Warm liquid splashes into a bowl, simmering with bits of melted fat as I strain my beef broth. This nutrient dense, life promoting broth has numerous benefits, both for health and for culinary application.
The above broth was made into the simplest of soups. I sauteed an onion in a pan, added diced carrots and later zucchini and pureed it into a silky “creamless” creamy soup. When fed to my “mother’s helper”, I felt slightly embarrassed to feed her such a basic soup. But halfway through her bowl, she asked about the recipe, saying that it was “so good!”. The secret, I told her, was the broth. When you have a rich broth as a base, it makes everything good.
I have already shared a delicious chicken broth recipe, now it’s time to share my beef broth recipe.
Once again, think of this recipe as a guideline. Broths and stocks are very changeable. You can use what you have on hand, and there are different ways to get a good broth. For example some recipes call for very specific bones, and some meat as well. My recipe is a bones only recipe for frugality and simplicity, but it tastes good too.
Sometimes when I am especially busy I simply roast the bones, cover with water, and cook for 12-24 hours. It can be that simple. But the following recipe is just a little more well rounded. I personally do it both the simple way, and the following way.
By the way, I have been reusing my bones in broths. I do find that the taste is not as good in subsequent batches. However, sometimes what I do is add new bones to the old bones for a more flavorful broth.
Homemade Beef Broth/Stock
- 3-5 pounds of bones, especially good are marrow bones. Ask your butcher to cut to expose the marrow, if possible. I have been using a lot of knuckle bones lately*
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
2 celery sticks, cut in half
1-3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1-2 bay leaves
15 black peppercorns
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, optional *
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place all of the ingredients, sans the bay leaves, peppercorns and apple cider vinegar in a oven proof pot. If you’d like, melt some ghee, or fat of choice to drizzle over the bones and vegetables for better roasting (I usually skip this step). Cook for 30-45 minutes, flipping the bones and vegetables if needed, until starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool until warm.
2. Cover the bones with water, 1-2 inches above the bones. Add the bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, optional, and peppercorns. Bring to a low simmer and skim off any scum that comes to the surface. Simmer for 12-48 hours (three hours is the minimum for taste, but nutrition and depth of flavor will improve at the longer times).
3. Strain into a heat safe bowl, cool, and refrigerate. There will be a layer of fat on the top which you can leave or skim off once refrigerated according to desire.
4. Once well cooled in the refrigerator, if you didn’t water your broth down too much, you should have a gelatin rich, nutritious broth. This is what it will look like when cold. (Strange, but beautiful in it’s own way). Enjoy!
* My butcher pointed out that many of the knuckle bones have marrow in them as well. In fact, he felt that this marrow was even easier to get out in a broth. Knuckle bones are about half the cost of marrow bones. I’ve been using mostly knuckle bones and getting great results.
*The apple cider vinegar helps draw out minerals, like calcium from the bones. It does change the taste a little, so keep that in mind.