Beef Bone Broth

By Jennifer McGruther / Photography By Jennifer McGruther | April 22, 2014
The trick to making a good beef bone broth is to roast the bones before simmering them in a pot of water, herbs, and vegetables. Roasting helps to release a significant amount of fat from the bones, which can otherwise leave a greasy film in the broth or infuse it with an odd, flat, and almost acrid flavor. With much of the fat released and a rounder, more complex flavor developed during roasting, the resulting broth has the flavorful complexity of roast beef. I find that beef bone broth makes an excellent base for hearty soups, stews, and braised meats. When preparing roasted root vegetable soups, I invariably choose this broth because it, unlike milder chicken broth, has the fortitude to complement assertive flavors. While you can use any beef bones to produce a delicious broth, choosing a variety of beef bones including neck bones, knuckle bones, and a small number of marrow bones will produce the richest broth.


  • 5 pounds beef soup bones
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 large yellow onions, quartered
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celeriac, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 gallons water, plus more as needed


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Arrange the bones in a roasting pan in a single layer and roast for 45 minutes. Transfer the bones to a heavy stockpot. Toss in the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, onions, carrots, celeriac, and garlic. Pour in the red wine and water.

Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then immediately lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for at least 12 and up to 18 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the bones submerged. 

Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the solids, and pour the broth into jars. Cover the jars and place them in the fridge; you can remove the fat that hardens on the surface and use it for cooking. Use up the broth within a week, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

Related Recipe: Pot Roast with Apples, Sweet Potatoes and Prunes

Reprinted with permission from The Nourished Kitchen written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). 

>> Purchase The Nourished Kitchen, by Jennifer McGruther.