Cooking Essentials: Beef Bone-Marrow Broth

Andy Anderson !


Beef bone broth is becoming very popular. Not only is it great for making soups and stews, people are drinking it for its health benefits.

To that end, beef bones now sell for about $4.99 a pound. To put that into perspective, when I was cooking in Naples, Italy, we could get beef marrow bones for free. That is called supply and demand.

This recipe began with my time at the CIA, and over the years I have added and subtracted a few things. Plus, attempted to make the recipe as easy-to-make as possible.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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30 Min
20 Hr
Slow Cooker Crock Pot



  • 4 lb
    beef bones, cut into 3-inch (7.6cm) pieces
  • 1 medium
    onion, quartered, about 8 ounces (230g)
  • 2 medium
    shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 clove
    garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 medium
    carrots, cut into chunks, about 8 ounces (230g)
  • 2 stalk(s)
    celery, cut on the bias, into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato paste
  • ·
    cold, filtered water, as needed

  • 3 - 4 medium
    bay leaves, dried variety
  • 2 tsp
    black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp
    apple-cider vinegar

  • 4 oz
    dry white wine, like a chardonnay

How to Make Cooking Essentials: Beef Bone-Marrow Broth


  2. To create this bone broth, you will need a good heavy-bottom pot (cast iron is good), and a slow cooker, or instant pot capable of holding a volume of 6 quarts or more.
  3. Some of the secrets to a good beef bone-marrow broth are:

    Brown your beef bones… nothing brings out the flavors of those bones like spending a bit of time in a high-heat oven. Do not skip this step.

    Brown the aromatics, but for less time. If you put the veggies in the oven at the same time as the bones, you will wind up with blackened veggies, and you will have to start all over again.

    In the last stage of browning, brush the aromatics and bones with tomato paste. This will help to flavor the stock, and the acidic nature of the tomato paste will help to coax the collagen out of the bones during the long cooking process.
  4. I just checked at our local health-food grocer, and they are selling organic beef bone marrow broth at 50 bucks a quart. My ingredients cost about 20 bucks, and that means I have made about 150 dollars worth of broth.
  5. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  6. Place a rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 450f (230c).
  7. Place the beef bones on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a rim.
  8. Roast the bones in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Distribute the celery, onions, shallot, garlic, and carrots on the sheet, and roast an additional 15 minutes.
  10. Brush the tomato paste over the bones, and veggies, and roast an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Add the bones and veggies to the pot, and then cover with cold water.
  12. Chef’s Note: If there are any drippings or brown bits (fonds) on the baking dish, add them to the pot. No sense in wasting good flavor.
  13. Bring the pot up to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a light boil.
  14. Over the course of the next two hours, use a fine-mesh strainer to remove (and discard) the scum that rises to the surface of the broth.
  15. Chef’s Note: This is probably the most intensive step of the recipe. I would suggest removing the scum about every 10 - 15 minutes.
  16. Chef’s Note: Add water, when needed to keep the level about an inch (2.5cm) above the bones.
  17. Remove the bones from the broth, and place them into the bowl of your slow cooker.
  18. Use a strainer to separate the veggies from the broth. Discard the veggies, and add the broth to the slow cooker. If you do not have enough liquid to cover the bones by at least 1 inch (2.5cm), add more water.
  19. Chef’s Tip: When you are straining the broth push against the veggies with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  20. Why remove the aromatics (veggies) after only 2 hours?
    Contrary to popular belief, veggies; especially a French mirpoix (onions, carrots, celery) are not the gift that keeps on giving, and giving, and giving. They can only give so much, before they break down. If you are doing a hard boil, to make a broth, then you have about an hour; if you are doing a light boil (as we are), then you have about 2 hours. After that time those valiant veggies have given their all; soon after that, the spent fibers will begin to break down and release sulfur compounds.
    Understand, you will not be ruining the broth; as a matter of fact, many people leave the veggies in for the entire time. In my experience, removing them before the long, slow cooking process produces a cleaner tasting broth.
  21. Add the additional spices (bay leaves, peppercorns, apple-cider vinegar), and wine, if using, cover, and cook on low for 18 – 48 hours. The longer you cook it, the better it will be.
  22. After the prescribed time, use a fine-mesh strainer to separate the broth, and discard all the remaining solids.
  23. Allow to come to room temperature, add to tightly-sealed containers, and then store in the fridge for 7 – 10 days, or freeze, and defrost when needed.
  24. Chef’s Tip: If you drink this for your health, you will find it a bit bland, so do not be afraid to spice it up a bit. I will usually put some in a saucepan to warm it up, and then add a pinch or two of salt, or other spices.
  26. You can warm it up and drink it for its health benefits, or use it in soups and stews. Enjoy.
  27. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Cooking Essentials: Beef Bone-Marrow Broth

Course/Dish: Beef Soups
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American
Other Tag: Healthy

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