Why Use Chicken Broth in Beef Recipes?

So many beef recipes call for chicken broth, muses mucho gordo. Why not use beef broth with beef? Chowhounds have several explanations. "Either because the recipe calls for a slightly cleaner, lighter, more neutral flavor, or just because it's generally easier and cheaper to get your hands on or make good quality chicken broth than beef," thinks cowboyardee. Or could beef broth be the problem? mandycat feels that "most canned beef broth products taste like melted aluminum," and Norm Man says, "America's Test Kitchen often uses chicken broth in beef dishes (i.e., pot roast) because of the 'metallic' taste of canned beef broth."

So how can you add a bit more beef flavor if you don't have homemade beef stock on hand? "When a recipe calls for 'beef broth' my solution is to use a good quality low-sodium chicken broth and add a smidgen of Better Than Bouillon Beef," says mandycat. "The Better Than Bouillon products are far superior to most commercial broth and bouillon brands but I still can't take their beef flavor all on its own."

"For beef dishes I use the More Than Gourmet veal demi-glace," says EM23. "For store-bought stocks, the More Than Gourmet brand is really very good."

Discuss: Why do non-chicken, even beef, recipes call for chicken broth?