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Beef Soup Stock or Broth
Please do not allow the length of this article to deter you. Making broth is very simple and
extremely rewarding! This is more of a guideline and set of tips than it is a “recipe”,
although I do have a set of “Directions”, below.

Please note, I use the words “stock” and “broth” interchangeably here. If you look into the
differences, there are many opinions, often conflicting, about the difference between stock
and broth. Old-timers would have said that broth is made from meat and stock is made from
bones, but today, “bone broth” is growing in popularity and is obviously made from bones.
So, here we go: broth or stock, use the word that suits you best!

The beginning of a great soup is great broth - for nutrition and flavor. Never start a soup
with canned broth or bouillon - they are loaded with salt and preservatives, are over-
processed, and lack the nutritional benefits and taste of home-made versions.

Nutritious broths are easy to make, and they start with the lowest-cost cuts - bones, meaty,
ribs, shank...

First, let me tell you that broth can also be captured as a "side product" from another recipe
such as pot roast.

Broth from Pot Roast: 
Add an extra cup of water to your crock pot or roasting pan when you start your pot roast.
When the roast is done cooking, the resulting broth makes a fine vegetable soup base, and
you might also have some leftover roast beef and vegetables to add to your soup.

Use broth as a base for any soup recipe, See Easy Beef Vegetable Soup, below, or cook rice
in it, or... The possibilities are endless!

Bone Broth:
Active Time: 30-45 Minutes, plus occasional monitoring, and about 30-40 minutes at the end
Cooking Time: Several Hours to Several Days
   I say the minimum is about 4 hours, and you may keep going up to a week or more.

Ingredients:
Several pounds of Bones - the more bones you use, the more stock you make.

The best stock utilizes several different types of bones cooked together, but good results
may also be obtained using only one type of bone. Suggestions for bones include: meaty ribs,
oxtail, shank cuts, and "marrow" bones. The oxtail, shank cut, and "marrow" bones are all
good sources of marrow and gelatin. Meaty ribs and oxtail also supply flavor. (Neck bones
and calf feet are also desirable, but not easy to obtain). You may also save and freeze your
bones after cooking chuck roast, bone-in ribeyes, etc. until you have enough bones to make
stock.

You may also mix beef bones with pork, lamb, and/or chicken bones to make broth.

I keep ziploc bags of bones in the freezer. Any time I cook something with a bone in it, I
allow the cooked bone to cool a little, then toss it into the ziploc bag with the rest. My bags
contain mixtures of bones from lamb, pork, and beef. I keep my chicken bones separate
(because sometimes I like to make broth with just chicken bones). You may segregate or mix
your bones, as you wish.

Bones may be used several times to make broth (except for the smaller chicken bones).
Simply make your broth, remove the bones, rinse, cool, bag, and freeze. You may cook,
freeze, and repeat until your bones fall apart. So, a few bones make a lot of broth.

Flavor Ingredients (optional): large pieces of vegetables: onion, carrots, celery,
parsnips, leeks; garlic, trimmings from vegetables, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay, thyme,
other seasonings. Note that onions may be tossed in the pot unpeeled - onion peel enhances
the color of the final broth.

Directions:
Start with several pounds of bones.

Option: some people like to roast the bones, especially meaty bones such as shank or ribs,
prior to making the stock. If you wish to do this, roast the bones in the oven at moderate
heat for an hour or so before proceeding. (I skip this step.)

Place the bones in a large pot (preferably stainless or non-reactive) and cover with water -
preferably filtered water. Make sure that you keep several inches between the top of the
water and the top of the pot.

Option, Highly Recommended: Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, , depending
on size of pot, to extract more of the bone minerals into the broth during cooking.

Bring water to a boil, and skim off foam.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer. At this point, you may add onion, garlic, carrots, celery,
vegetable trimmings, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay, thyme, or other seasonings to taste.

It is difficult to maintain a very low simmer on many stovetops. I have a flat-top electric
stove, so I place the pot off to one side of the burner. Some folks like to simmer their stock
in a warm oven, set to about 225-250, or in a slow cooker set on low. The goal is to have the
stock barely at a simmer - only the occasional bubble.

Simmer stock for at least a couple of hours, preferably all day or better yet, several days.

Pausing on the First Day to Make Soup (or you may stop here)
When simmering bones that contain meat (e.g., ribs, shank, or oxtail), I like to pause the
process on the evening of the first day to make a soup.

OR, if you cannot continue to simmer the bones for several days, you may stop cooking the
bone broth here.

Remove all the bones, meat, and vegetables (if any) from the pot to a large, shallow bowl or
pan to cool.
Allow all the pieces to cool. Meanwhile, pour the broth from the pot through a strainer or
cheesecloth.
Reserve some of the broth to make a soup.
Return the remaining broth to the original pot. (Or, if you are stopping at this point, you
may pour your broth into containers and refrigerate or freeze).
Remove all meat from the bones, and keep all the vegetables for the evening soup.
Return all bones to the original pot with the remaining broth to continue cooking. You may
wish to toss in a few more pieces of vegetable, seasonings, and another Tbsp. of apple cider
vinegar. (Or, if you are stopping here, bag and freeze the bones for another batch of broth
later.)
You may need to add more water to the pot to keep the bones covered in liquid.
Continue simmering the bone broth for several more days.
Use your reserved broth, meat pulled from the bones, and reserved vegetables to make your
evening soup.

More Comments
When you are finished cooking, remove the bones with tongs and set aside to cool. When
bones are cool, you may remove any meat from the bones (or you may have already paused
the process and done this). Dice the meat to add back to the stock after you strain the
stock, or use it elsewhere to make burritos, etc.

Marrow may be removed from the bones as a nutritional treat for you or for your dogs, but
do not add marrow back to the stock. I always remove marrow after cooking bones for the
first time, before freezing bones for re-using later.

The contents of your stock pot may not look very appealing to you after the long cooking
process. The liquid may contain floating globs of grey material and gelatin, and possibly
chunks of vegetable trimmings and seasonings. But, you are only one step from lovely, clear
stock. Strain the contents of your pan into a large bowl or stainless pan, and allow it to cool.
(You may, if you wish, cool the stock in the refrigerator, and remove all fat that congeals at
the top. I do not remove the fat - it adds flavor, and fat from grassfed beef is nutritious,
containing Vitamin E and CLA.)

Transfer the stock to smaller containers for the refrigerator and freezer, portioning meat as
desired between the containers. (You may also preserve stock using a pressure canner -
follow canning instructions carefully).

Stock may be kept in the freezer for several months, or refrigerated for several days before
using. If freezer space is limited, the strained stock may be cooked down further to a
concentrated broth before freezing.

I often have a pot of broth simmering on the stove or in the crockpot for much of the winter,
dipping cups of broth from the pot every day to sip with breakfast or lunch, or to use in
cooking. Replace the broth taken with fresh water, and keep the pot going. Typically, I will
allow the broth to cook for several days or up to a week, then remove bones and pieces of
vegetables, strain, refrigerate and freeze the broth, freeze the bones, compost the
vegetables (after several days of simmering, they are pretty tasteless), then start again
when my broth supply runs low.

Use this nutritional, flavorful stock as a base for many soups and stews. See Vegetable Beef
Soup recipe
.

VARIATIONS:
You may also make stock from lamb, pork, or venison following this method. Sally Fallon 
recommends adding deer feet and a section of antler if making venison stock.

I also make chicken stock by the same method. Starting with a whole, cleaned chicken, I cut
off the legs and wings, and filet the breasts to use in other recipes, then cook the remaining
carcass and neck as described above (cover with water; boil; skim; simmer for hours; remove
bones; cool; strain; return meat to broth).

And, you may combine bones from all these species together into one pot. Typically, chicken
bones can only be cooked once, although the larger chicken leg bones may be retrieved,
frozen and used again later.

Notes on Bones:
Due to USDA processing requirements concerning BSE, beef neck bones are now unavailable
unless you do your own processing. Meadow Maid Foods is not able to obtain feet, either. We
do supply meaty ribs, oxtail, meaty shank cut bones, marrow bones and knuckle bones.