How to Make Beef Broth

There’s nothing very beautiful about pictures of soup bones and vegetables floating in water.  And yet, here I am again, just like the time I showed you all the pictures of my chicken carcasses.  Some people create adorable collages of their children.  Me?  I spent time yesterday crafting a collage of my beef broth.  Isn’t it precious?  Take note of the fatty bubbles floating along at the top of the jar.  I’m so proud.

Homemade Beef Broth

Beef Broth is as fantastic for your body as Chicken Broth.  There are so many minerals we need that we can get from beef bones, such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, and potassium – all in their natural, beneficial, and digestible form.  The vegetables you add to the pot of broth are invaluable.  And the best part?  Making homemade broth is one of the most inexpensive ways to provide nourishment to yourself and to your family members.

Look into buying Beef Soup Bones.  There’s still a little meat on the bones (more on that later), but mostly you’re just going to pay a small amount for a package of bones.  Cook those mineral-filled-bones in a pot with water and veggies, and you’ve just created several jars full of nutritional goodness for a very tiny amount of money.

Here’s how I make Beef Broth.  As you can tell from my collage above, my process is very fancy and exact:

1.  Place thawed or frozen beef soup bones into a large kettle or stock pot.
2.  Add, to your heart’s content, chunks of onion, carrots, leeks, celery and/or any other veggie you enjoy in your broth.
3.  Fill your pot with water.
4.  Sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
5.  Cover and simmer pot of water/veggies/soup bones for 4-6 hours.  Or more.  Or less.  Or whatever works for you.
6.  Remove soup bones from pot.  Pull cooked beef off the bones with a fork, and set meat aside for soup or salads.
7.  Blend liquid and vegetables together until smooth.
8.  Allow broth to cool, then refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use it to make soup, cook rice, or add it to a recipe.

That meat you’ll pull off the bones?  It tastes incredible because it’s right by the bone and has been cooked low and slow.  I love it in chef salads.  I also snack on it as I’m pulling it off the bones.

Why do I blend all the veggies into the broth?  Because after 6 hours of simmering, they are mushy.  When I blend them in, they just become part of the nutritious broth.  Depending on the number of carrots I use, my broth might turn orange.  No matter.  It’s delicious.

Once you’ve made Beef Broth, what can you do with it?  You can use it to make Beefy Vegetable Soup.  You can also use it in any recipe that calls for chicken broth – like my Cheeseburger Soup or Pizza Soup.  Cook rice in broth for extra nourishment and flavor in a side dish – or add that wonderful rice to Cheesy Beef and Rice.  Follow my instructions for Chicken Noodle Soup, but instead use beef broth and the meat that came off the bones for Beef-n-Noodles.

What other ideas do you have?  What ways do you use Beef Broth? 

Isn’t this a wonderful way to be healthy and save money at the same time?!

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  1. Abby says

    Do you purchase organic bones and veggies to make the broth?


    Laura Reply:

    Typically, I do have those available to use. But for anyone who doesn’t, using non-organic ingredients will still produce a very healthy broth!


  2. Melissa Wheeler says

    I like to make homemade pot pies, which call for broth to make the gravy. So, when I make beef pot pies I use beef broth, ham broth for ham and cheese pie, and so on. I think it would also be good as a base for stroganof or to add to the slow cooker when making a beef roast to add a little flavor.


  3. Carolyn Stutz says

    I love the idea of blending the veggies in – how smart of you!
    I always bake my bones first. I found my how-to in a Taste of home magazine years ago. Then I read recently (within the last few months) there’s a (beneficial) reason behind it. If my life depended on it, I couldn’t tell you what it was, unfortunately. However, baking the bones first does give it a richer flavor. I’ve got the beef bones just no room in my freezer for all the broth I would get. Not a complaint; just a statement! It probably has something to do with the 7 turkey carcasses that are still in there – ha!


    Amanda Reply:

    I’ve also heard that roasing the bones first is the way to go. I have 4 packages of bones in my freezer from our last beef purchase and still haven’t made broth with them yet.

    Time to get on that!


  4. Kathy says

    I also bake the bones first- I think it just helps w/ flavoring. I also read that using 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar in a big pot will help the bones release their minerals and gelatin. I do mine in the slow cooker-smells so good!


  5. Mary-Ann says

    I also add apple cider vinegar and several cloves of garlic. Just made beef and chicken broth this week! I love making and using it. Cool idea about blending in the veggies. I always feel wasteful throwing them out.


  6. Vickie Houser says

    Thank you! I just started trying to make beef broth and have been intimidated by the 24 – 48 hour cook times I’ve been reading. I couldn’t understand why if I don’t cook my chicken or ham broth that long, why I would need to cook the beef broth that long. This is wonderful! I can’t wait to try your recipe. :)


  7. Janette says

    I like using broth to make beef vegetable soup in place of water called for in a recipe. So yummy and nutritious. When I cook a beef roast in the crockpot I put in a lot of water and then strain and save it for use in soup, really flavors the soup well.


  8. says

    Others have mentioned adding vinegar to broth, and Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions has this to say (p. 116): “Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.” Yes, great idea about blending in veggies!


  9. Kristin says

    I use beef broth to make French onion soup, topped with bread and gruyere cheese of course. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!


    Morgan Reply:

    I do the same for the onion soup, only I usually make a pot roast for a main course and use that broth for the soup, it’s fabulous! Oven toasted thick sliced french bread with broiler melted cheese over it sizzles beautifully and smells divine when it hits the soup.


  10. Jen says

    Do you use a regular blender, or one of those immersion blenders when you blend the broth and liquid? That seems tedious to blend it all in a regular blender, or do you just blend the veggies? I only have a regular blender, and I have made a mess blending hot liquids :)


  11. Suzanne says

    Laura, I made chicken broth and froze it in a canning jar. The jar had plenty of headspace, but it ended up breaking in the freezer. I guessed it was because the fat at the top prevented the liquid from being able to rise in the jar as it froze thus causing the jar to crack under the pressure. Do you have any thoughts about that? Have you had any trouble freezing your broths in jars? Thanks for the help.


    Jen Reply:

    I have had jars break in the freezer too, now I use ziploc bags after dissapointment from too many jars breaking. I always leave plenty of space at the top too and allow them to cool, and it is not just broth but jars with pumpkin puree have broke in the freezer. :(


    Jen Reply:

    This happened to me a few times in the past. I use canning lids, and read a tip that works well for me. I sit the jar in the freezer with the lid sitting on the jar, but no ring. After the broth (or whatever is in the jar) is frozen, then I gently screw the ring on. I haven’t had a broken jar since. Well, except when I’ve tried to thaw it too quickly in simmering water on the stove. :)


    Staci Reply:

    Make sure you are using freezer-safe jars. Only the straight-sided jars are freezer-safe according to the Ball® website (see below).

    “Whether you’re making your famous blueberry jam or trying out a new pickle recipe, there’s a jar for the job. Cucumbers fit more easily into wide mouth Ball® glass preserving jars for pickling, while “straight shoulders” (with no curve under the neck of the jar) are safe for freezer storage. Here’s a quick guide to help choose the right jar, whatever you want to fresh preserve or freeze.”


    Suzanne Reply:

    Interesting! I never knew there was a difference. Thanks for the tip!

  12. Rachel says

    My husband has been strategically leaving beef broth recipes on the computer for me to find and I’m all for making healthy things from scratch, but I can’t find beef bones!! I haven’t found them locally and when I look online, they are $4/lb. Any advice on where to find them at a cheaper price?


    Morgan Reply:

    Ethnic supermarkets often have bones at a much more reasonable price, if there are any in your area. A Mexican market here carries a variety of bones along with organ meats that are not available at the chain stores.


    Rachel Reply:

    I live in a very small town, but we do have a little ethnic store. I will check there, thanks!


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