Bone Broth has this magical appeal to it. People swear by it, others have no clue what it is. I made bone broth a couple times before I made this version, and this Paleo Grass-fed Beef Bone Broth recipe has been my go-to ever since.
A Little Back Story
A few weeks back we picked up a jar of peanut butter while we were at Trader Joe’s. We don’t normally eat it ever but Jeff spotted it and had a taste for it, so we decided to give it a try again. Unfortunately, that “little taste” did not end well for the jar of peanut butter (it was thrown away, practically full) or for Jeff – and we now know peanuts will not be making an appearance in our home again.
A few hours after eating a few spoonfuls, Jeff came down with a runny nose and sore throat. Now, I can’t tell you the last time either of us were sick and it was then determined, this reaction was all because of the peanut butter. I immediately jumped on the thought of preparing all the “remedy foods”…big salads with avocado, fish oil, more homemade kombucha and I then decided to give bone broth another chance.
The first time I tried making bone broth I used a leftover chicken carcass. I loaded up my crock pot with the carcass, water, some carrots and an onion and let it go. When it was done, all I had left was water with a faint chicken taste. I was so disappointed that I wasted my time (and my fresh ingredients) that I didn’t look back after that failed attempt.
But with Jeff not feeling well, I was determined to figure it out this time around.
Around this same time Paleo Chicago took a tour of Barrington Natural Farms and at the end of our tour, Cliff offered us the option to purchase any of the leftover cuts of meat he had available. I brought home some beef bones to make broth and this was the perfect opportunity to give bone broth a go, this time with beef and not chicken.
I did a little recipe research online to see what mistakes I might have made the first time. I also wanted to prevent any mistakes this time around, especially since I was using such high quality meat.
Some people roast their bones and some people don’t. I decided to give it a go and the house smelled amazing while they were roasting. I was getting even more excited for the end product.
Now, typically I’m not a fan of leaving the crock pot on while we’re not home and while we’re asleep.
- I don’t want the house to burn down from some fluke accident with the crock pot when we’re not home and
- I never seem to sleep well while the air in the house smells like food.
It’s bad enough I dream about creating recipes, I didn’t need additional stimulation via more of my senses. Also since we sleep with our door closed, I was not excited about the waft of beef broth that was going to greet me in the morning so I reduced the heat of the bone broth to low on the crock pot while we were sleeping and then bumped it back up to high when we woke up. Everything went over much better than expected! :)
While I was making the bone broth I didn’t know how I was going to use it but it has definitely come in handy. Jeff is now back up to snuff, after having bowl after bowl – night after night – of beef bone broth. Plus, I’ve used it in a few dishes here and there since it’s been readily available in my fridge. And it’s really good to have on hand (especially in the winter), just to warm up a bowl full and drink on its own.
The down side to making bone broth is you have to wait at least 24 hours for it to be ready (if you’re using a crock pot) and the amount produced in the end is not a huge amount.
Where To Find Bones
If you have access to a farmer, that’s your best bet. And sometimes they’ll even give them to you for free just to get rid of them. However if you don’t have direct access you can look in the frozen section of a typical supermarket and you may find them nice and cheap because people don’t tend to buy the odd bits often. If you talk to a local butcher or the folks behind the meat counter at a specialty grocery store where they prepare cuts, they may have them available as well.
Changing It Up
I have tried making turkey broth, pork broth, chicken broth and fish broth. Out of all of those my favorite by far is beef & bison broth. And I always roast my bones. It gives a dark tint to the broth and a delicious deep flavor.
You can always combine different types of bones from all different sources but I have found the highest success rate in terms of flavor, by using a combination of oxtail bones, beef shank and marrow bones to make beef and bison bone broth. I’m not too interested in straying from this recipe because I know it works.
OH! One more thing. You may find it odd that after cooking for all that time the vegetables are just thrown away. I couldn’t find an explanation for why people did this initially until I actually tasted them after straining the broth. The veggies were of no use in the end because all the good bits are transferred into the broth! I think that’s pretty cool, now that I understand. Although I couldn’t part with throwing away good roasted and marinated meat, so I ate that part and threw away the veggies. :p
You may find many recipes call for the use of filtered water. The town we live in does a wonderful job at the water treatment of filtering water however it does get piped out to our home with fluoride in it so we use the Big Berkey water system with fluoride filters to sift out the fluoride. If you don’t have good tap water this might be something to look into. :)
Alternatives to Making Your Own Bone Broth
Bone broth, also known as stock, has been available in the packaged isles at the grocery store for a long time. The difference, however, is all in the quality.
Most packages of bone broth aren’t made with properly sourced ingredients. Even cans or boxes of bone broth that are organic sometimes aren’t even clean with added ingredients to keep them shelf stable.
Well, if you’re looking for a shelf stable paleo beef bone broth, look no further than Kettle & Fire. Not only is their beef bone broth made using grass-fed bones and organic ingredients, their process for packaging makes it possible for their product to be shelf stable without any preservatives, additives or extra sodium. Their packaging is also environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
So if you’re not in the mood to make your own bone broth, you could always learn more about Kettle & Fire’s and order some instead. :)