Beef Bone Broth

Marrow bones are easy to come by when you have Farm Fresh Northwest nearby. This rich broth is savory and delicious; I drink it as a small meal replacement when I'm hungry but don't want to eat a full meal. I've also used bone broth in any recipe that calls for beef broth, and I've added it to Bruno's food. 

Beef Bone Broth

(makes 10-12 cups)

4 pounds beef marrow bones with some meat attached
3 medium carrots, peeled and each cut into 3 pieces
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 full head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
2 celery stalks, each cut into 3 pieces
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
about 10 cups of water
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil so that the foil goes up the sides. Place bones, carrots, onion wedges, and garlic cloves on the foil-lined sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. 

While the bone mixture is roasting, add to a large slow cooker the celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Add roasted bone mixture to the slow cooker, using tongs, leaving liquified fat on the foil-lined sheet. Add 10-12 cups of water (my slow cooker is on the smaller side and only fits about 10 cups of water), leaving 2 inches of room at the top. The mixture will expand during the next 24 hours while the bones release collagen. Set the slow cooker to Low and allow to cook 24-36 hours. 

After 24-36 hours of cooking, unplug the slow cooker, remove the lid, and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or colander into (3) quart-sized Mason jars. Add a scant teaspoon of sea salt to each quart jar of broth (less if you don't love salt as much as I do). Discard the solids. (Once, I tasted one of the strained carrots and was stunned to discover there was no flavor at all. The strained broth really does take on all the flavor.) Store the broth in the refrigerator, and when it has fully cooled, remove the solidified layer of fat before consuming. You can either discard the fat or use it later as a cooking oil for vegetables, onions, etc. 

Bruno -- unintentionally photo bombing -- loves the smell and flavor of bone broth.
The solidified layer of fat is easily removed once broth has reached refrigerator temperature. 

If all goes well, the refrigerated broth will have the consistency of runny Jello. Once heated, the broth loses that gelatinous texture and is very pleasant to drink.