Beef Bone Broth

beef bone marrow bones make for a delicious, dark and nutrient-filled broth.

beef bone marrow bones make for a delicious, dark and nutrient-filled broth.

What is Bone Broth?

Oh the things we do to stay young. If you haven’t heard of bone broth – it’s exactly as it sounds. Broth made with bones. It has plenty of collagen and is good for your skin and your stomach. For many, beef bone broth has a semi-ick factor, until you drink it. Then, it’s delicious.

So maybe you think drinking a broth made out of bones is gross. Well, before starting paleo, I did. I was naive and back then, I didn’t think twice about what was in the broth that I’d buy at the store. At least when you make your own, you know you’re using healthy bones from healthy animals.

Now, things are different. Forget bag lady – I’ve become a bone lady. I’m proud of it too. I buy bones on the cheap from local farmers and when I buy local and organic cuts of meat, I’ll sometimes buy bone-in and save those too. More bones = better broth = beauty.

So what is bone broth? It’s a mineral rich soup – with plenty of gelatin and collagen. It’s good for your gut and for digestion. It can also help with joint pain, thyroid issues and can help remove toxins. Here’s a good breakdown for why you should drink this stuff.

How do you make Bone Broth?

You can make many types of bone broth: Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Goat, Beef. For this particular bone broth recipe, I used beef marrow bones. Marrow bones are delicious and make your broth a beautiful and rich dark brown color. Grassfed beef marrow bones are more expensive than regular grassfed beef soup bones; use what you can get your hands on and as long as the bones are grassfed, you’ll see benefits. I cook my beef bones for awhile (45 hours) and add water to the crock pot as the broth is cooking. I make sure the water level is slightly above the bones – I don’t add too much because I like a concentrated broth. That way, I can drink a little and get a lot of benefit. I’ll say though – in the winter, I don’t mind drinking a lot of this stuff.

When you make this broth, you should first parboil the bones. Don’t skip this step. By boiling your bones (with a little white wine – a tip from my godmother, Mailan), you’ll remove or reduce impurities and scum from the broth. You’ll also remove some of that bone smell. Dump out the water, rinse your bones and put them in your slow cooker. Add any spices or vegetable scraps and then pour enough water to barely cover the bones. I set my beef marrow bones in my slow cooker and cooked on low for about 45 hours (you can do anywhere from 10 hours to let’s say 48 hours). Occasionally check on your broth and if the water level goes below the bones, just add a little more water. Strain your broth, put it in a container and let it cool. Then put it in the fridge for several hours.

When you take it out of the fridge, you’ll notice a layer of fat on top.

bone broth

fat layer on top of broth

Underneath the fat you should see what looks like beef jello. The more jiggly it is – the more collagen you’ve got in your broth. It’s better than any pill and again, it’s supposed to help heal and seal the gut.

beef jello

beef jello

Should you save or toss the fat on top of the broth? Ask any of your paleo friends and they’ll probably have a strong opinion about this. Some save the fat and use it for cooking. Some throw it away citing possible toxins (if you’re making a chicken bone broth – the fat on top could be high in polyunsaturated fatty acids so you may want to toss that). Our paleolithic ancestors probably ate the fat. Really, it’s up to you.

Here’s what I do – I leave the fat on top of the broth until I’m ready to use it or ready to store it in the freezer. Then, I toss the fat. The fat is what keeps bacteria from entering the beef jello. My thought is that if it’s acting as a barrier between bacteria and broth… then I don’t want to eat it. That said, I’m not sure I won’t change my mind about this one day. It does pain me to waste what looks like delicious fat.

If you want to freeze your broth then I suggest scooping the jello into ice cube trays.

freeze into cubes

freeze into cubes

Once they freeze, put them in a ziplock bag – it’ll take up less space than a container.

freeze broth and store in ziplock bags

store in freezer bags (these are just a few cubes, not all my broth!)

So what can you do with Bone Broth?

Once you remove the fat, you can warm up the jello and drink it up.

If drinking broth isn’t your cup of tea, then use it the way you’d use a stock in any recipe (i.e. stir-fry, curry, stew, soup). I recently used bone broth to braise some veggies. It was amazing. Bone broth will add a rich beefy flavor to your food.

More questions about Bone Broth and Gelatin?

My friend Sylvie has written an ebook called, The Gelatin Secret, and it will teach you everything you want to know about gelatin, including why it’s good for you and how to use it to repair your gut and improve your health. Not only does she offer troubleshooting tips for making bone broth, she also provides delicious recipes on how you can incorporate more bone broth into your diet.

gelatin-secret-book

 This book also includes recipes using high-quality grassfed gelatin (this is the one I use). You can click here to learn more about The Gelatin Secret and download it instantly.

click-here-to-order-gelatin

Beef Bone Broth
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs beef marrow bones
  • splash of white wine (only use for parboiling the bones)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 inch ginger, cut in half
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorn
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Bring the bones to a boil in a saucepan filled with water and a splash of white wine and then dump out the water (this helps rid of bone smell).
  2. Rinse the bones with water and then put them into a crock pot.
  3. Add your other ingredients and add enough water to barely cover the bones. Put the crockpot on low and cook for 10-48 hours. (I cooked for 45 hours). Check on your broth occasionally and if the water level drops below the bones, just add more.
  4. Strain the broth, put it in a container and let it cool. Once cool, put it in the fridge, and after several hours, skim off the fat.
  5. Warm it up and drink it, use it in a recipe or store it in the freezer.

Comments

  1. Kandy says

    I have bones in the freezer to make this…however right now I am having gout issues so this will have to be put off….really want some!

  2. Pauline says

    Hmmm, mine didn’t come out like jello like yours. I cooked for 3 days. I’m using it for roast beef dip and also drinking. I thought it would have a bit more flavor than it does. Maybe I was expecting it to be saltier like regular broth. At any rate I am enjoying drinking it knowing how healthy it is for me!

  3. Deborah says

    I am new to bone broth soup. My first batch I ended up throuwing alot out. Todays batch hit the spot because I had not been feeling well. I noticed I may not have strained enough of the fat out as I just used a utensil with a holes in it to pull out the bones etc, I added some root veggies and ate it all day as both a broth and a stew. By the end there seemes like their was alot of fat that dried on the utensils and my tough was coated. My question is what does that beef fat do in the body and should I have done a better job staining it? My next batch is cooking. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Eileen, are you using marrow bones or regular soup bones? Is your broth gelling? As long as you’re using grassfed beef bones, then I think you will still reap the benefits.

  4. Alicia says

    I went to whole foods and got bones they said they were all natural not
    Organic is this the same as grass fed? And does it always have to gel? I put mine in the crock pot for 20 hours and it’s not gel it’s more soup like? Should I have asked for marrow bones?

  5. Kate says

    So won’t the marrow get boiled out and tossed with parboiling? I thought marrow was supposed to be really good for you.

  6. Cindy says

    I’ve made the broth and froze it in ice cube trays. I was wondering how concentrated this is for use in cooking etc. How many cubes to add, etc.

  7. Dede says

    Love the flavor of this broth. I am new to crock pot cooking, not to bone broths. My stove top broths always come out like Jell-O! However, this recipe for me did not gel at all. I have a very old Dazey combo slow cooker crock pot/deep fryer and it does’t have traditional hi/lo settings like a slow cooker/crock pot, rather, it has temperature settings. I never went above 250, except for when I added the par-boiled marrow bones to get some movement in the water, then immediately turned down to 225-250 for 45 hours. Is this considered too high on a crock pot/slow cooker? Also, I definitely didn;t have too much water either. Any slow cooker/crock pot pros out there have any idea why my broth didn’t gel?

  8. bhargava says

    Is there any study on the type of fat that accumulates over the broth made from grass fed beef bones? Do you have any idea about the monounsaturated, polyunsaturated content of beef broth fat?

  9. says

    Ashlee,
    I normally bake the bones and then slow cook them..
    But I like your tactic of boiling them first to reduce the toxins & smell. Do you think it would be ok to boil, bake,then slow cook? Or do you feel I can skip the baking part?

  10. Jac says

    Hi, I have a question for everyone. I’ve been bone brothing for months, mostly with chicken as I always have the bones and our local organic butcher has cheap bags of offcuts and wings that I roast and then throw in.

    The last time I did it though, in the slow cooker for a couple of days with a three hour blast of the pressure cooker, my broth didn’t gel at all and there was no fat on top, just a layer of fatty brown scum. I scraped it off and stored the broth, but one worried I’ve down something to destroy the goodness.

    Has anyone else experienced this??

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