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5 from 5 votes

How to Make Rich and Gelatinous Beef Bone Broth

Making Homemade Beef Bone is so rewarding. It's much less expensive - and superbly better quality - than what you can buy at the grocery store. And once you learn to make bone broth in your own kitchen, you'll find so many ways for using it in soups, stews, and gravies not to mention drinking it warm and steaming - sprinkled with a little sea salt - straight from a mug. Enjoy!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs
Course: Soups & Stews
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Beef Bone Broth, Bone Broth
Author: Mary's Nest


  • 4 lbs Mixture of beef bones Marrow bones, beef shank bones, beef neck bones, a beef knuckle bone, and oxtails
  • 1 cup Red vermouth, port, marsala or madeira Optional
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Onions Quartered with skins on
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 1 Filtered water Enough to cover all the ingredients


  • Place the beef marrow bones and the knuckle bone into an 8-Quart slow cooker or stock pot. (If you are using a 6-Quart slow cooker, you will need to reduce the amount of bones that you are using to 3 pounds.) If you choose to use the red vermouth, etc., you can omit the apple cider vinegar. Add the red vermouth or apple cider vinegar and water to the slow cooker or stock pot just to cover the marrow bones and knuckle bone.
  • Place the beef shanks, neck bones, and oxtails on to a baking sheet and bake in a 350 F degree oven until the bones have browned, approximately one hour. Once browned transfer the bones from the baking sheet to the slow cooker. Also add the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and peppercorns to the slow cooker and fill with the slow cooker with water to cover all the ingredients.
  • If using a slow cooker, turn it to the high setting for one hour, then turn it down to the keep warm setting and allow to simmer on keep warm for 12 hours. If your slow cooker does not have a keep warm setting, turn it down to the low setting but tilt the slow cooker lid to allow for some of the steam to escape to prevent the broth from boiling.
  • If using a stock pot on the stove, bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, turn off the slow cooker or stove. Allow broth to cool slightly and then begin to strain ingredients with a slotted spoon. Reserve ingredients to be re-used to make a second batch of broth.
  • Once all the ingredients have been strained from the broth, line a colander with cheese cloth or a flour sack towel and place over a deep pot. Use a ladle to transfer broth from the slow cooker or stock pot into the lined colander. The broth will drain through the lined colander into the deep pot.
  • Once all the broth has been strained through the lined colander into the deep pot, transfer this pot to the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and transfer it to a separate container to be used in other recipes. Transfer the broth to container(s) with a cover that can then be refrigerated or frozen. You can store the broth in multiple smaller containers or one single large container depending on how you plan to use it. This bone broth will stay fresh for 3-4 days when refrigerated. If frozen in the freezer of a refrigerator, it will stay fresh for 6 months. In a separate freezer that is not opened frequently, it will stay fresh for up to 12 months.



To begin with, when you are shopping for bones to make beef bone broth, you want to find a mix of bones. Do not worry if you can’t find the exact mix of bones as outlined in this recipe. The bottom line is that you want to find a variety of bones.
Marrow bones are usually readily available at most grocery stores as are beef shanks (sometimes referred to as Osso Buco). These make for a lovely broth especially when the beef shanks are roasted before adding them to your stock pot.
But for a nicely gelatinous broth, you will also want to include some knuckle bones, neck bones, and/or oxtails. Knuckle bones should be readily available at most grocery stores and sold near the marrow bones. Neck bones may be harder to find, but oxtails are often available at the grocer during the springtime.
If you do not see any bones at your grocery store, be sure to speak with the butcher. They may have them behind the counter or you may be able to request a special order. However, with the popularity of bone broth, it has become easier to find beef bones at most groceries.
Although you may have heard that you need to simmer this bone broth in the-making for three days on your stovetop, that really isn’t the case. Approximately 12 hours is sufficient to leach the nutrients out of the bones and create a nice gelatinous broth.
Excessive simmering can actually "break" the gelatin creating a watery broth, which in my - humble - opinion, has a bit of an overly strong - almost "over cooked" flavor. So make things easy on yourself and simmer this for 12 hours and then strain it.
If after straining it, you think the beef bones may render more bone broth, you can of course reuse them for making a second batch. You will be able to tell that the bones may render more broth if you see evidence of some cartilage or gelatinous areas remaining on the knuckle bones, neck bones, shank bones, or oxtails.
As a final note, I want to mention that you can simmer this broth on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. However, if you use a slow cooker, you will need one that has a "Keep Warm" setting that heats to 180°F. (You can test this by filling your slow cooker with water, set it on Keep Warm and test the temperature with a cooking thermometer after a few hours.) This temperature will create the perfect environment for making delicious, gelatinous bone broth.
If your slow cooker does not have a "Keep Warm" setting, you can still use it to make bone broth but you will need to put it on the low setting and adjust the lid slight to one side to allow for some of the heat to escape so as to prevent the broth from boiling.
Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-rich-and-gelatinous-beef-bone-broth/
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