Homemade beef broth is loaded with nutrients that you just won’t find in any store-bought version; and it happens to be ridiculously easy to make. Here’s how it’s done:
How to Make Beef Broth in the Crockpot
- Beef bones (ribs, knuckles, shoulders, shanks, oxtails, etc.)
- Vegetables (carrots, onions, celery, etc.)
- Spices (bay leaves, peppercorns, etc.)
Start with a big pile of meaty beef bones. Ribs, knuckles, shoulders, shanks and oxtails make the best broth, but other bones can be used, too. If you don’t have bones leftover from a meal, you can buy them from a butcher. My local butcher sells beef bones for $5 a pound, but offers a 50% discount when you buy five pounds.
Place your bones on a cookie sheet, and roast them at 350 for one hour, turning them halfway through. You want them to brown, but not burn; so adjust your temp, if you see signs of burning.
Roughly chop some vegetables to add to your broth (there’s no need to discard the skins or ends they can go in, too). I used two celery stalks, two carrots and a medium-sized onion. Then, gather the spices that you’ll be using. Peppercorns, fresh parsley and bay leaves are my go-to spices for beef broth, but plenty of other fresh or dried herbs will work just as well.
Place all of your ingredients in a crockpot, and cover with water. I had five and a half pounds of bones this time, so I divided them between three crockpots, and gave each it’s own batch of vegetables and spices.
Put the lid on your crockpot, and cook on low for 24 hours or more. Your broth is done when it has a nice deep color and a rich flavor.
Strain all of the bones, veggies and spices out of your broth. A piece of cheese cloth draped over a colander makes quick work of this. Allow the broth to cool a bit. Then, place it in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, you’ll have a layer of fat on the top of the bowl. Skim it off, and your broth is ready to be used or divided between jars.
I’m not a big fan of plastic or Walmart, but I found some quart-sized freezer containers there earlier this year that I really like. They’re BPA-free, and they stack beautifully in the freezer.
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