I hate waste.
I hate that nowadays so many of the parts of the animal are wasted, when they are so amazingly beneficial.
It’s winter time, in case you didn’t know. And winter time is a time to feed our souls warmth and goodness that will help to keep us free from colds & bugs. Translation: homemade beef broth.
Nothing nourishes our bodies quite like bone broth, rich in delicious goodness. This broth is my first line of defense against colds this winter, so I’m making a BUNCH of it!
This year, when we purchased our locally-raised steer for beef (from my sister-in-law over at HavenRock Farm), I had the butcher include “soup bones”. These bones, which you could get from just any local butcher, bestow a rich flavor and gelatin to the broth, that is truly impossible to find on your grocery store shelf. So go get you some. Or, save and freeze bones from homemade roasts throughout the year until it’s time for stock making!
- About 4lbs of beef bones (really any assortment of bones and meat will do, even the feet!)
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 3 onions, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
- several sprigs of fresh thyme or tarragon
- a pinch of peppercorns (optional)
- a bunch of parsley (optional)
Step One: If any of the bones have meat on them, place them on a cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven until they are nice and brown. Remove from the oven.
Step Two: Fill a large stockpot with cold water. Add the browned bones, the onions, carrots, celery, vinegar, thyme, and peppercorns. Allow the pot to sit at room temperature for an hour.
Step Three: Bring the pot to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for 12-72 hours. I did mine for 24 hours. Ten minutes before finishing you can add the parsley and simmer for that last little bit. After sufficient simmering, turn the burner off and allow the mixture to reach room temperature. Then, using a strainer, drain the broth from the bones & vegetables.
Now at this point you can just freeze them if ya like. If you’re using mason jars, let them cool in the refrigerator before transferring them to the freezer to prevent cracking. Also don’t fill the jars too full so the stock has room to expand.
I personally like to can them. Then if one of our freezers was to go out, they will survive. I tend to can things over freezing them if possible – meaning, if I haven’t already packed my canning shelves to the brim.
So here are the canning instructions, in case it suites your fancy:
Step 1: Prepare and heat your pressure canner and water (I have a 21 quart presto canner that calls for 3 quarts of water for pressure canning, but yours might be different). I also add a little splash of white vinegar in the pot to keep that white filmy stuff from developing on the sides of your jars – just saves some time cleaning them off afterwards.
Step 2: Bring the beef stock to a boil. Have your sterilized jars ready along with the lids and all your other canning supplies.
Step 3: Ladle the stock into each jar, wiping the rim, adjusting your lids, and transferring them to the canner after each jar to keep them nice and piping hot.
Step 4: Tighten the lid on your canner and turn the burner up. We want to let the steam vent out of the release valve for 10 minutes before placing the weight on top.
Step 5: Process pints for 20 minutes, and quarts for 25 minutes. We are at about 3,500 feet elevation so I did mine at 12lbs of pressure. Here is a easy little guide to see what pressure you need yours at:
Step 6: Allow the canner to come all the way down in pressure before taking of the weight. And I always let mine cool for several hours before taking the lid off – I’ve had better success getting them to seal doing that.
Yay! Now we have some lovely bone broth all perfectly preserved for the upcoming winter months. The potential of this broth is limitless! It is the backbone of so much of the cooking around these parts.