushroom base is a great option. One of the best veggie/vegan substitutes for beef broth, it would work fantastically well in sauces, soups, casseroles and any slow cooked meat-free comfort food.
Add a teaspoon of mushroom base and a cup of water for every cup of beef broth called for in the recipe.
As any northern Brit will know, Bovril is a big flavored beefy winter warming drink that’s been served up for generations. While it’s not sold in the US, Bovrite comes pretty close.
It’s one of the best substitutes for beef broth, so if you’re a fan of big hearty stews and casseroles, it’s definitely worth having some in the cupboard. It’s not as salty as bouillon and does a better job of replicating the taste of beef broth. Add a teaspoon and a cup of water per cup of beef stock.
When it comes to bringing some richness to a dish, red wine is unlike any other ingredient. We all know about the wonderful complexity of wine (some of us more than others, ‘hic’), and that complexity works its magic when wine is used as a cooking ingredient, as well as a sublime tipple.
Okay, so you’re not going to replicate that big, deep beefy flavor that you get from beef stock. Still, red wine – or white wine at a pinch – will bring a wonderful depth of flavor.
Add a glass of wine (or beer for that matter) to lasagne, beef stew, beef ragu, or any meaty or meat-free comfort food for that matter, and you’ll have a great tasting dish.
If you’ve never heard of marmite, where have you been? In the UK it divides opinion like nothing else – you either love it or you hate it.
Made from fermented vegetable extract, which gives it an unique strong flavor, marmite is one of the best ‘meaty’ meat-free ingredients, which makes it perfect for adding a big shot of flavor to hearty dishes.
For my money, it’s one of the best beef broth substitutes for any type of stewed dish – whether meat-based, vegetarian or vegan.
I’ve raved about the virtues of this amazing Japanese ingredient in my 9 Miso Substitutes article. Made from fermented soybeans, along with a host of other ingredients, miso brings a wonderful deep richness when added to everything from stews and soups to casseroles and sauces.
It’s particularly great as a beef stock substitute for vegans and vegetarians as it’s completely free of animal products. Swap one cup of miso broth for every cup of beef broth – simply simmer a teaspoon of miso in a cup of water to make the broth.
Another great vegetarian or vegan substitute for beef broth is liquid aminos. Like soy sauce, miso and marmite, liquid aminos bring some great umami flavor to any dish, making it ideal as a stand in for the big rich taste of beef stock.
Made from the fermented sap of the coconut tree, liquid aminos are normally used in stews, sauces and casseroles. Start with simmering a tablespoon of liquid aminos with a cup of water for every cup of beef broth, adding more if needed. Keep in mind, liquid aminos is saltier than beef stock, so you might need to reduce your salt content elsewhere in the recipe.
It’s always worth having a bottle of this magical sauve around! Whenever you need to bring a hit of umami flavor, Worcester sauce should be one of the first ingredients you reach for.
With a mix of flavors that include salty, sweet, unami, acidity and spice, Worcestershire sauce is a great substitute for beef broth in all kinds of recipes, from stews and sauces to salads and marinades.
It’s made from a blend of distilled white vinegar, molasses, sugar, water, salt, onions, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, chili pepper extract and – unfortunately for you vegans out there – anchovies.
Add two tablespoons and a cup of water for every cup of beef broth called for in the recipe. Then, if you need to add more, you can. Reduce the salt content throughout the recipe.
Soy sauce is a good substitute, particularly for those looking for an ingredient to bring an umami flavor to a vegan or vegetarian dish.
It’s made from fermented ingredients – soybeans, roasted wheat, mold and salted water – and contains no animal products.
When using it to replace beef broth, reduce the salt content elsewhere in your recipe. Add two tablespoons and a cup of water for every cup of stock called for in the recipe.
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