Unlike stocks, which are often incorporated into dishes like sauces or stews, bouillon—which comes from the French verb for “to boil”—is a fortified broth that can stand on its own. This version, which starts with beef broth, is enriched, thickened, and deeply flavored by simmering beef short ribs for several hours. We add a touch of soy sauce and tomato for umami. Use it as a braising liquid, then reduce it into a rich, shiny sauce.
- 2 1⁄2 lb. bone-in beef short ribs
- 4 cups low-sodium or unsalted beef broth
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 large, ripe tomato (8 oz.)
Season the short ribs all over with salt. If possible, allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator, or use immediately.
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over high heat, add the ribs, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding. Cook, turning as needed, until well browned and even slightly charred, 20–30 minutes. (Alternatively, you can roast the ribs in a 425° oven on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, 30 minutes per side.)
Transfer the ribs to a large pot if needed, and add the beef broth, soy sauce, tomato, and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 hours. Add 4 cups water and bring back to a boil; reduce to a simmer and let cook until the stock is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours more.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer. Reserve the meat for another use.