Beef Share Benefit: Easy, Nutritious Bone Broth
The ability to easily and inexpensively make your own bone broth is one of the benefits of purchasing a beef share from North of Nowhere Farm. It’s also a great way to enhance nose-to-tail use of an animal.
Bone broth isn’t just a soup base any more. The clear, protein-rich liquid has become popular as a delicious, healthy sipping beverage. If you swap out a cup of coffee for a cup of hot bone broth, your joints, skin, and digestive system will thank you. This is because when you simmer beef bones in water, the bones release the collagen protein, vitamins, and minerals stored inside. The broth delivers the healthy nutrients in a format that your body can easily absorb and use.
Daren recently made a batch of beef bone broth when he was fighting a cold and wanted a natural vitamin and amino acids boost. Don’t wait until you’re sick to try it though! Consider making bone broth a part of your dietary routine, if not for sipping at least as a savory cooking liquid for grains or legumes or a superior soup base.
Daren’s Beef Bone Broth
Makes about 8 cups.
Before you Begin: Make sure you have 2 to 4 cups of vegetable odds-and-ends on hand. A good way to manage this (and lessen food waste) is to throw vegetable ends and unused pieces into a bag in the freezer whenever you’re cooking veggies for meals.
Step 1: Thaw and then roast beef bones (and some veggies, too, if you’d like) in a 450-degree oven or on a grill for 30-40 minutes, turning once during the roasting time. Roasting is optional, but it WILL enhance the flavor and richness of the broth.
Here are the basics for the veggies and bones, but use what you have on hand and make it your own:
- 4 pounds of a mix of marrow bones and meaty beef bones
- 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
Step 2: Start the ‘low and slow’ cooking process in a slow cooker or a 6-quart or larger stock pot with lid. Scrape the roasted bones and the vegetables into the pot with:
- 12 cups of filtered water (add more water if needed to cover the contents)
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (don’t skip this; the acidity enhances nutrient extraction from bones)
- Seasonings of your choice, such as bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, etc.
Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook with the lid slightly ajar for at least 8 hours, but up to 24 hours on the stovetop or in a crockpot. (Don’t leave an unattended pot on the stovetop; just cool and refrigerate it and continue the next day.)
- Skim foam and excess fat from the top of the broth occasionally during cooking.
- Add more water if necessary to ensure bones and vegetables are fully covered.
- Don’t skimp on time: the longer you simmer, the tastier your broth will be!
Step 3: Turn off the heat and let the pot contents cool slightly. Remove the bones from the liquid and discard them. Then strain the liquid using a fine-mesh sieve to remove the vegetables and other solids from the liquid. Let cool until barely warm, then refrigerate overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth.
Bone broth can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It can be stored up to 6 months in the freezer.
As always, the quality of ingredients matters. When you use bones from North of Nowhere Farm’s pasture-raised cattle who have never been given growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics, you can feel confident in the healthfulness of your homemade beef bone broth.