Boisterously Beefy Bone Broth for Crockpots

Yield: About 4-5 quarts

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus additional time for optional steps

Cook Time: 8 to 24 hours and beyond depending on preference

Equipment: 6 quart crockpot and wire strainer, colander, or coffee filter for straining broth. Optional: cheesecloth

2 beef bones, ideally two marrow bones or one marrow and one joint/knuckle bone, with or without meat
2 cups diced yellow onion, including onion ends and onion skins to add color and nutrients
1 cup diced carrots, heirloom if available
1 cup sliced celery
Leaves from 1 pound celery
1 cup loosely chopped parsley stems and leaves
1 medium head of garlic, chopped or smashed
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP black or mixed peppercorns
1 TBSP dried or fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning or choose other herbs for taste
1/2 cup vinegar, lemon juice, or wine
Salt and pepper to taste (when cooking is completed)
4 TBSP powdered kelp (optional)
1/8 cup red cabbage OR several red onion skins to add color and nutrients (optional)
1 tsp ground turmeric (optional)


OPTIONAL PRE-STEP 1: If you wish to roast your bones to bring out roasted flavors, place them in an oven-safe skillet or casserole dish at 400 degrees F for 1 to 2 hours. When roasting is complete, set bones aside and tip any juices into the pot. Add a few cups of water to the pan; stir until pan drippings have dissolved into water. Add water to the pot.

OPTIONAL PRE-STEP 2: Soak bones and meat for 1 hour in 1/2 cup vinegar, lemon juice, or wine to help extract nutrients. Discard all but 2 TBSP vinegar. Add bones and 2 TBSP vinegar to pot.

1. Place all ingredients in crockpot. Fill crockpot with water until 1″ from top of crockpot.
2. Set crockpot to the setting that will simmer above 160 F but right below a boil. The ideal temperature is 208-210 degrees F. If you have a thermometer, adjust the heat to bring contents to the target temperature. If not, adjust heat so that you see a bubble or two every minute or so. It is not ideal for the broth to boil, but if it does for a short period of time, this is not a big deal.
3. Check the broth after 20 minutes. Adjust heat as needed. If broth is too hot, consider leaving lid slightly ajar.
4. Maintain low simmer for a total of 8 to 24 hours. Stir if desired. Broth does not need frequent stirring. If desired, you may even continue cooking for a total of 48 hours. Add water as needed to keep water level within 1″ of the top of the crockpot. This will help prevent bitter flavors from developing.
5. When time is up, remove crockpot from heat and cool until the broth is at a comfortable temperature for handling.
6. Pour broth through a wire mesh strainer. Line the strainer with cheesecloth if desired. Discard remnants unless you plan to use them again. If you wish to remove fat, cool broth overnight in the refrigerator and use a spoon to scrape fat from the surface. Save fat for frying and flavoring. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Store broth in different amounts according to how you will use it. A mixture of 1, 2, 4, and 8 cup containers is useful for recipes.

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