If there is one thing you should make yourself: it's homemade beef bone broth. Bone broth is loaded with the collagen needed for healthy bones and skin and can be sipped like tea or used in cooking in place of beef stock.
Aside from all of the good nutrition in this broth, it tastes terrific. The longer bone broth is cooked, the more flavor the broth has. For this reason, I cook the broth in my slow cooker so I can throw everything in the pot and forget about it for hours at a time.
I am going to show you a detailed method of how to make slow cooker bone broth as well as broth in a stockpot.
What's the difference between Beef Broth and Beef Stock?
The difference between a broth and a stock is the cooking time. A broth is cooked for up to 48 hours, and stock is cooked for three hours.
Sometimes the chefs add tomato paste and whole tomatoes to their stock, and there are hundreds of variations. You can cook with this broth if a recipe calls for beef stock. Most of the stuff in cartons at the grocery store is not good for you.
Cooking Method #1: Slow Cooker
I enjoy cooking my stock in a slow cooker (Crockpot) because I don't have to worry about watching the pot. I can roast the bones, sauté the vegetables, throw everything into the pot, close the lid, skim the foam after an hour, and come back several hours later while I do other things. It's easy.
Cooking Method #2: Stock Pot
Follow the directions in the recipe and place the pot on high heat, bring to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes and then skim the foam that has risen to the top and then lower the heat to the lowest setting on your stove and let it simmer covered for 3-12 hours.
If you need to run out for an hour or while it is cooking in a stock pot, keep the pot covered, turn off the heat and go. There's enough heat in the pot to keep it cooking for a few hours. Turn it back on when you get home.
Can I Buy Bone Broth in a Carton?
Some packaged bone broths, usually labeled Paleo, might have some merit, but to date, I haven't tried them.
Beef stock is in the grocery store next to the soups lined up in metal cans. It is also in cube form called bouillon or soup base. These products are loaded with sodium, sugar, and preservatives. There are no health benefits to these products, and they taste artificial.
Maybe you use a lot of beef stock in a carton. Did you ever sip it, or do you mindlessly dump it in your recipes? I used to buy it too. One of my cooking instructors said the College Inn chicken broth tasted better than the others, so I bought that for recipes for a few years. One day I took a big gulp of it and spat it across the room. It tastes awful!! When I went on the Kaufmann One Diet, I got my first slow cooker and grass-fed beef bones. I've been using it ever since.
About Slow Cookers
A slow cooker, best known as its brand name, Crockpot, is an electric appliance that cooks at a very low voltage and a low temperature. The higher-end models have timers on them so you can put all of your ingredients in the pot, cover it, and set the timer to have your dish ready when you get home from work or your errands.
For this beef bone broth recipe, the crock pot is my go-to appliance so I can prep all of my ingredients, put them in the pot, and let it cook at a steady temperature all day and overnight without worrying about it. I use my slow cooker for chicken soup too!
Keep the pot covered while the broth is cooking. Every time you open the lid, you allow the steam to escape and there is a tremendous drop in temperature. According to Crockpot, when you open the lid, it takes 30 minutes for the pot's contents to come back to temperature.
Here's What You Need:
Step 1) Roast the Bones
The bones should be rinsed and patted dry. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast at 450 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, tossing after the 30-minute mark.
Step 2) Sauté the Aromatics (optional)
Although this is an optional step, it makes a BIG difference in the taste of your broth! If you're short on time, you can skip it.
While the bones are roasting, heat oil in a 10" or 12" skillet. Add carrots and onions and sauté over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, occasionally tossing, until well browned. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place them in your slow cooker or your stockpot. Place the pan back on the hot burner, add half a cup of water, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon for a minute or so until they're all released. Pour it all into the pot.
Step 3) Cook the Broth
Add the roasted bones and all other ingredients to the sautéed veggies in your slow cooker. Fill the pot with water, covering your ingredients, leaving 2" at the top of the pot to prevent overflow. Place the slow cooker on HIGH, cover, and cook one hour or bring to a rolling boil over high heat in your covered stockpot. Let boil for 10 minutes. Open the lid and skim any foam (impurities from the meat) with a large spoon. Re-cover and reduce the heat to the LOW setting. Let cook for 3 to 12 hours.
Step 4) Let it Rest
Turn off the heat, uncover the pot, and let the pot sit uncovered for at least one hour at room temperature. Remove the bones and all the vegetables and discard. The carrots are salvageable. I like to eat them while I finish up the stock. Strain the soup into a large colander over a clean pot or chinois (a cone-shaped strainer with tiny holes).
Step 3) Skim the Fat
If you want extra fat and some meat to eat, you can add a piece of chuck steak or short ribs to the pot, cook for 3 hours, and then remove it.
How to Store the Broth
I ladle the cooled broth into 12-ounce mason jars, cover them, and refrigerate the jars so I have broth for the next few days. I usually skim the fat off before I eat the broth but if I'm really hungry I'll mix it in and eat the whole thing.
Alternatively, you can pour all the beef broth back into the pot, cover it and chill in the refrigerator overnight until cold and then skim the fat and distribute into containers.
As the bone broth chills, the fat separates from the broth and rises to the top. You can skim it off and throw it away. Heat the broth in a small saucepan for about three minutes before eating. The microwave is another option, of course, but it may destroy some of the nutrients.
Refrigerate 3-4 days in airtight containers of freeze in serving containers.
How to Freeze Bone Broth
The bone broth can be frozen for up to six months in several ways.
- You can freeze the broth in 8 or 16-ounce individual freezer containers.
- You can freeze the stock in ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to zip-top bags, so you can pull out the cubes as you need them.
If you like this bone broth, try some other low-carb favorites:
Homemade Beef Bone Broth
- Roasting Pan
- Vegetable peeler
- 12" skillet
- Slow cooker or Stockpot
- Large serving spoon
- Strainer or Colander
- 3 pounds beef bones preferably from pasture-raised beef
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced into chunks
- 2 medium onions peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery roughly chopped or a handful of celery leaves
- 1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
- 2 parsley sprigs
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 2 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack set in the center of the oven.
- Scatter bones in a large roasting pan. Place pan in the oven and roast for one hour.3 pounds beef bones
- While bones are roasting, heat olive oil in a large skillet, add carrots and onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally with tongs, until well-browned. Remove from pan and place veggies in the crockpot.1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 carrots, 2 medium onions
- Add remaining ingredients and bones with accumulated fat from the pan into the crockpot and fill the pot with water leaving 1” on the top.1 gallon filtered water, 2 ribs celery, 1 garlic clove, 2 parsley sprigs, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 2 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
- Cook on “high” setting for one hour. If any foam has risen to the top, skim with a large serving spoon. Replace cover and turn heat to “low” and let simmer at least three hours and up to 24 hours.
- Uncover and stir the pot. Let it cool for at least one hour.
- Strain with a fine-mesh strainer or colander. Discard all solids.
- Place soup in covered containers or Mason Jars. Skim fat from the top of the soup before using.
- Season broth with salt and drink up!
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and it comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate information, these figures are estimates only.