Homemade Beef Bone Broth
A new take on a traditional recipe
As a home chef, having homemade beef or chicken stock on hand for recipes or just to sip on a cold winter day is a luxury, but it used to be commonplace. For many the tradition of making homemade stock has been lost, and while it may be easier to buy it from the store, real homemade stock is so much better.
Normally, I make a basic stock and just throw a bunch of bones and vegetables into a large pot of water and simmer for hours but this weekend I decided to up my stock making game. I researched recipes and watched a few videos which I share below and really made a fantastic stock.
This recipe from ChefSteps was my primary inspiration. There were two unique aspects in this recipe that made the stock really stand out from my normal stock.
First, it uses ground beef in addition to beef bones. I think this helped give the stock a much richer flavor. And second, the beef bones were covered in tomato paste before being roasted until browned. Tomato paste is used in many recipes because it helps to create an umami flavor and using it like this quickly began the flavor building process in this stock.
Instead of using the sous vide machine as the video recipe shows, I simmered the bones and vegetables in a few quarts of filtered water for almost 8 hours which produced a rich, delicious, gelatinous stock.
Grass Fed Beef Bones
Sourcing high quality ingredients makes all the difference. When you cook with them, not only is the taste infinitely better but the nutritional value is too. A beef stock made from grass fed beef raised on pasture will be significantly more healthy and rich in minerals than beef from cattle raised in feedlots that are fed grains, silage, hay, and various supplements. Basically any meat you buy in a grocery store will be raised in a feedlot in confined pens for the last few months of its life.
On the other hand, grass fed and finished, pasture raised beef will be much healthier and live a better, less stressful life. This translates into better quality meat with higher nutritional value. The primary issue with using pasture raised beef in your stock or other recipes is the cost. Because of the time and land required to raise this type of meat as well as the regulatory requirements surrounding its processing, the costs are significantly higher than commercially raised beef. The other issue with grass fed meat is the lack of certification and standards for labeling meat as grass fed. In other words not all grass fed meat is equal.
If you live in an area where local farmers or ranchers raise cattle and sell to consumers, it is always best to purchase directly from people you know and trust. But if you don’t, fortunately, the direct to consumer beef market is growing and you can purchase high quality pasture raised beef online at competitive prices. Here are some options, just pay attention to the shipping costs/minimums.