If you’ve ever made your own broth, you know that it tastes infinitely better than what you pour from a can or box. Whenever I roast a chicken, I always make broth from the leftover bones (and sometimes I cook chicken on the bone, as in this Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili). But, I don’t often cook beef with bones intact and have always bought commercial beef broth. That is, until now.
I was craving Vegetable Beef Barley Soup and headed to the soup aisle in my grocery store to buy some broth. A box of beef bone broth caught my eye – it was $12 for just over 2 cups. So I got to thinking about making my own. At our local butcher, I bought 4 pounds of beef bones with marrow from grass fed and finished cows for just over $13 (enough to make 11 to 12 cups of broth). A few carrots, ribs of celery, head of garlic and an onion, and I was in business.
The process of making broth is very simple, but you’ll need to begin a day before you plan to use it. What gives bone broth its rich flavor and luxurious mouth feel is many hours of a slow simmer – at least 12 hours and up to 24.
Roasting the bones and vegetables before adding them to your slow cooker is a worthwhile step to add richness and depth to the broth.
Once the bones and vegetables have nicely browned, you’ll cover them with water and toss in some peppercorns to add bite and a few tablespoons of vinegar to aid in extracting minerals from the bones.
And that’s it. You’ll set your slow cooker to low and let it simmer away until you have 11-12 cups of delicious and beautifully golden beef bone broth. Perfect for so many comforting soups including my favorite French Onion Soup!
Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth
Buying commercial beef bone broth can get expensive and it's so simple (and much cheaper) to make it at home in your slow cooker.
- 4 pounds beef bones with marrow
- 1 onion quartered
- 3 carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 ribs celery cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 head garlic cut in half crosswise
- 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place bones, onion, carrots, celery and garlic in a single layer. Roast for 40 minutes.
Transfer roasted bones and vegetables to slow cooker. Add peppercorns, vinegar and 16 cups water (filtered if possible). Cook on low for 17 hours (or up to 24 hours).
Allow to cool, then strain solids from slow cooker and transfer bone broth to air tight containers. Refrigerate overnight then skim fat from the top of the cold broth. If you plan to use the broth within a few days, leave it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, transfer to freezer to store for up to 6 months.