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Don’t you just love to come home and walk in the house and delicious smells greet you at the door? Me, too! That’s one of my favorite things about making this beef bone broth. Or any other bone broth. 🙂
You can put them in the crockpot or on the stove and let them do their thing. And they just smell up the whole house with awesomeness! I’ve already walked you through making Turkey Bone Broth (or chicken) on the stove top, now we’re going to go through making Beef Bone Broth in the crockpot. This is my all time favorite crockpot!
You may be wondering what a “bone” broth is. So I’ll tell you. 🙂
Basically, a bone broth contains the minerals that were in the bones used to make the broth. When you add vinegar or wine, the acid draws the minerals out of the bones and into the liquid. Pretty cool, huh?
OK, now we have some of the sciencey stuff down, let’s jump in!
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Beef Bone Broth
- 4 lbs beef bones*
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 whole large carrots, or a handful of little ones
- 2 onions, cut in half and studded with cloves, unpeeled
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 large sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 large bunch of fresh parsley
- 1/2 c raw apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg’s you can get it here)
- filtered water to cover
*As a note, I like to use marrow bones as well as bones with meat on them like neck bones or oxtails. You should be able to get them from your local butcher. You can also use offal like kidneys, hearts, and tongues, which makes this a very frugal option. You’ll need to total of about 4 pounds.
You may have noticed that I don’t add salt to my broths. That’s because I dehydrate a lot of it down into bouillon and I don’t want too much salt in it. You can add salt to taste before you can or freeze it, or just add it to the recipe when you use it like I do.
Cooking the Bone Broth
Preheat your oven to 450°F. If you have a crockpot with a removable insert you can usually put those into the oven. But check your manufacturer’s instructions first. If not, you can use a dutch oven.
Put 2 cups of water in the pot and add all the beef bones and any offal you are using, veggies, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes, turn your crockpot on high.
Remove from the oven and transfer to preheated crockpot. Add the apple cider vinegar and cover with water. Leave the crockpot on high, cover the crock, and let it come to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. If you leave it there, it will affect the taste.
After it reaches a boil, turn to low and allow to simmer for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 24. You will need to check it occasionally and add water as it evaporates.
Straining the Bone Broth
After it has finished cooking, you need to strain out all the solids. the spent herbs and veggies can go into the compost and the meat is a doggy favorite. Some people enjoy spreading the marrow on bread and making sandwiches.
To strain, I use my colander over a large pot with butter muslin inside it. The stuff they sell as cheese cloth nowadays would hardly filter out a cat, let along spent herbs. Pour everything in and tie the corners together and hang it above the colander. I usually let it hang for at least an hour, but it doesn’t hurt it to stay there for 2 or 3 hours if you’re busy.
Next, cover the pot or bowl and put it into the fridge. We want the fat to congeal on the top so we can remove it. As an aside, you can use the fat you remove to make pemmican. Haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on the list. 🙂
Storing the Bone Broth
After removing the fat, it’s ready to use! You can store this in the fridge for about 2 weeks. For longer storage, the broth can be frozen, canned, or dehydrated into homemade bouillon. Of course canning is my favorite, but the bouillon is a close 2nd. It saves a lot of space in it’s powdered form.
If you are going to freeze in canning jars, make sure you leave about 2 inches of headspace. When things freeze they expand and if you don’t leave enough room it can crack the jar. That would be so sad. 🙁
Using the Bone Broth
You can, of course, eat the broth just like it is. And it is pretty awesome just plain. I also use beef and chicken bone broths as the base for all of my soups and stews and sauces and gravies. They bring a depth of flavor and valuable nutrition to everything you use them in.
And I tend to make broth all year long because I make a lot of soups and stews and sauces and gravies…
And have I mentioned that they make the house smell good? 🙂
How would you use Beef Bone Broth?