A frugal, healthy alternative to store-bought beef broth is to make your own at home. Beef stock can be very nutritious: it holds a plethora of beneficial fats and minerals, amino acids and collagen. Store-bought and shelf-stable broths tend to sacrifice flavor for longevity, and making your own beef broth allows you to decide how much and how often you want to use it. There is nothing like a homemade broth.
The only ingredients required to make a homemade beef stock is some bones, vegetables, and salt. You may add a variety of spices and herbs to perk up the flavor, but the general intended use of a beef broth is to bolster an already exciting dish.
First, start roasting your soup bones. Set your own to 350-375F (it depends on the strength of your oven), and bake your bones and meat for about half an hour, or until they begin to turn brown.
Soup bones are easily found by a butcher at your local butcher shop or from a farmer at a farmer’s market. An alternative is to save the beef bones from your homemade dinners.
Second, move the roasted meat and bones to a slow cooker. Be certain to add any extra drippings from the roasting pan into the slow cooker, too.
Why are we using a slow cooker? The low-heat and long-term extraction of fats and flavor will yield a much tastier broth. While it’s possible to use a large pot on the stove and cook your broth there, the slow cooker really has a magic touch of pulling out those flavors. A slow cooker also requires less attention, it is easy to do other things around the house while your beef broth stews away.
While your beef broth stews in the slow cooker, you can easily add vegetables, herbs, and spices in order to add more decadent flavor. Start by chopping onions, carrots and celery and adding it to the stock. If you like mushrooms, woody mushroom stems are also a beautiful addition. Don’t forget to add fresh herbs!
Lastly, add water.
An option is to add an acidic compound to the medium to help break down the bones. Vinegar, lemon juice, and tomato products are wonderful options. For wine, adding a dry red wine would be a great option that would yield even more flavor. These are also optional, and you can refer to the most basic parts of a beef broth above if you want to skip any additional spices, vegetables, or flavors.
Salt is unnecessary to add, as the broth begins to concentrate as soon as it starts to cook. If you love salt, wait until the broth has finished and add salt to the finished product for taste, to be sure.
Your slow cooker should be at the lowest setting, and it will cook for anywhere between 6-24 hours. The minimum is 6-8 hours. Any time less than that will skimp flavor for speed, and fewer minerals will be pulled from the bones.
For the last 45 minutes of your broth cooking, add any herbs that you would like to supplement the flavor. Thyme and parsley make for great additions to beef broth flavors.
After the broth has finished, carefully strain the contents over the sink. Save any leftover strips of beef for other recipes! They will have soaked up so much flavor in the slow cooker.
Before storing your beef broth in the refrigerator, make sure it cools to room temperature. The life of beef broth is about a week in the refrigerator or a few months in the freezer.