When I make homemade broth, I feel as if I’m joining the ranks of stalwart cooks who have gone before me.
Honestly, when you hold massive beef joint bones in your bare hands, and then drop them in a vat of water, it’s hard not to feel sturdy.
The bones come from animals that were raised by the capable hands of the Sams family, the owners of Full Quiver Farms, where I get my meat. I know that these were strong, healthy animals that received a lot of good care and (just as important) met a safe and clean end at a small, independent meat processor.
My primary motive for making homemade broth is to extract some amazing nutrition from the bones of grass fed animals.
Not only is this a healthy way to work in humanely sourced collagen, minerals and protein, but it is CHEAP.
My soup bones only cost $1.50 a pound, and it takes one pound per quart of water to make a very good, gelatin-rich beef broth.
I like to use beef broth in rich, creamy, sausage-laden soups.
However, you may use it for cooking rice, boiling potatoes, or boosting the flavor in pasta sauce.
This are the joint bones I get at Full Quiver.
Everything in these, from the marrow to the connective tissue, is so supportive for your body.
Here’s my recipe for homemade beef broth.
3 pounds beef joint bones
1 pound meaty soup bones
a splash of unfiltered apple cider vinegar
3 stalks celery
2 large carrots, scrubbed
1 medium onion, peeled but whole
Enough filtered water to cover
- Preheat an oven to 350ºF.
- Place the joint bones in the water.
- Add in the splash of vinegar.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Place meaty soup bones on a rimmed baking sheet or a glass baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes on each side, or until well-browned and fragrant. Set aside and let cool, while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Trim the tops and bottoms off the carrots. Cut off only the undesirable parts of the celery stalks.
- Place the meaty soup bones in the stock pot with the joint bones.
- Bring the water in the stockpot to a boil.
- Once it is boiling, skim off the scum that rises to the top. These are impurities.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add in the vegetables.
- Keep at that low heat, barely bubbling, for 18 to 24 hours.
- Store in glass containers in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze for longer storage life.
Here are some pictures of what the process looks like.
The joint bones soaking (sometimes I skip this step)
When it just begins to boil, there will be a LOT of foamy scum on the top. Get that stuff outta there!
It takes awhile to get it all off, but just remember, this is crucial to clarifying the stock and making it taste better. It’s very French (feel sophisticated, yet?).
The boiling water creates eddies in the pot that help you collect the scum all in one corner.
The heat really loosens up the collagen in the joint bones. It gets all jiggly!
The bones will eventually look more porous. This is good! More vitamins to leach into your beautiful broth.
Homemade beef broth doesn’t have any of the flavor enhancers of the storebought versions, so you may get a surprise when your beef broth doesn’t smell very quintessentially “beefy.” Just go with it! Blend it with chicken broth, or use it with other bold flavors (cream and herbs, anyone?), and enjoy all the health benefits that far outweigh fake flavor.
Broth lasts about a week in the fridge, and can be frozen for months.
I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or health professional of any kind. This blog and this blog post is not meant to diagnose, treat, or recommend treatment for medical conditions of any kind. Please ask a doctor or a professional before making lifestyle or diet changes.
Copyright 2015 by Celeste Lightsey