Sunday, September 2, 2012

Real Food Series: Beef Bone Broth/ Stock

Beef Bone Broth/Stock

The one everyone seems to be waiting for! I sure hope it here is how I make it. 

There are so many different ideas on how long to simmer beef bone broth/ stock for. I have always simmered for at least 24 hours, however recently changed to simmering for only 3-4 hoursAfter meeting with Emma the other day she explained that simmering any longer will damage essential nutrients especially those contained in the bone marrow. 

A longer simmer will yield a much more gelatinous broth, however I rather my broth has all nutrients in tact and instead you can simply add in some high quality bovine gelatin. (I add this into all our meals so usually don't bother adding it into the stock itself).  Emma suggested that by leaving your stock out on the bench overnight unstrained, you will get a slightly more gelatinous broth than if you were to strain and refrigerate/ freeze right after simmering. 

After changing to a shorter simmer, l noticed that my broth was much more creamy looking and pale. 

What to use beef bone broth for? Every time you eat a muscle meat, you should be consuming bone broth. (see this post for why) I usually do this by including cups of bone broth with the meat when slow cooking or making my nutrient rich gravy (recipe coming) to serve with a slow cooked roast.  Use it as the basis for your soups. As Emma says it is like liquid collagen and immunity. 

From the pantry

Grass fed, grass finished beef bones - always try to get some marrow bones 
Filtered water
1 red or brown onion
3 cloves garlic
1 leek
2 carrots
3 celery stalks 
a few glugs of raw apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
fresh herbs - I usually use thyme or lemon thyme
1 teaspoon white peppercorns

(play around with the about quantities, I really just use whatever is in the fridge)

Lets begin

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
2. Roast your beef bones in oven until browned.* I do this on a sheet of baking paper. 
3. Transfer bones into stock pot, however do not pour in any of the fat or juices that may have come out of the bones.
4. Add in roughly chopped vegetables, apple cider vinegar, herbs, garlic cloves whole
5. Cover with filtered water
6. Turn on heat and simmer 
7. Remove any froth/ scrum that floats to the top 
8. Continue to simmer on a low heat for 3-4 hours, no longer. 
9. After this time, turn off heat and leave to sit on bench overnight or for the rest of the day**.
10. Strain, disgard solids and pour liquid into glass containers. Store in refrigerator (no more than 3/4 days) or freezer. 

I like to make ice cubes with some of the stock (as you can see in above image). Once frozen I pop them out and store in a container in the freezer. This way I have portions available for adding into everything or just sipping before a meal.  

*Emma has suggested roasting the vegetables also - I haven't yet tried this, however I am sure it would enhance the flavour of the stock. 

**As mentioned above, this is supposed to increase the gelatin in the broth. It is not necessary however as the broth is still packed full of minerals as you haven't over boiled it. If you prefer simply strain at this point after it has cooled. 

to see more of the real food series, click below:


  1. Thank you for all the information you've included about its benefits - I'm really interested in this and will do some more reading! We tend to eat a lot of BBQ meats in summer - how would you incorporate this broth into summer meals?

    1. Nutrition is so interesting, although there are just so many perspectives. I guess you read and make up your mind as to what makes sense to you :) I will think of some ideas for you and post about it in the coming weeks. thanks for popping by x

  2. Thanks Natalie. I made beef stock for the first time a week or so ago. I halved the simmer time (because I needed to go to bed!) and noticed that my broth was very gelatinous and pale like you mentioned here. I will definitely give roasting a go next time. xx

    PS. Leftover meatballs for dinner tonight. YUM!

  3. i have been simmering my beef stock for 24 hours + but i will give it a shorter time next time i make it and see how it goes. i made your very yummy fish stock and then the soup a couple of nights ago and love it. so quick too which is a bonus.

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  5. Hey Nat, so great that you got to the bottom of this! And as you suggested, when i've left it overnight to cool after a short simmer it has always gelled for me so it's a win-win solution. See you Sunday week :) xx

  6. Ok so I have another question Natalie! Sorry! But approx how many/kgs/peices bones do you use and are the bones raw or cooked? and do you buy the bones seperately for this sole purpose , or do you just get them from your meat you buy? I know, I know 50 questions!Cassie

  7. I have a question. Do you ever put it in the slow cooker, instead of simmering on the stove?
    Do you think this would change it positively or negatively, and would you start the simmer time when it actually gets up to a simmer, or as soon as everything gets warm?

    talia.carbis (@)


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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