Murphy's Beef Broth from Outlander book Voyager

Murphy's Beef Broth from Voyager

"Wot, not the broth, too?"  Murphy said.  The cook's broad red face lowered menacingly.  "Which I've had folk rise from their deathbeds after a sup of that broth!"

He took the pannikin of broth from Fergus, sniffed at it critically, and thrust it under my nose.

"Here, smell that, missus.  Marrow bones, garlic, caraway seed, and a lump o pork fat to flavor, all strained careful through muslin, same as some folks bein' poorly to their stomachs can't abide chunks, but chunks you'll not find there, not a one!"

The broth was in fact a clear golden brown, with an appetizing smell that made my own mouth water, despite the excellent breakfast I had made less than an hour before.  Captain Raines had a delicate stomach, and in consequence had taken some pains both in the procurement of a cook and the provisioning of the galley, to the benefit of the officers' table.

Voyager (Chapter 41 - We Set Sail)

Which Outlander character reminds you most of yourself?

He or she may not be your favourite.  Instead, I'm curious about the character who best reflects your personality and actions in the real world, as you go about your day.

Your "Outlander Mirror," let's call him/her.

mirepoix for beef broth

For me, the answer is, without a doubt, Aloysius O'Shaughnessy Murphy.  Murph and I are a couple of chips off the old chef block.

We're grumpy ( and sometimes downright surly) until you hit the right note with your conversation.  It's not a coincidence there are a lot of reality shows filmed in restaurant kitchens, aye?  Every one I've ever worked in has been hot, steamy, cramped and hurricane paced -- and full of sharp knives -- add a TV crew and hot lights, and you don't need a script for Chef Ramsay to lose his rag.  It happens most nights...even when the cameras aren't there.  Trust me.

As for Claire, she had Murphy clocked before he even let her into his galley.  Mention cardamom, nutmeg, anise, ginger root, vanilla beans, and the holy grail, saffron -- even to a 21st Century chef -- and we're putty in your hands.

bones for beef broth

Like most cooks/chefs (most of us prefer cook -- chef translates as leader -- and there is never room for more than 1 chef in any kitchen, no matter it's size), Murphy takes his food  seriously.  We are feeders, when you get down to it, and food is more about just filling an empty stomach.  A comforting bowl of stock can soothe a sore tummy, energize a body wracked with illness, or warm you down to your toes when you come in out of the rain.

There is a very good chance that Murphy used veal bones to make his stock.  Young bones contain a higher percentage of cartilage and other connective tissue than older ones, and the collagen in the connective tissues is converted to gelatin and water during the cooking process.  When it’s all finished, the higher the gelatin content of the stock, the richer and more full-bodied the stock.  The younger the animal, the better the stock.

That said, I use beef bones to make my stock.  For one thing, the way most veal is raised makes it unacceptable to most these days.  Free-range veal is an option — less controversial than their formula-fed, white-fleshed cousins whose praises my Chefs continually sang -- and although the flesh of the free-range is much darker and (I’m told) has a much more substantial flavour than that of the formula-fed, I doubt very much that there is a significant difference in their bones.

My other reason for using beef bones is that I live on a small island where I can't get veal bones.  Sometimes, circumstances make choices verra, verra easy.

Ask your butcher for leg or shin bones, cut the way mine are above:  2-3" thick, mostly trimmed of fat, and full of marrow.


Caraway is a unique addition to the bouquet garni, which is what flavour and aroma to a stock, in addition to the bones and mirepoix (onions, carrot and celery).

The seeds add a light, smoky flavour, and are known for their ability to quell an angry, nauseated tummy.

beef broth

Outlander recipes where you can use your beef stock:

broth-pannikin- copy

As with my recipes for Chicken Stock and Vegetable Stock, you'll notice that salt is missing from the list.  NEVER SALT A STOCK.  When you use your stock in a soup or sauce, or serve it, steaming in mugs for those coming out of the cold, is the time to season it with salt.

Show/Hide Comments


02 Oct 2012 - 9:37pm

Mary Lou

I read years ago that if you put white vinegar in with the bones and COLD water, that the vinegar will also extract some of the minerals out of the bones too. The smell boils off so you never taste any vinegar. I do not know why you must start with COLD water but since the article said so I do it. When I boil the turkey carcass for stock and I do this the whole carcas comes fully apart and the broth is sort of cloudy. I guess it is the dissolved bone in the stock. But when I finish my soup it does not matter to me if I do not have a clear stock as my soups are usually like stew in the end, just not thickened with flour or cornstarch. nI also had forgotten about the caraway being good for touchy stomachs, but recalled it when you wrote it. Now I remember why there is a jar of them in my spice rack, although they are probably no good anymore, but I remember asking myself what I had those for, now I am going to put a note on the jar.nThanks for your recipe.


You start with cold water because hot water "cooks" the exterior of the bones too quickly and seals all of the goodness inside.nnI have never put vinegar in my stock -- despite claims that it draws out additional calcium from the bones, it doesn't improve the nutritional value of the stock in any appreciable way. Most importantly, as you say, it causes cloudy stock which, in professional kitchens, is considered unusable.

03 Oct 2012 - 3:32pm


I'm so glad the cold weather is finally coming on, I can't wait to try my hand at making your wonderful sounding beef and chicken stock. Yum!


Enjoy your soups, sauces and stocks, Marci!

05 Nov 2012 - 7:03am

Beef Consomme …

Murphys Beef Stock/Broth that we made a few weeks back? This little bowl taste heaven is a further refinement of

21 Jul 2014 - 12:01pm

North African…

ships cook, but he also went to great lengths to soothe Jamies seasickness with his Beef Broth. The caraway seeds in his bouquet garnii are said to calm an angry

21 Jan 2015 - 2:18pm

Anna Lapping

Where's the "Like" button? There were great comments above, and I always learn something new from your recipes. I have never added the caraway seed but I will try it.

21 Jan 2015 - 7:46pm

Carol Mackey

A nice find on a snowy, blowy day here in CO. My eldest son brought me a venison leg in October (at my request) bcause I wante to try it for stock--alas, it's not cut up :-( . Vacuum packaged by the processor, it should be okay while I "endeavour to persevere" in finding someone with an appropriate saw--sterilized hacksaw, maybe? Hope you're enjoying your respite from the cooollllddd!! For the nonce, I shall make chicken soup.


I have used a hacksaw from the tool bench in a similar situation, Carol...I wiped it with alcohol and went for it! Good way to work up an appetite...and it boils for a long health worries. :)

11 Oct 2014 - 3:14pm


Very interestingly, both caraway and black pepper have been shown to increase the bioavailability of various nutrients to include amino acids, which of course abound in broth. Very nice! I hadn't thought to use caraway in my broth before, but I will certainly be trying it!

16 Oct 2014 - 6:16pm

William Still

Great stock recipe, I could not agree more with you about veal bones and beef bones and also about not adding salt. You really give great tips along with your recipes and that is what makes your website here very relevant and informational. You also include the addition of caraway which is an old method that has been lost to many over the years. It really gives the broth a great flavor when used with the bouquet garni. When I was working as a Chef and needed a good consomme this method of preparation was almost the standard for the stock and then of course for a consomme we would clarify it with ground veal or beef and a miripoix mixed with egg whites. The consomme almost always came out beautifully clear and full of flavor. We then would heat and season to taste and at the last minute add a bit of sherry.

16 Nov 2014 - 2:28pm


Could you include parsnips instead of carrots and get a similar flavor? I ask because my husband and son are allergic to carrots.

02 Feb 2015 - 10:21pm


My little 17 month old peanut has been sick with a little tummy virus all day. I had some beef soup bones from the butcher sitting in my freezer and I thought what better way to use them than to make a yummy broth for my darling girl's yucky tummy. It's sitting on the stovetop, and ought to be ready soon. Hope it soothes my little one! Thanks for the recipes, Theresa!! Looking forward to the future publication of your Outlander Cookbook ;)


I hope she feels better soon! The broth will soothe for sure...I have no doubt.

10 May 2015 - 1:08pm


Would this recipe work in a pressure cooker?

20 Aug 2015 - 3:45pm


Can this kept in the freezer or canned?


Canning stock can be tricky. Lots of information on this site: can freeze this for up to 6 weeks.

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