Browning Beef for StockNot a stupid question at all.
For a brown beef stock, which is what most recipes want, you should brown the meaty bones in a 450 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Toss in some of the aromatic veggies as well. After you remove the bones, get rid of the fat, but remember to then deglaze the pan with water or a little wine.
Another technique favored by some cooks is to brown the beef bones right in the stock pan, using a bit of oil. Then degrease and deglaze. Some people also follow this up by then sweating the meat for about 20 minutes over low heat whereupon you'll usually find that some nice brown juices are released. Then go ahead with making the stock in the same pan.
Depending on your use, you may want to clarify the stock with egg white.
My dear departed mother, with the admirable frugality that characterized those of middle European origin, used to make a kind of boiled beef dinner not dissimilar to its New England namesake. In those cases, she did not brown the meat, but we could depend on the broth from the boil appearing the next day as a soup--light colored and clear, usually served with added vegetables, noodles, and--I've never been able to reproduce these--tasty liver dumplings. Served with bread, it was a whole meal, and even the family's liver haters loved it. (Me--I love liver.) This broth lacked the strong, beefy flavors of the roasted meat recipes, but was quite nice in its own right.