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 this recipe, I show you how to easily make a rich bone broth in a Crockpot.
Aside from all the good nutrition in this broth, it tastes terrific. The longer bone broth cooks, the more flavor it has.
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 recipe for bone broth if a recipe calls for beef stock.
Most of the stuff in cartons at the grocery store isn't good for you and could have flavor enhancers and preservatives in it.
Here's What You Need:
- beef bones
- Bay leaf
- apple cider vinegar
- whole peppercorns
What's a Crockpot?
A slow cooker, best known by its brand name, Crockpot, is an electric appliance that cooks at a very low voltage and a low temperature. I can prep all of my ingredients, put them in the pot, and let them cook at a steady temperature all day and overnight without worrying about it.
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.
How to Make Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker
Step 1) Roast the Bones
Rinse the bones and pat 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 sauteed 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 for one hour, or bring it 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
How to Make Bone Broth on the Stove
If you want to use this recipe to make your stock on the stovetop, follow the directions in this recipe.
Place all of the ingredients in a stockpot over high heat and 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.
Let it simmer (not boil) covered for 3-12 hours.
If you need to run out for an hour or while the soup is cooking, 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.
TIP: Keep the pot covered while the broth is cooking. Every time you open the lid, you allow 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.
How to Add Meat to the Pot
You can add meat to the pot and have lunch or dinner while the stock is cooking.
Add a piece of chuck steak or short ribs to the crockpot. Let it cook for 3 hours, and then remove it. Whole Foods has grass-fed chuck steak behind the counter by the butcher which is not expensive.
I usually sear the meat first, seasoned with sea salt, and then put it in the crockpot with the bones. You can also add a few more peeled carrots and celery stalks.
How to Store Bone Broth
I ladle the cooled broth into 12-ounce containers, 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 then distribute it 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.
Refrigerate for 3-4 days in airtight containers or freeze in serving containers.
Can You Freeze Bone Broth?
I have a theory that everything that goes into the freezer comes out worse, except the bone broth!
I freeze a few quarts at a time and then have broth for the month.
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.
For More Kaufmann Phase One Recipes Try:
If you're not going to consume all the bone broth, freeze it in containers for another use. I don't like freezing a lot of things, but bone broth can easily be defrosted without a loss of taste.
Yes, I often add a piece of chuck steak or rib bones to the pot while the broth is cooking. You can let the meat cook for 3 hours or so in the broth and then pull it out and eat it.
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 stainless steel roasting pan. Place pan in the oven and roast for one hour.
- 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 until well-browned. Remove from pan and place veggies in the crockpot.
- Add remaining ingredients and bones with accumulated fat from the pan into the crockpot and fill the pot with water leaving 2” on the top. You might not fit the whole gallon of water.
- 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 for 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 the fat from the top of the soup before using it.
- Season broth with salt and enjoy.