If you’ve been into real food for any amount of time,
…then you’ve probably heard lots of people reference homemade beef stock or bone broth.
Why does everyone get so excited over it?
First off, homemade bone broth is one of the most nourishing things you can make. Homemade beef stock promotes healthier digestion, reduces inflammation, inhibits infection, and promotes healthy bones and joints.
Secondly, homemade beef stock is infinitely healthier and more nourishing than store bought broth or stock. Even those “organic” store broths are just missing the mark. They might not be loaded with the typical MSG, but they are missing out on all the health benefits of bone broth.
And finally, bone broth incredibly frugal and simple to make. Where else can you turn leftover bones and scraps of veggies into such a valuable food item? If you know how to toss ingredients into a slow cooker and press the start button, then you can do this!
I prefer to use my slow cooker when making stock. It can definitely be done with a regular stovetop, but I don’t trust myself to leave a simmering pot on my stove for 24 hours without causing a huge mess or burning something down…
There are many different ways to make beef stock, but here I how I do it. It’s definitely not an exact science, and personally, I think it is one of the easiest real food components that you can make.
Homemade Beef Stock Recipe
- 2-3 lbs of beef bones (any bones will work, but I especially like knucklebones and oxtails, since contain a large amount of gelatin, which makes homemade stock especially nourishing)
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 10 black peppercorns
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Fresh or dried herbs of your choice (my favorites are beef stock seasonings are rosemary, thyme, sage, and bay leaf)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Cold water
Homemade Beef Stock FAQ:
Can you eat the vegetables that are left after the stock is strained?
I supposed you could, but we don’t. I figure that all the “good stuff” has pretty much been leached out of them, so I don’t imagine they would taste like much. However, the chickens love them, as well as the bits of meat that have fallen off the bone.
Why are we trying to make the stock have gelatin?
Not only is gelatin a trademark of a well made, gourmet stock, it also is incredibly good for you. Gelatin has been found to boost the immune system and assist with digestion, as well as having a myriad of other benefits. Eating chicken soup when you are sick may not be an old wives tale after all (providing you are eating real soup, not the stuff in the red and white can).
Why use cold water?
Starting the cooking process with cold water helps to draw out juices and flavor.
Why use vinegar?
Adding vinegar to your stock is said to help to extract gelatin and nutrients from the bones. I have never been able to taste the vinegar in the finished product and I don’t believe it effects the flavor much, if at all.
Can I do this with chicken?
Absolutely! Homemade chicken stock is just as nourishing and tasty as homemade beef stock. You can find instructions for homemade chicken stock here. And here’s a tutorial for homemade pork broth as well.
There is one downfall to making stock at home– if you allow it to simmer all night, it’s likely that the smell will cause you to wake up hungry. But, I think that hardship is worth all the valuable nutrients that homemade stock brings to a real food kitchen. 😉
- Beef bones- Knucklebones and oxtails which are rich in gelatin
- Variety of veggies: Carrots, onions, celery, and garlic are my staples
- 10 Black peppercorns
- Sea Salt- to taste
- Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Sage, or other herbs and seasonings of your choice
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Cold Water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Brown the bones in a shallow roasting pan (this step adds a nice flavor)
- Wash and coarsely chop your veggies
- Dump veggies and bones in slow cooker
- Season with choice of herbs and spices: **Tip: don't over salt, you can always add more seasoning later
- Cover with cold water
- Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (helps the bones release minerals and gelatin)
- Set your slow cooker (or pot on the stove) to high and allow stock to come to a boil before reducing heat to low and simmering 12-24 hours
- When house smells incredible, it's ready to strain
- I set a colander inside a bowl and place in my sink and carefully pour in a little at a time using a fork to smash the vegetables to release any extra liquid
- You can use your stock right away in a delicious soup, store it in the fridge a few days, freeze or even can it!