This an easy and healthy recipe for making beef bone broth using a slow cooker. This homemade broth is infused with Asian spices that have many uses in the kitchen. Beef bone broth has many health benefits, including helping cleanse and heal your body from inflammation. This Asian spice-infused homemade broth also has many uses in the kitchen besides just drinking to heal your body. When needing just a touch of flavor in some recipes that call for water, I use this broth as a substitute to enhance the flavors even more.
Well, winter is coming...and what better comfort food to enjoy than a hearty cup of beef bone broth? This beef bone broth recipe is very similar to my Pho broth recipe. Just slightly thicker and richer in nutrients and flavors. The broth has lots of healing properties that your body needs. The collagen released from the bone marrow is the secret to beautiful skin, nails, and hair. I almost always have homemade broth and stock in my freezer to use for cooking. I either use them with certain recipes that call for water or to sip a warm cup of broth on cold days.
Broth vs. Stock, What’s the Difference?
Not much. The broth takes a bit longer to cook, while stock takes just a few hours to extract flavors from the ingredients used. Both use the method of cooking bones covered in water for a long period to extract the flavors used for drinking or cooking.
As mentioned above, this recipe is my own adaptation of Pho broth, with a few shortcuts to make life a bit easier but not sacrificing too much of the flavors, and still has many health benefits of a beef bone broth. There are a few ways to make broth, and this is just my own version using tons of my favorite Asian spices to enhance the flavor. It is easily adaptable to your liking. For example, you can skip the roasting of the bones if you don't have a ton of time, pick and choose your favorite spices to use, but be sure to add extra vegetables if doing so. You can also shorten the time in the crock pot if you are short on time. Are you ready to give this recipe a try? Let’s do this!
Find beef bones of various cuts with some meat, tendons & marrow. In my recipe here, I used medium-cut frozen and thawed-out bone marrow & beef neck bones. You can mix and match here and play around with different cuts. I've used just bone marrow in the past before. It's quite heavy on its own. I love using it for my Thai chicken rice recipe.
Check your local Western grocery store in the freezer section for beef bones first. If there aren’t any, ask the butcher at the meat counter if they have beef bones. They normally don’t display them out front. You have to ask if they have beef bones available specifically. They asked me if the bones were for my doggy a few times. I usually chuckle and say, “No. They’re for me. I’m making a tasty soup.” (: If your local grocery stores don’t have beef bones, find a butcher shop. Call ahead and ask if they have some available. At most well-stocked Asian markets, there are always beef bones with several types, frozen or fresh. Remember here, the more bone marrow you use, the richer and "greasy" it will be. See it as extra natural collagen in your body. It’s up to you how thick you want your broth to be. I used half bone marrow and half beef neck bones for this recipe. That was all that was available to me at the Asian Market for this visit.
There’s one unique ingredient here that you may not be familiar with. It’s yellow rock sugar, and you can find it near all the other sugars on the shelf. There are two kinds, yellow and white. I have used both and haven’t noticed much of a difference. Rock sugars are unrefined sugars sold as large, crystallized, sugary rocks. It is made from cane sugar. Because rock sugar is not refined, it contains many health benefits from the natural vitamins and minerals that help soothe cold symptoms such as coughing and sore throats. Just perfect for a warm broth. And the sweet taste of the rock sugar rounds out the flavors from the salt and spices very nicely. You can purchase it here. You'll use only a small amount. Save the rest for the Pho recipe that you'll make over and over again this winter!
How to Make Beef Bone Broth
Brown Cardamom, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Pink Salt, Yellow Rock Sugar and Lime Juice
Let the bones soak in cold water for about 30-45 minutes with salt and lime juice to let these two ingredients extract the nutrients from the bones. I used half of a medium-sized lime and threw the lime slices into the water, too, as I liked the flavor of the lime rind. Lemon can be substituted here. Use about ¾ of a lemon if doing so since lemon juice is less sour than lime juice.
Remove the bones from the bowl and dump the water out if you want more of a clear golden broth. Pat the bones dry with a paper towel before roasting them in the oven. A note here You do not need to dump this water if you want more brownish bone broth. I have done both, and I love both! Do what's best for your taste preference.
Roast the bones in the oven. You can skip this step if you are short on time. I skip this often as I’m constantly on the go with two busy kids. Turn the oven to 425 degrees. While waiting for the oven to warm up, arrange the bones slightly apart, leaving the bone marrow right side up.
Add salt and rock sugar to cover the bottom of the crock pot, then add in the roasted bones and spread them out evenly in the slow cooker. Do not add the spices yet. I save those in a plastic bag or container for the last 4 hours of cooking. The broth tends to be more bitter if I add them in the beginning. I let the crock pot do its magic on a slow setting for 10 hours. After that, add your spices and cook slowly for 3-4 more hours. I use a timer on my phone to help remind me as my crockpot doesn't have an automatic turn-off setting after 4 hours. At this point, turn the crock pot to warm and let it cool for 1 hour. It is quite hot so be very careful! After 1 hour or so, turn everything off (everything is still extremely hot here) and add about 2 cups of ice cubes to the broth to speed up the cooling process. You will lose some of the water from the cooking, so adding ice here is fine.
Stir up the broth and carefully taste. Add more salt if desired, and take in the glorious liquid gold you made!
Scoop the broth into glass mason jars or containers, cover it with a lid, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before storing it. I don't use a strainer here. I don't mind the tasty chunks of meat bits from the broth. I scoop around the large pieces.
I use smaller jars for freezing and larger ones for immediate consumption. It stores well in the fridge for 3-4 days and 2-3 months in the freezer. Make sure to get a bowl or cup to taste some fresh. It's so good!
A note on the broth's texture after it's been refrigerated, the fat will rise to the top and form an iceberg-like texture. (; (I always compare food to nature!) You can remove this part if you'd like or it will melt back into the rich broth once warmed up. Underneath the fat is the jello-looking broth. If this happens, you did it right.
Nice job! Be proud of yourself and keep on experimenting with different flavor combinations. I hope you enjoy a warm cup of broth often for the next few months.
Oh, yes, I sprinkle a few small pieces of green onion as garnish. This part is optional.Print
Beef Bone Broth
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 cups 1x
How to make beef bone broth recipe using a slow cooker. A delicious homemade recipe infused with fragrant Asian spices that are good for many uses in the kitchen. You can drink this beef bone broth to help cleanse and heal your body from inflammation.
- 4 lbs beef bones. (2 lbs marrow, 2 lbs neck bone for this recipe)
- 14 cups water
- 1 ½ Tbsp salt split up for 2 uses
- 1.5 oz rock sugar, yellow or white, is fine
- ½ lime juice
Pho broth spices
- 2 Cinnamon sticks (around 6 inches each)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 2 whole brown cardamoms, (2 small ones or 1 large cardamom) roughly crushed
- 2 star anise
- ½ tsp whole cloves
Optional garnish: diced green onions, cilantro, star anise, cinnamon, or cloves for extra flavor.
- Let the bones soak in cold water for about 30-45 minutes with 1 tablespoon salt and lime juice to let the salt and lime juice extract the nutrients from the bones. I also throw the lime slices into the water, as I like the flavor of the lime rind.
- Roast the bones on high heat in the oven. You can skip this step if you are short on time. I skip this often as I’m constantly on the go with two busy kids. Turn the oven to 425 degrees. While waiting for the oven to warm up, arrange the bones slightly apart, leaving the bone marrow right side up.
- Roast one side for 25 minutes, remove from oven to flip the bones to the opposite side, then roast again for another 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Prepare the slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the salt (½ tablespoon and rock sugar to cover the bottom of the slow cooker. Add in the bones and spread them out evenly in the slow cooker.
- Add the water until the bones are submerged, about 14 cups. Add more water if your water level recedes during cooking time. Do not add the spices yet. I placed the spices in a plastic bag and set them aside next to the crock pot.
- Turn the crock pot to low and cook for 10 hours. After 10 hours in the slow cooker, add your spices and mix them a bit. Turn the crockpot back to low again for 4 more hours. I normally set my timer for 4 hours to manually turn the crock pot off.
- Let the broth cool. Add 1-2 cups of ice cubes to the broth to help it cool off faster. Wait 30-45 minutes for the broth to cool.
- Use a ladle to scoop out the liquid gold into glass jars. Cover the lids and let them cool for 20-30 more minutes before storing. I don’t use the strainer as I don’t mind the small meat pieces and spice chunks. More nutrients and tasty flavors!
- Freeze what you don’t need and put the rest in the fridge. It will stay in the fridge for 4-5 days and up to 3 months in the freezer.
- To reheat the frozen broth, soak the glass jar or container in warm water for 10 minutes before reheating over the stove. Enjoy!
This recipe makes 10-12 cups of golden, delicious broth.
For storing, I use smaller containers for freezing and larger ones for immediate use.
The reason I don’t add spices right away is because the spices can get bitter if cooked for too long. 3-4 hours is a good time for the spices to release their flavors without the bitter taste.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 17
- Category: International Cuisine
- Method: Slow Cook
- Cuisine: Asian
Keywords: #beefbonebroth #homemade #beef #soup #howtomake #howtoeat #cleanse #healing #slowcooker #crockpot #pho #broth #bonebroth
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