An easy and healthy recipe on how to make beef bone broth using a slow cooker. This homemade broth is infused with Asian spices that has many uses in the kitchen. Beef bone broth has many healthy 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 for drinking to heal your body. When needing just a touch of flavors 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 more rich in nutrients and flavors. 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 some type of homemade broth and stock in my freezer to use for cooking. I either use them with certain recipes that call for water or just to sip a warm cup of broth on cold days.
Broth vs Stock, What’s the Difference?
Not much. Broth takes a bit longer to cook while stock takes just a few hours to extract flavors from ingredients used. Both use the method of cooking bones covered in water for a long period of time to extract the flavors used for drinking or cooking.
As mentioned above, this recipe is my own adaptation of Pho broth, with a few short cuts to make life a bit easier but not sacrificing too much of the flavors and still has many healthy 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 own favorite spices to use, but be sure to add extra vegetables if doing so. You can also shorten the amount of 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 them. 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 it's own. I love using it for my Thai chicken rice recipe.
For beef bones, check your local Western grocery store in the freezer section 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 just have to specifically ask if they have beef bones available. A few times they have asked me if the bones were for my doggy. I usually just 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 available, frozen or fresh. Remember here, the more bone marrow you use the more rich 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. For this recipe, I used half bone marrow, half beef neck bones. 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 sugar that is 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 sooth cold symptoms such as coughing and sore throats. Just perfect for a warm broth isn’t it? 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 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 I threw the lime slices into the water, too, as I like 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 paper towel before roasting in the oven. *A note here* You do not need to dump out this water if you want more of a 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 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. I find that if I add them in the beginning, the broth tend to be more bitter. I let the crock pot do it's magic on a slow setting for 10 hours. After that, add your spices and cook on slow setting again 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 water from the cooking, so it's fine to add ice here.
Stir up the broth and carefully take a taste. Add more salt if desired, take in the glorious liquid gold you just made!
Scoop out the broth into glass mason jars or container, cover with a lid and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before storing for use. 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 the 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 texture of the broth 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 all 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 truly hope you enjoy a warm cup of broth often for the next few cooler months.
Oh, yes, I sprinkle a few small pieces of green onion as garnish. This part is optional.Print