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Learn to make homemade Beef Bone Broth with our easy recipe. Start by roasting the bones to achieve a rich, flavorful beef bone broth that is satisfying to drink on its own or use in a soup.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone Broth is a clear savory soup made by simmering bones and their connective tissue in water for a long time. As they simmer, the bones release their collagen – which has lots of health benefits for skin, joints, and hair.
A little bit of apple cider vinegar is often added to bone broth as it cooks because it helps the bones release their collagen and breaks down the connective tissues. Vegetables can also be added to the pot as the bones simmer, adding additional flavor and nutrients.
Bone broth can be made with beef, chicken, or pork bones – or a combination of all three – and the result is a clear broth that is thick and gelatinous when chilled, but savory and satisfyingly delicious when served hot.
In the photo below, you can see that any fat will rise to the top as the broth chills. Remove that to reveal the gelatinous broth below.
Beef Bone Broth vs Beef Stock
There are a lot of similarities – both are made with beef bones, water, vegetables, and seasonings.
But the goal of a beef bone broth is to extract the collagen into a drinkable broth for its health benefits, while the goal of making a beef stock is to create a flavorful base for soups and other recipes calling for beef stock.
A beef bone broth is simmered for far longer than a typical stock – up to 18 to 24 hours on a stove top – to ensure the full extraction of the collagen and other nutrients from the bones.
Our beef stock recipe (you can see that here) is simmered for six hours or so and we include lots of additional ingredients in the stock to create a rich, beefy base for recipes.
Tips & Tricks
Start cooking your Beef Bone Broth first thing in the morning so it can simmer away on the stove all day long – ensuring that all of the collagen is extracted.
Or – if you are comfortable doing so – start simmering the pot just before bedtime and let it cook overnight, then let it simmer all of the following day as well.
Benefits to Consuming Beef Bone Broth
- It’s nutritious – Assuming your bone broth recipe was made with a variety of bones and connective tissues, the broth may contain vitamins and nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous from the bones. Collagen from the cartilage of connective tissues provides the body with amino acids – which are the building blocks of proteins in the body. If you are able to include bone marrow in your recipe – that can add iron, vitamins A and K, fatty acids, selenium, zinc, and manganese as well.
- It may help protect your joints and also help fight osteoarthritis – Bone broth is a great way to add gelatin to your diet – which breaks down into collagen in the body. This can help protect the cartilage in your joints.
- Reduce inflammation – Bone broth can be a great source of anti-inflammatory amino acids including glutamine.
- It may aid sleep – The amino acid, glycine, found in bone broth helps some people sleep better and have less fatigue the following day.
- It can support weight loss – The high levels of protein in bone broth help many people feel fuller for longer after eating – which can help with weight loss over time.
Please Note – We aren’t medical experts. The source of this great info above is Medical News Today. Read more details here.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Beef Bones – If possible, buy mostly beef marrow bones plus a combination of other bones available including neck, knuckles, oxtail, short ribs, or beef shank. Many butchers and supermarkets will sell packages of the bones right in the meat section. You can add other types of bones if you’d like such as chicken feet, pork ribs, etc.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – A few tablespoons are needed to help extract the collagen in the bones and connective tissues.
- Other ingredients – These can vary but in our bone broth, we added rinsed and scrubbed unpeeled carrots, celery stalks with leaves, yellow onions, whole split garlic heads, fresh cleaned leeks, fresh parsley with stems, fresh thyme sprigs, bay leaves, black peppercorns and salt only after the long cooking time to taste. All of these extra ingredients help give the bone broth flavor and more nutrients, but any can be eliminated if you want just the bones cooked down in water.
Special Tools Needed
- Two large roasting pans
- 14-quart stock pot or two smaller pots if you don’t own a 14-quart pot.
- Large fine mesh strainer
- Large bowl
How do I make Beef Bone Broth?
- Roast bones and vegetables in a high heat oven. This roasting process helps intensify the flavors.
- Simmer roasted bones and vegetables with water and other ingredients (except salt) for 16-24 hours.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard all solids. Strain through cheesecloth if you want the broth clearer.
- Chill broth overnight, then remove and discard fat that solidified across the top.
- Serve heated by the cup or bowl, seasoning with salt as needed. Or fill sealable zipper bags and freeze, then pull from freezer and heat as needed.
More Cooking Tips
While we don’t typically recommend leaving your stove unattended while cooking, this bone broth can be an exception if you are very careful.
Start simmering this bone broth late in the day so that you have a full pot before going to bed (just in case too much liquid evaporates). Then let it continue to simmer the next morning while you are awake and watching the volume. Keep the lid partially on to keep the steam in and never go past a low heat except for the initial boil to start.
Temperature ranges between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F is when bacteria can grow so it is best to boil then simmer the broth all in one long step without interruption. Then chill it quickly after straining. Avoid stopping and restarting the cooking process.
To chill any large volume hot liquid quickly, fill your sink with ice water and set the pot with the broth into that ice bath without water going over the top of the pot as the ice water gets displaced. Stir the broth in a circular motion and stir the ice water as well. The heat from the broth lowers quickly as the ice melts and the water in the sink rises in temperature as the heat transfers from the metal pot to the ice water. Drain the ice water and refill to quicken the cooling. Once the broth has reduced to room temperature, refrigerate until needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Beef Bone Broth ahead of time? Yes – since it takes so long to simmer, we suggest that you cook up a big batch, then store some portions in the freezer.
- How do I store leftovers? Store refrigerated for up to three days or freeze in portion-sized zipper seal bags.
- How do I reheat leftovers? Heat in a saucepan or microwave as needed.
- Is it possible to can this bone broth? We haven’t tested the acidity level of the finished bone broth – so we don’t know. (Safe canning practices require you to know the acidity level to determine the canning method and timing.) We suggest freezing it in small zipper seal bags or containers unless you are a canning expert.
- Can I make beef bone broth in a pressure cooker or slow cooker? Yes – although we haven’t tested this recipe using either alternative cooking method so don’t have specific timing, steps, or guidance to share with you at this time.
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12 pounds beef bones (use at least half marrow and the rest a combination of whatever is available including neck, knuckles, oxtail, short ribs or shank).
1 1/2 pounds carrots, ends trimmed and scrubbed and rinsed but not peeled, cut into chunks
1 pound celery stalks including leaves, coarsely cut into chunks
1 pound yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
1 large leek, white only, cleaned of all sand
2 heads fresh garlic, cut in half across the center
Few large sprigs of fresh thyme
Handful of fresh parsley including stems
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt, as needed after cooking
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line up two oven racks to fit two roasting pans
- Place all bones, carrots, celery, onion, leek and garlic divided between the two pans and roast with no oil or seasonings for 30 minutes. Remove pans, turn the bones and vegetables over, rotate pans and roast for 20 more minutes.
- Pour all roasting pan contents into a 14-quart stock pot, or two smaller pots if you don’t own a 14-quart pot.
- Place both roasting pans on stove top and place two quarts of water in each and over high heat, scrape the bottoms then pour into pot with bones and vegetables.
- Add thyme, parsley, peppercorns and vinegar and cover with about six quarts water, or until contents are submerged.
- Bring to a boil, lower to low heat and using a ladle, skim off foam and scum that floats to the top and discard.
- Cover partially and let simmer for 18 hours and up to 24 hours, being watchful that the liquid does not evaporate. Your burner should be on the lowest setting and the mixture should have a slow gentle bubble as it cooks.
- After the 18 hours, place a large fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour in contents. I found it easier and less messy to reach in first with long handled tongs and pick out the bones before pouring the pot into the strainer.
- All bones and solids should be discarded.
- Let cool using the ice bath method (see tips above in the post) then refrigerate overnight.
- Before refrigerating, if you want the broth to be superfine, pour through a strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove any sediment.
- The next day, lift off and discard the fat that congealed at the top. What is left will be a gelatin like consistency which you can heat and drink as needed, use for soups, can following canning guidelines or freeze in small zippered plastic bags for later.
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