(Not-hard-at-all) Beef Bone Broth
We’ve got a suspicion that bone broth (or stock) recipes would have to be one of the most widely posted of all time.
Though there are literally hundreds of thousands of recipes for this ‘old-come-new’ liquid gold to be found online, we’ve continued to notice something interesting.
While the making of your own bone broth is neither expensive or difficult, for some people it’s still regarded as ‘beyond them’.
And we can relate.
There are days when we don’t feel like dealing with the greasy stockpot and a pile of spent bones. And then we recall the health benefits and also how fortunate we are – with a dishwasher that cleans even the grimiest dishes, and sand ridges that benefit immensely from the slow-release ‘bone fertilizer’ that’s dug into it’s depth.
And so, we roll up our sleeves and dig the bones out of the freezer …. 🙂
We’ll admit there is nothing special or different about our bone broth recipe. (Except that we’ve made it many, many times!).
Instead, we’ve posted it here to encourage you. To show you it’s not hard to make bone broth. Truth be told, we don’t even peel the onions 🙂
Sometimes all it takes is having the steps laid out in front of you. And someone to answer your questions.
We want to demonstrate that with a few simple ingredients and just a little bit of prep work (and the occasional peek at the water level), you and your family will rewarded with a rich, nourishing and versatile elixir.
PS. And don’t let the long list of instructions deter you. We just want to ensure you succeed!
Have you tried your hand at making bone broth? Share your questions or tips below.
Nourishing Beef Bone Broth
- approx 2kg mixed beef bones (see recipe notes below)
- 10 cups cold water (depending on size of your pot) 3 – 4 whole carrots, unpeeled and whole
- 3 – 4 stalks celery, whole
- 1 onion, unpeeled, cut in half or whole
- 4 heads of garlic unpeeled (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- bunch of fresh parsley
- once made, handful ice cubes
Stove Top Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 220 ° C.
2. Place the bones in a large roasting pan, and bake for 1 hour, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time.
3. Place the browned bones (and any residual fat and pan juices) into a large heavy-based 10 litre stock pot with the vegetables and seasonings and add the water. The water should be no less than 3cm from the top of the pot.
4. Pour in the vinegar. (Optional: leave bones sitting for one hour before you turn on the heat, but we rarely do!).
5. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Remove any scum/foamy layer off the top if it appears. (Organic, pasture-fed bones produce very little compared to ‘regular’ bones).
6. Reduce heat to lowest setting, and gently simmer (see recipe notes below).
7. Check level of liquid periodically, and top up with hot water if the bones are becoming exposed.
8. Toss the parsley (unchopped) into the pot for the last hour of cooking.
9. Bone broth may be cooked from 12 – 72 hours (we usually do 24 – 36 hours).
10. Remove from the heat and carefully take out the bones with long-handled tongs. Set bones aside if you’re thrifty, and want to make another batch (see tip below). Alternatively you can remove the marrow from bones if desired, salt and eat! Then discard bones by placing in your rubbish bin – remember never to give cooked bones to dogs.
11. Place a wire strainer over a large roasting pan and pour the broth through to strain it. (The idea is to quickly and efficiently cool the broth to prevent spoilage – hence the use of a shallow container while it’s cooling).
12. To further hasten the cooling process, add a handful of ice cubes to the roasting pan.
13. At this point you may like to add salt and pepper to taste (we usually don’t do it now. We tend to season the meal before serving).
14. When the broth is cooled to room temperature, fill glass containers or glass jars, cover and refrigerate. If freezing, leave at least 3cm at the top so the liquid has room to expand.
15. Once it has been refrigerated for several hours, the broth will thicken (and hopefully resemble a jelly) and the fat will rise to the top. Don’t remove this layer of fat until you’re ready to use the broth, as it’s the perfect way to seal the broth, and also protect it from freezer burn. And don’t throw this fat away, when you’re cracking into your bone broth. It makes the most wonderful roasted vegies 🙂
Makes approx 1.5 – 2.5 litres bone broth
Note on bones: It is advisable to use organic bones, but if unavailable, at least use pasture-fed ones. For a lovely gelatinous, super-boosted broth, include a variety of beef bones. Add a combination of different joints, marrow and meaty bones. Doing so will increase the range of minerals and amino acids in your finished bone broth.
Optional step: Some prefer to add in an additional step right at the beginning to remove any impurities from the bones. Simply rinse the bones, bring to the boil in a large stockpot, and drain. Resume at step 2.
Stovetop too hot? This is a valid concern particularly for gas stove tops because bone broth needs to simmer slowly for sooooo long. We like to use a SimmerMat that helps control the temperature, and ensure long slow cooking. Even though we’ve got an electric stove, using a SimmerMat gives us peace of mind to leave our broth gently simmering for days on end – including overnight. (Not an affiliate link!).
Simmer (don’t boil) to ensure a clear-looking broth: After bringing the broth to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Ideally, you’re after a clear-looking broth, which indicates a low, long cooking time. Conversely, if you add boiling water at the beginning, or boil your broth too vigorously for too long, you’ll end up with cloudy or ‘milky-looking’ broth . Cloudy broth simply means that some of the fat has emulsified, but will be hard to separate (clarify) again. But don’t worry if your broth does turn a little cloudy – it will still be jam-packed full of goodness. And chances are, once it’s served in a soup or stew, you won’t even notice.
Making a second batch of broth (or third or fourth!): Put the bones and some fresh vegies back into the pot and fill with water again. This batch of broth will be less flavoursome and gelatinous than the first, but equally as delicious.
Slow cooker: Follow the stove top instructions and cook on low. It’s unlikely that you’ll have to top up the water.
Safety Storage Hint: Never put a pot with hot bone broth into the fridge. It will raise the temperature into ‘danger zone’. Always wait for the broth to cool to room temperature.
Cooling broth even quicker: Extend the shelf life of your bone broth by cooling it very quickly. Carefully place the stock pot in a bathtub or large laundry sink, and filling the bath or sink with a few centimetres of cold water. Adding a few ice cubes or ice bricks and a few teaspoons of salt to the ‘ice bath’ will help it cool even faster.
Storage: Broth can safely be stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks providing it has a thick layer of fat (approx 2cm or more) on top and sealed to the edge of the container. If you only have a thin layer of beef fat, the broth should be used within 3 – 4 days.
Love Roast Vegies? So do we 🙂 Keep the beef fat you’ve collected from the top of your bone broth in a jar in the fridge. Use this fat to make your roasted vegies delicious and nourishing!
Bone broth uses: Season it and sip it in a mug, replace the water when cooking risotto, polenta, pasta or dried beans, or use in soups, stews or sauces. Or be adventurous and try using it to make an Aspic (a savoury jelly made out of meat broth)!