If you’ve been searching the internet to learn how to make your own healing bone broth with beef bones, you’ve come to the right place!
Once you realize how beautifully simple & easy it is, you’re going to wonder why you haven’t been doing it for years. I do understand it can feel daunting though. I remember the first time I made bone broth I was a nervous wreck! Could I ruin it? Would it taste bad? Would I even use it? Would my husband be concerned about me collecting discarded carcasses from our dinner table to store in our freezer? As it turns out, it’s not so strange to him anymore.
If you think beef broth isn’t your thing see my post on How to Make Home Made Chicken Stock.
How to Make Your Own Healing Bone Broth
About 3(ish) Pounds of Grass Fed Beef Bones – Personally I prefer to use Soup Bones or as they’re called on US Wellness Meats, Osso Buco. You can also use ox tail, marrow bones, etc. Get creative! I was able to get my bones from a local rancher but I love that you can order grass fed meat & bones online. I’ll definitely be ordering from US Wellness Meats so I can stock my freezer! (I would only recommend using grass fed bones so if you can’t get them in your area, now you know where you can order them. If you buy your bones locally make sure they are labeled grass fed). Why do I prefer these bones? I like them because they have meat all around the bone & as it sits & simmers all day, the meat gets tender & shreds like butter. I like to save the meat & use it for anything (can you ever go wrong with fresh beef in your fridge??). You can add it to eggs, use it in soup or just eat it plain as a snack! Worst case, I freeze the meat & use it for a night when cooking just isn’t happening.
Water – This isn’t an exact measurement. Just fill your stock pot with water until it covers all the bones. (If you plan on starting your stock on the stove & then transferring it to a crock pot make sure your water will fit in that container).
Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 Tablespoons – This isn’t just any ACV. No, you need the ‘mother’. The only Apple Cider Vinegar I recommend is Bragg’s. The ACV is really a very important part as it pulls the minerals out of the bones.
Whole Dried Peppercorns – 1 Tablespoon – Take these babies one step further by smashing or popping them. You can use a mortar & pestle or like me, the back of a spoon in a cup. The peppercorns help carry the minerals into your system.
Optional Ingredients to Increase Flavor – Dried Bay Leaves, Onions, Carrots, Celery or Fresh Sage. You can absolutely just do bones for flavor but I find I’m more likely to drink the broth when it’s flavored with vegetables & herbs. Experiment & see what flavors you like best.
Personally, I like to use two pots for my stock. You can begin in a stock pot & then transfer to a crock pot (as I do) or you can just keep it in one pot the whole time. To begin, you’ll need to bring the stock to a boil & I’ve yet to be able to boil my crock pot. I’ve heard it can happen but it takes a long, long, really long time. You can also just keep your stock on your stove top. There’s a few reasons I don’t do that though. My husband doesn’t like me leaving the stove unattended so a simmering pot on the stove leaves me housebound. Also, I wouldn’t feel comfortable to leave it there overnight. And finally, it takes up valuable real estate on my stovetop!
First, combine your ingredients in your stock pot & let it sit there, without heat, for about an hour. If you plan on transferring it to a crock pot, I would also turn your crock on low at this point. You won’t want to pour warm broth into a cold crock.
Next, you’ll bring your pot to a boil. At this point, there may be some ‘scum’ that rises to the top. I’ve had this happen a few times & it’s very easy to just skim it off the top. (If you’ve committed to keeping your broth on your stove top for the duration of the time, at this point turn it down to simmer on low & cover).
After my broth has started boiling I turn the heat off so I can transfer it to my crock pot. First I use tongs to remove the soup bones. Be very careful you’re using something you feel can confidently carry your soup bone to the new container. There’s nothing worse than having that bone slip & plunk back into the hot water. Not that I’d know about that from personal experience…
Once your bones are transferred to your crock pot safely, pour the rest of the water, vegetables, etc into your crock. It would be at this point, you’ll learn if you properly estimated how much water would fit in your crock pot. Again, not that I would know this from personal experience.
Cover your crock pot & let it simmer on low. Then forget about it.
Now you have a few choices on how hard core you want to take this stock. You can let it cook for 4-5 hours. You can let it cook for 10-12. You can even let it cook for 72 hours as long as you’re checking it & adding more water as need be. It really depends on how gnarly & concentrated you want your broth. At some point (after about 24-48 hours), all the fats & bits hiding inside the bones sort of break down into this sludge. For me, it isn’t palatable alone. It needs to be added to other liquids. I have heard of people being able to drink this. I have heard of people removing the bones & blending all the extras (fat & cartilage) back together (think meat smoothie…?) & then adding it a spoonful at a time into soups or less strong broth. The choice is up to you. For me, my magic number is usually around 5 – 8 hours & I still feel confident I’m getting all the good benefits.
You’re probably wondering why you’d even want to go further with your bones? What’s the point of simmering for days? When I get a pretty good collection of bones sometimes I will do this. The picture below is of a bone broth I simmered for about 3 days. I put it in my crock put & just continued to add water to it as it went below the top of the bones. What results is a super thick, gelatin broth. I keep this in my fridge & add a tablespoon or so to cups of broth or soup. The gelatin that you get is a super concentrated, vitamin punch. It’s essential for helping to heal your gut & I use it every day for my youngest guy who’s on the GAPS diet.
Once you’re satisfied with how long your broth has simmered, let it cool. This is where I tell you I’m not responsible for you injuring yourself by trying to ladle burning hot broth into mason jars. So please, let it cool.
While it’s cooling I like to fish my soup bones out. The meat typically has not all fallen off so I shred the meat into a dish & either save it for meals during the week or freeze it for later. I make sure to add some broth to the shredded meat.
Once your bones are removed – don’t throw them away! You can totally use the bones again. I like to throw them in with all new ones next time I make my stock.
Remove any large pieces of vegetables or bay leaves/herbs you may have used & then fill up your mason jars by pouring the stock through a mesh strainer. Two 3ish lb soup bones usually gives me enough stock for 2 one quart mason jars & a little left over for a cup right then. If you intend to freeze your jars, make sure you leave plenty of room for the liquid to expand. When you place them in the freezer you should also just leave the lid to rest & not screw it down too tightly. You do not want this jar busting as the liquid freezes. Yes, I can tell you this from personal experience. Nothing is worse than chucking out your broth because you filled your jar too full & it split.
Now it’s time to enjoy your broth! Personally for me, the taste of bone broth alone isn’t amazing unless you add a scoop of grass fed butter or ghee. Then, it’s so creamy & divine it actually tastes like something you want to drink!
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