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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 27, 2016

Beef Bone Broth Variations

By Worker Bee
31 Comments

PrimalBone broth has been getting so much buzz, it doesn’t need a lengthy introduction. By now, you probably know that sipping a warm mug of broth is not only soothing, but also a nourishing source of gelatin. So you keep a supply of bone broth in your refrigerator or freezer*. And you’re sipping mugs of it, and it’s soothing, and nourishing, and all that—but it’s also getting a little boring. Not because you don’t like bone broth. It’s just that you’re craving a little more flavor, a little more pizazz, a little something different than a basic mug of broth. Perhaps broth with the rich flavor of porcini mushrooms? Or the spicy kick of Sichuan peppercorns? How about of mug of broth laced with the exotic flavor of cinnamon, ginger and star anise, or the comforting flavor of butter and leeks?

Luckily, after you’ve already gone through the lengthy process of making homemade broth, changing the flavor is easy to do. Each of the recipes below require 1 hour and just a few ingredients to transform a basic pot of beef bone broth into a whole new flavor experience.

*Wait, you don’t have a batch of homemade bone broth in your freezer? No problem. There’s a basic bone broth recipe at the end of this post.

Servings: Makes 2 quarts/2 L flavored broth

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour

Beef & Mushroom Broth

Mushroom broth

  • 2 quarts beef bone broth (2 L)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, quartered (450 g)
  • 1 cup (about 1 ounce/28 g) dried mushrooms, rinsed to remove dirt and grit
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are soft, 5 minutes.

In a pot, combine the bone broth with cooked mushrooms and garlic, dried mushrooms and thyme. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer 1 hour. Strain the stock and discard the solids.

If desired, stir a little crème fraiche into the warm broth before drinking.

Vietnamese Beef Broth

Vietnamese Broth

  • 2 quarts beef bone broth (2 L)
  • 3 inches ginger, peeled and cut in half lengthwise (7.6 cm)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds (10 ml)

In a pot combine the broth, ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and coriander seeds. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer 1 hour.

Strain the stock and discard the solids.

If desired, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) each of fish sauce and coconut aminos to the pot of broth before serving.

Butter and Leek Beef Broth

Primal

  • 2 quarts beef bone broth (2 L)
  • 2 leeks, cut in half and well-rinsed, bottom tips trimmed off
  • Salted butter (ideally, grass fed)

Roughly chop the leeks. Because the leeks will be strained out of the stock, use the tough dark green part as well.

Add the leeks to the stock. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer 1 hour. Strain the stock and discard the leeks.

Right before drinking, add a tablespoon or so of butter to each serving of broth, letting the butter melt into the warm broth.

Peppercorn Beef Broth

Peppercorns

  • 2 quarts beef bone broth (2 L)
  • 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, crushed with the flat side of a knife (10 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed with the flat side of a knife (5 ml)

Add Sichuan peppercorns and black peppercorns to the stock. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer 1 hour. Strain the stock before drinking.

Basic Bone Broth Recipe

Bones

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 to 4 pounds/1.6 to 1.8 kg beef bones. Any type of bones will do, but for the richest, most gelatinous beef broth, add some collagen-rich knuckles, tails, feet, or neck bones
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water (about 4 to 6 quarts/4 to 6 L)

Instructions:

Optional: Browning the bones before simmering gives the broth a deeper, richer flavor, but it’s optional. Preheat oven to 375 °F/190 °C. Spread the bones out on a large roasting pan. Roast 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned.

Put the roasted (or unroasted) bones in a large stockpot or 6 to 8-quart slow cooker. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves. Add enough water to cover the bones by an inch or two.

In a stockpot, simmer on very low heat, with a lid, for at least 10 to 12 hours, or up to 24 hours to extract the most nutrients and flavor, occasionally skimming foam and fat from surface.

In a slow cooker, cook on low for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

The broth is done when it has a rich, savory flavor and deep reddish-brown color.

Pour broth through a strainer to remove all solid ingredients. Cool the broth quickly by pouring it into a shallow and wide container. When the broth has cooled, then cover and refrigerate. Use the refrigerated stock within several days, or freeze for several months.

Primal

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31 Comments on "Beef Bone Broth Variations"

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Ziva
Ziva
7 months 4 days ago

I’ve read that using Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs, preferably) can help leech out minerals in the bones into the broth. Is there any truth to this?
I usually add parsley to mine as well.
My last batch I added a sprinkle of tumeric, and it was good but definitely different, so depending on how daring one chooses to get I suppose the possibilities are endless!

Ziva
Ziva
7 months 4 days ago
PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
7 months 4 days ago

Mark did a post here on MDA back on Nov. 2, 2015 about bone broth and one of the comments relates to whether to add vinegar to the pot – or not. I found the info enlightening as I always used vinegar as well. Check it out – it’s a good article. and may answer some of your questions.

Julie
Julie
7 months 3 days ago

When i made it with vinegar, i didnt like the flavor. Im gonna try the anove recipe.

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
7 months 3 days ago

Perhaps you’ve used too much vinegar? There isn’t a need for more then 2 spoons – if any.

Great Idea Mark. A general note to everyone about browning the bones prior to preparing the broth. Use a kitchen blow torch for a fast browning effect. This way, you won’t be loosing marrow, as it tends to melt under the oven’s high heat. And, you’ll be saving on your electric bill 🙂

I got the idea from a demo about searing a steak after using sous vide.

Zach Rusk
6 months 27 days ago

Love it! If only everyone prioritized energy efficiency… I also am wondering why mark often suggests for parts of the meal to e discarded, like the leeks

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
6 months 27 days ago
Thank you Zach. You have an interesting site, even If we differ on some of the dietary issues. I guess, Mark feels that all the nutrients were drawn out it into the broth after cooking for so long and I tend to agree. I too filter the soup once it’s done cooking and add some fresh vegetables when reheating. Adding chopped carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, celery and parsley would yield soup rich in potassium among the other goodies. Warm the soup just enough to keep the vegetables crunchy. For some reason there’s no option to reply back as a tread.… Read more »
Shary
Shary
7 months 3 days ago

If you feel bone broth really needs an acidic component, try adding a little wine instead of vinegar. The flavor will be much better.

Julie
Julie
7 months 2 days ago

I really dont likentgevacidic flavor, and felt that method was a waste of tkme and ingredients. Next time ill just leave it out.

Shary
Shary
7 months 2 days ago
Julie, the idea that vinegar releases a powerhouse of nutrients from long-simmering bones has been pretty much debunked. Well made broth will jell without adding vinegar; therefore, there’s no real reason to add it to the broth if you don’t like the flavor it imparts. Not to badmouth Mark’s recipe suggestions here–which sound like good ones–the reason bone broth has developed such a cult following is that there are now several generations of people that have never made (or even tasted) broth or stock made from scratch (using raw meaty bones and veggies, instead of “broth” from a can and… Read more »
Malcolm
Malcolm
7 months 3 days ago

Do you need to add extra veggies to bone broth? I’ve never seen an explanation why they’re needed, and I’d like to substitute the veggies for high collagen items like chicken feet/beef tendons instead. Do they help bring out extra nutrients from the bones, or are they just added for their own sake?

Paleo Bon Rurgundyl
7 months 3 days ago

Veggies add flavor, a French classic is a mirepoix: onion, celery and carrot

Shary
Shary
7 months 3 days ago

Recipes for beef stock are almost identical, minus the ridiculously long cooking time. Stock recipes are done in 4-6 hours and they jell beautifully. IMO, fresh meaty bones and a mirapoix are a must for good flavor, whether you go for the lengthy simmer or not.

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
7 months 3 days ago

Veggies leech vitamines and minerals too.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
7 months 3 days ago

Hubby’s taste buds demand that I put a couple tablespoons of Sambal Oelek into the bone broth, finish simmering it, then straining out the solids–that way, he gets the hot flavor he wants, and I eliminate the carbs I don’t want.

Jett Murdock
7 months 3 days ago

Looks amazing, but I’m gonna reckon that you could make some killer stews or glazes out of these!

oxide
oxide
7 months 3 days ago

1 tablespoon of butter? It’s Bulletproof Bone Broth!

Elizabeth
7 months 3 days ago

I add vinegar. Just to be safe!! But have to say I do best with chicken broth. My beef bone broth has not been great. Have some bones in the freezer and this post has me inspired to try again!

Jack Meredith
Jack Meredith
7 months 3 days ago

Personally, I really enjoy browning the bones before making beef bone broth. That and using a lot of neck bones makes for an amazing bone broth!

I’ve also been traveling a lot and found a company (that you suggested on Twitter Mark!), Kettle & Fire, that has an amazing beef bone broth – http://kettleandfire.com/. They’re the best source I’ve found online and don’t require freezing. Thanks for that tip!

Kathy
Kathy
7 months 3 days ago
I don’t see the point in adding veggies just to strain them back out. After making bone broth and straining the bones I load it up with an armload of vegetables and any meat scraps around. All the leftover veggies from the fridge go in: outer leaves of cabbages, celery tops, chopped broccoli stems, and all the other things that aren’t otherwise our favorites can hide in soup. When the dark green leafies are taking over the garden in summer I process and freeze them in great wads for winter soups. Whole bunches of parsley and cilantro go in, plus… Read more »
Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
7 months 3 days ago

I agree! I like add the veggies at the end so they stay more fresh. Then I can the broth with vegetables as soup. One of my favorite things to do is make leek noodles by slicing lengthwise from the root to the top in long 1/4 inch strips. Leek noodles hold up well even if you put them in at the start. Chicken broth with leek noodles, Jerusalem artichoke, celery root and fresh thyme is very effective prebiotic reset.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
7 months 3 days ago

Looks like an awesome recipe, definitely the way to go!

That “said”, I was going to post something on a forum about this, but can’t seem to create an account. For those of us on the go that don’t have the time or inclination to collect bones etc. (I know, excuses excuses) are the commercial brands any good? The Pacific brand I buy at the health food store has 0% fat so I’m wondering how it can have gelatin etc. and if it is doing me any good? It’s not exactly inexpensive either.

Wildrose
Wildrose
7 months 3 days ago

I’m quite sure that gelatin is a protein, not fat, similar to whey. I mean, they sell it powdered, it has to be. 🙂 Anyway, I can’t say specifically that what you’re buying is good but how much protein has it got and how thick is it? Really gelatinous broth is nearly solid in the fridge.

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
7 months 3 days ago

Thanks Wildrose, good info and I will research the topic in more depth. It does have 12 grams of protein per 8 ounces, but it is very thin even when stored in the refrigerator.

Elenor
Elenor
7 months 3 days ago
{sigh} This (really good) blog entry makes me look askance at my chicken broth. I take my Costco rotisserie chicken carcasses and make delicious broth. Three days in my Crockpot: Costco ‘organic’ broth to cover the torn-up carcass, pureed-and-frozen ((Costco!) yellow, orange, red, and green) peppers and pureed-and-frozen onion (no straining and healthy?). I just skim the layer of fat after cooling in the fridge! Freeze in 1.5C “loafs” in a silicon mini-loaf pan. When I get chilly, I microwave a frozen “loaf with a couple TBL of KerryGold, then add a couple TBL of MCT Oil — lovely whole-body… Read more »
Shary
Shary
7 months 2 days ago
Read the label on the Costco rotisserie chicken container. You will see that you’re putting a whole lot more in your bone broth than just chicken. I don’t know why Costco sees fit to add so many questionable additives to their rotisserie chicken, but that’s why we don’t buy them. From a primal standpoint, you would be better off buying a raw chicken that’s nothing but the bird itself. Simmer it in plain water (versus canned broth) with some veggies and seasonings. You can strip off the meat after a couple of hours and return the bones to the pot… Read more »
Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons
7 months 2 days ago

Beautiful variations! I’m especially keen to try the Vietnamese Beef Broth on account of the cinnamon and star anise.

Matt Berke
Matt Berke
7 months 1 day ago

I’ve been using a couple of chuck short ribs when making the bone broth. This gives you some nice, tender meat to use later on.

My current favorite is the following:

Heat broth with 3-4 oz of cooked stew meat per cup of broth along with some thinly sliced onions. Allow to come to a low boil. Add a handful of chopped kale, chopped fresh ginger, a sprinkle of cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste. Top with diced avocado.

This is a very flavorful, filling and nourishing soup.

Eugenia
Eugenia
6 months 29 days ago
Back home we make bone broth without vinegar or veggies, only add a whole garlic head before the end of cooking and simmer for half an hour more. I understand that vegetables will give the broth more minerals, but I do not like the taste of long boiled veggies and the color of the broth won’t be as clear. The broth can be used instead of water to make any soup when veggies do not need to be boiled for hours. Lately, my favorite way is to chop the entire bunch of water cress and throw it into my bowl… Read more »
Mike
Mike
4 months 23 days ago

Adding eggshells to the pot can clear up a lot of the cloudiness that comes from using certain veggies.

Rob
Rob
3 months 6 days ago

My experience with beef bone broth has not been that great. The process takes a whole lot of time (not to mention expense) to find out if it was a gelatinous success or not.

Making an amazing duck broth on the other hand is a guarantee!

Recipe: 2 duck carcasses,12 duck feet, 12 cups of water. Roast the duck & feet for 45 min. Put into a crock pot and add water. Simmer for 12 hours. Strain. Refrigerate. Remove fat. Wow! Beautiful Gelatin. Heat some up and add salt & pepper. Crazy Good!!!

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