I have shared with you the health benefits of bone broth but, you may be wondering how to make beef bone broth yourself.
The answer is easy and I will give the instructions in a minute. First, though, let me just say that like most things, homemade beef bone broth is not only more flavorful and packed with more nutrition, it is also much more economical than the store bought version. After all, the only cost to you are the bones and some vegetables that you throw in! Which brings me to my next point.
BEEF BONE BROTH SECRET
The type of bones used is important – they should be bones from grass fed animals. Confined animal feeding operations or CAFO animals are fed an unnatural diet of grain that is not healthy for their intestinal makeup. They are also given a variety of veterinary drugs and growth promoters. If you start off with locally purchased (or raise your own) grass fed animals, you will avoid these additives making it into your broth.
Sally Fallon author of Nourishing Traditions who also writes for the Weston A. Price Foundation pointed out that chickens raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) tend to produce stock that doesn’t gel – this gelatin has long been valued for its therapeutic properties. Fallon explained:
“Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff particularly by the French, who were seeking ways to feed their armies and vast numbers of homeless in Paris and other cities. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal.”
Remember, you can’t rush an exquisite pot of stock – let it cook long and slow – simmering at least 24 hours. And, you can even keep it simmering in your slow cooker or crock pot. In the summer, I often use my roaster because it is larger and I normally make large quantities at a time and freeze it. Otherwise, a five gallon stock pot kept at a low simmer makes a great perpetual soup pot – as I dip broth out to use, I refill it with water, vegetable and bones as needed.
CONTINUOUS STOCK POT OF BEEF BROTH
I read once the many of the great chefs actually keep a continuous stock pot of broth going around the clock. Being home most of the time, I have started doing this especially during the winter months . Boy, is it ever convenient. You will find specific instructions in the “Notes” section of the recipe.
In keeping a continuous stock pot of broth going, it is always interesting to see the bones becoming softer and softer. This just go to show that the minerals and nutrients of the bones truly are leaching out into the broth.
Isn’t that exciting? I mean, talk about proof that what we are doing is working!
I normally add fresh bones weekly and when keeping a continuous stock pot of broth going, I use 2 lbs of grass fed bones to each gallon of water.
BEEF BONE SOURCES
1. Raise Your Own
I have bones in the freezer from butchering our own steer. I realize this is not a viable option for many people but it is a good one if you have the land and resources for it. There is just something so rewarding to know that the meal on your table was grown right outside your backdoor!
2. Buy Local
I have also purchased a variety of bones from a local grass fed meat company. You can find local sources in your area at the Weston A. Price site. On the website, find a chapter in your area, contact the leader and they will give you a list of local meat, dairy and other products from you area.
3. Buy Online
If you cannot find a local source of grass-fed beef bones, I have been very pleased with my affiliate partner, US Wellness Meats. I have ordered from them several times and have been pleased not only with the quality but also the speed of delivery. Plus, not only do they offer beef, they also carry poultry, bison, lamb, rabbit, duct and seafood.
BEEF BONE BROTH USES
1. Drink a Cup
Since becoming aware of the benefits and nutrition of bone broth, our family has been having a cup of broth with breakfast each morning. Seasoned with the vegetables and sea salt, it is a delicious addition to the meal. A cup of bone broth is also a great pick-me-up in the late afternoon (after nap!).
2. Soup Base
Many soup recipes use a beef, vegetable or chicken broth as the base. Whenever you see bullion cubes listed as an ingredient in a recipe, substitute beef bone broth – just decrease the amount of liquid called for in the recipe.
Beef Bone Broth can easily be used in browning meats or for adding liquid to recipes instead of water. Rice cooked in beef bone broth has a delicious flavor. The possibilities are endless!
Beef Bone Broth
- 4 - 8 lbs of bones, from grass fed animals (depending on the size of stock pot) I like to have 1 -2 lbs of bones per gallon of water
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- vegetables, carrots, onions, celery
- Roast the bones in the oven at 375 F for 1 hour. This enhances the flavor of the bones and gives a good flavor to the stock.
- Remove the bones from the oven and place in a stock pot.
- Fill the pot with water - cover the bones.
- Add the vegetables - avoid Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, turnips as these tend to give a bitter flavor to the broth.
- Bring the water to a boil and add the vinegar.
- Turn the pot down to a simmer.
- Allow the broth to simmer for 24 - 48 hours or longer. See Notes for a continuous pot.
- As it cooks, add water as necessary and skim off any foam.
- When finished, strain the broth through a wire mesh and catch the broth in mason jars.
- Once cooled, the fat will rise to the top and the broth should gel like gelatin.
- The fat can be skimmed off and used for cooking or left in the broth.
- The broth will keep refrigerated for 1 week and can also be frozen for months.
For a continuous stock pot of broth, use 2 lbs of bones per gallon of water. Follow the instructions but allow the broth to simmer constantly. Add more water as needed and replenish the bones weekly. The bones begin to become very soft when it is time to replace them since the nutrients have been leached into the broth.
Use direct from the stock pot for a delicious nourishing stock for soups or a simple cup of broth.
Now, I have two questions for you:
1. What is your favorite way to make beef bone broth – stock pot, slow cooker or roaster?
2. What is your favorite way to use beef broth?