Learn how to make gut-healthy beef bone broth, to nourish, heal, and warm your body, and soothe and bolster your spirit.
Is Bone Broth a new thing?
Goodness, no. Bone broth has a rich and ancient history.
In fact, it’s pretty difficult to parce exactly where it all began, because for nearly every culture around the world, since the beginning of recorded history, broths and soups were and still are a dietary staple.
Bone broth, in fact, predates the bowls and cups from which it would some day in the future be sipped! The cooks in the families would serve soups and broths as a key way for their families to absorb nourishing vitamins and minerals, before bowls were even invented!
In the book, Nourishing Broth, author Sally Fallon Morell notes:
“Native Americans boiled bones in water by putting hot rocks into baskets lined with clay…”
Also she notes that in Asia, cooks sealed the ends of bamboo tubes and used them as a way to consume the hearty liquid. People of all cultures probably would have dropped fire-heated rocks into the stomachs of slain animals to make broth.
In every case, these ancient cultures made and drank nourishing bone broths with, after all, the same intentions: to nourish, to heal and to satisfy in a quick and easy manner.
A few things today remain just the same: our need for nourishment, for calories, vitamins, minerals and for a nice warm brothee to warm the cockles of our hearts – or more historically,’ the kachels of our hearths!’ Even though I’m a fairly modern woman (what?? I have a robo vacuum!!) there is something to be said for a staple food that has stood the test of time.
Bone broth has survived generation after generation after generation. And if it was good enough for the native Americans, the ancient Greeks, and my grandma, then it’s certainly good enough for me!
Besides being a competent broth maker (I wouldn’t say so myself, but my friends say that I make an excellent broth) I’m also a “super sniffer” and not only do I have refined sense of smell, I also have a fairly well-tuned intuition, and my intuition (the two are linked) says that our world is not done with challenging times.
Personally I think there’s no better time to not only learn how to feed and nourish your own family (instead of relying on the stores being fully stocked), but also how to make good meals that don’t cost o’er much.
Gentle reader. You know that I love making nourishing food for my family. I also love being able to take something that comes free (or nearly free) from the butcher and making something as wonderful as bone broth with it.
It’s an upside-down world, for sure, isn’t it?
Prices are rising so fast that your head might spin when you go to buy your comestibles, and yet some things that have so much potential value–like a bag of good beef bones for broth–are considered trash. At least they are at the butcher shop where I do my shopping.
How can Bone Broth nourish my body?
Great question! From what I’ve read, bone broth:
- Adds a good helping of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to your diet.
- Is helpful in healing gut issues.
- Can reduce inflammation and other health issues.
- May slow down and help prevent aging-related illnesses.
- Tastes fantastic, if you’ve got a decent recipe.
I’m Ready! How do I make this miraculous substance?
This is how I make my beef bone broth. I have a two-brothed-process: first, I make a “first broth,” and then a second, richer “bone broth.” (If you’re pressed for time, you can certainly just skip the first broth step. I make bone broth on a day that I’m home all day, usually.)
1. First, roast your beef bones with a few veg: an onion, a couple carrots and celery sticks, a head of garlic.
2. When the bones are nicely browned, put them and the veg into your biggest stock pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
3. Skim off the sketchy-looking foam, and discard (or put on top of the dogs’ dinner; that’s what I do–they love it, of course). Reduce heat and simmer for three or four hours.
4. Remove from heat and strain through a colander. At this point, remove any meat scraps that might have cooked off the bones. You can also use the cooked veg for soups (or toss to your chooks).
5. Make this first broth into soups, or sip it hot as a nourishing daily beverage. Pro tip: I chill this first broth, and remove the fat that congeals on the top. I’ll use this fat for frying potatoes, eggs, or stir fried veggies.
6. Return bones to a big crock pot, or your stock pot, and cover with water again. Also add some veg, herbs, and a few other things to add flavor (see the complete recipe below). Also add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This will help pull nourishing minerals out of the bones.
7. Cook on low for at least twenty-four hours.
8. Again, strain the bones and veg, and chill the broth.
9. Use bone broth as you would other broths, or sip a cup of it daily to provide gut-healing nourishment, vitamins, and minerals. This second broth will be very strong, and I usually thin it because I like the taste better. It will be good for several days in the ‘fridge, or for 6 to 12 months in the freezer.
And here’s a printable recipe for you, with all the deets:
Nourishing Beef Bone Broth
- 5 pounds beef marrow bones, joints, etc.
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved cross-wise
- 3 stalks of celery, halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tb peppercorns
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 Tb apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place bones and veg (carrots, onions, garlic, celery) to the roasting pans. They should only be in a single layer. Use two pans if necessary.
- Roast for about 30 minutes before gently tossing the bones and vegetables, and roasting for an additional 15-30 minutes more.
- Transfer bones and vegetables to your stockpot. Also scrape up any remaining bits and juices remaining in the roasting pan using a metal spatula and a little water, if needed, and add to your stock pot.
- Fill your pot with approximately 12 cups water, or until bones are fully submerged. Bring the bones to a rolling boil. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, parsley, and cinnamon sticks to the stock pot. Cover the pot and reduce heat, bringing it down to a simmer. Skim any foam or excess fat off the top, when you notice it forming. Simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Strain broth through colander and chill. (You may use the first broth for soups, stews, or sipping.) When cool enough to handle, transfer bones and veg into a large crock-pot, removing meat scraps and setting aside. Add 1 Tb apple cider vinegar. Cover with water again, and cook on "low" for at least 24 hours.
- Strain a second time, discarding all veg and bones (our chooks love the worn out veg; the doggies adore the bones). Chill, and remove fat from the top.
- Taste and add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Refrigerate and use within 4-5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
I’ve made my beef bone broth like this for decades, but I picked up a few ideas from the excellent foodie blog The Forked Spoon.
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More broths you’re gonna want to try:
- Hot & Spicy Chicken Broth, especially good for getting over colds and flus
- How to Make Bone Broth with Chicken Bones (& feet!)
- Hot ‘n’ Spicy Chicken & Veg Soup--use your chicken broth to make this!
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