I feel like I am going against everything I do not like about food culture by sharing a recipe for beef bone broth. When I first heard about bone broth, I was shocked at the money people were selling beef bone broth for as I considered it stock. I still kind of do but stick with me. I started talking with butchers in the area about the differences between Bone Broth and Stock, and what all the fuss was. They explained that bone broth was being used to boost the immune system and that many doctors, as well as hospitals, were prescribing it to patients as there are may nutritional values associated with eating it. I continued my research but honestly was still a bit skeptical until I started making beef bone broth.
Fast forward a few months to present day. Lenny has been doing research on fasting and how it is helping people with illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. We have a good friend who was diagnosed with cancer, as well Lenny’s father and my mother are diabetic. Honestly, I believe he is worried more about aging and us getting sick too. About the time he started reading about fasting, I was reading about my friend Stephanie who had started the thirty-day healing green broth challenge. It was kind of the best of both worlds; Lenny wanted to fast, I did not too, but I was willing to give the bone broth a try and it was an option in his fasting research. We have not been consistent with following the thirty days since we travel frequently, but we have been adding it to our menu planning routine when home. Benefits? I have noticed my nails and hair are growing more. Both of us feel stronger and have more energy. Knock on wood as neither of us has gotten sick yet with a dreaded winter traveling cold or the flu.
Here is what I have researched on the differences between stock, broth and bone broth as well as healing green broth.
Stock – is basically water that is simmered with some sort of animal bones as well as bones with meat (oxtails for example) and vegetables and herbs. When I make stock I roast everything together before simmering with water as I find it makes a richer base. I will cook my stock for at least a full day and if I have time up to two days. It is thick with a gelatinous consistency. A stock is not used on its own it is always used to deglaze a pan, make gravy or can be used in soup or stew if you do not have broth.
Broth – is made using meat, vegetables, herbs, and water. It is cooked for a short amount of time, typically an hour up to 2 hours. It is meant to be light and flavorful. You can enjoy a cup of broth on its own or mix with soup as a base. It will stay fluid and not become gelatinous.
Bone Broth – is made using bones that roasted and then simmered with water for a long period of time. Everyone I have talked to said not to add herbs, carrots or celery. To keep it as pure as possible. The purpose is to not add extra ingredients such as sugar (from carrots) and to keep all the nutrients the bones provide. After roasting the bones they are simmered with water, onion and you can add garlic for three days. The goal is to extract all the gelatin and minerals from the bones. It will be very gelatinous.
Healing Green Broth – is a mixture of rich bone broth and fresh herbs blended together and then enjoyed. I add Vital Proteins Collagen and grass-fed butter to the one we enjoy for lunch. It is really very filling and I feel satisfied enjoying it for lunch. If I am extra hungry I might add a salad alongside.
Now to my recipe for rich Beef Bone Broth, which by the way is outstanding. What I have learned from the butchers I talked to is that you want to use the best animal bones you can get. Grass-fed and free of antibiotics is the best option as you are cooking the bones down to get as much as of them as possible. The last thing you want to do is use polluted bones and meat. For this Beef Bone Broth recipe, I use a mixture of grass-fed bones as well as some with marrow and an oxtail. I use a small amount of melted down beef tallow or olive oil to roast the bones. I do not add salt or pepper nor any vegetables. I want it to be as sugar and salt-free as possible, otherwise, what is the purpose. I add half of a yellow onion and some garlic, then let it simmer and do its thing for three days. I have to admit I was skeptical at first but now I am digging this recipe as it is rich and flavorful as well I tend to feel pretty good after a few days of enjoying. Plus, longer nails is a treat!
Since I started writing about bone broth, I have been getting emails about showing the steps. I made a batch last week, decided to shoot the process. I have updated my process after reading the cookbook Brodo. Though I feel confident about the bones I am buying he does talk about how bones can be contaminated. To be sure, I am now simmering the bones for an hour before roasting.
** if you would like to see step by step photos of the process please head to our Pork Bone Broth recipe. I have updated my process since February 2018.
Beef Bone Broth
I use a 5 1/4 quart dutch oven to cook the broth in – makes between 12 – 14 (1 cup) servings.
5 pounds grass-fed beef bones
20 cups of water
1/2 yellow onion, paper left on
3 cloves garlic, smashed and paper left on
drizzle olive oil
Place the bones into the dutch oven and cover with cold water. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Every 15 minutes for an hour, I skim off any foam that is on the top. I did not have any foam until the last 15 minutes – see the above photo.
Drain the bones into a colander.
Preheat oven to 250.
Place bones into the dutch oven. Drizzle with some olive oil.
Slide into the oven and roast for 3 hours. Every hour, I use a wooden spoon to move the bones around.
Remove from the oven, place on the stove on medium heat and add the water, onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 5 hours. I stir every hour. If the level of water goes down more than an inch I add more water to the pot. Once the 5 hours is up, I turn off the stove and let the mixture cool down. Then I place in the refrigerator overnight.
Next morning while I am making coffee, I take the pot out and let it come to room temperature for an hour. Then I skim off any fat that has solidified on top before heating the mixture up over a very low heat. I continue cooking for the entire day – about 7 hours. Then I let it cool and repeat the process the next day.
After cooking on the third day, I let the broth cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator. The next day, I scrape off any fat, reheat and then I strain through a colander lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl or pot. Then I place back into the dutch oven and gently heat.
Remove from the heat then pour into freezer-proof glass jars. I like to use the 4 cup Weck Tulip jars. I only fill to the top of the Weck logo which is about 6 1/2 ladles as it will expand when frozen. You may have to play around with the amounts for the jars you have. Let cool to room temperature, then seal and place into the freezer.