I didn't see any question particularly addressing this so I thought I'd ask.

Today I've attempted my first stock. It is still cooking, using:

  • Beef marrow bones
  • Ox tails
  • Leek and onions
  • Water
  • Some herbs

Marrow bones to ox tails to veg is something like 10:3:1

Since I started cooking it, I read a bit about stock. Some people seem to think using marrow bones will give it a kind of nasty, "innardy" taste. Before reading up a bit I kind of thought that bones were bones.

Would I have done better if I'd used some marbled meat instead of the marrow bones? My local grocery store only sell marrow bones, so I can't really get other bones...

1 Answer 1


Marrow bones add a marrow-y flavor. That flavor is very thick and rich, but can taste of innards. Have you ever eaten marrow? (It's delicious, as far as I'm concerned. You can roast and add a touch of salt if you want.) I would say that it sounds like you've got a lot of marrow bones in your stock. That could cause problems, since even a few marrow bones will make the stock fairly greasy. Marrow is almost all fat.

Roasted marrow bones

The ox tails have lots of bones in them. They'll give you the deep flavor and gelatin of bones. (Neck bones give you the same thing, as you can see from the picture below.) The only thing marbled meat would have added is extra fat, which isn't necessary for stock -- you'll end up skimming the fat off anyway. You want both the bones and the meat for stock, as you would for chicken stock. It's true that marrow bones are fairly clean, but they're used for a different flavor.

Beef neck bones

Another option for adding lots of flavor is to add what are known as flanken style ribs. This is short ribs that are cut across the bone. They're also used in Korean Short Ribs. They give you some of that marbled meaty flavor, along with the bones from the ribs. Flanken Ribs

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