THIS BEEF BROTH HAS A DEEP FLAVOR AND IS SO EASY TO MAKE IN THE SLOW COOKER
I am a pretty big proponent of making your own broth. Homemade broth has a much greater depth of flavor than store bought, and in turn adds more flavor to the dishes you cook. However, I do tend to keep some store bought in my fridge for those occasions where I only need 1-2 tablespoons and I don’t have any thawed broth. A great idea to avoid that problem is to make ice cubes with your broth and store them in a freezer bag – but I always forget to do it!
What I love about this recipe is it makes a TON of broth and is so easy! I was able to get 17 cups of broth with just 2 pounds of beef bones. Just make sure you have enough space in your freezer to store it, or be ready to use it.
They key to a good beef broth is roasting the bones before putting them in the slow cooker. The roasted bones provide a deeper flavor. More flavor=more deliciousness, right? I use all the ingredients to cook 2 batches of broth. After the first is done, strain it, then pour all the ingredients (minus the broth, obviously) right back into the slow cooker for another round of cooking.
First, place the bones on a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes each side. Remove from oven and place in the slow cooker, along with all remaining ingredients.
Fill the slow cooker to the top (leave about an inch) with water, cover and cook on high for 12 hours. Reduce heat to low and cook another 12 hours. Reduce the cook time if you want a less intensely flavored broth. I like the deep flavor of the long slow cook.
After cooking is complete, strain the beef broth using a strainer (or sieve/cheesecloth). Divide into individual 1 cup servings and freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months. If you plan on using it immediately, it should stay fresh in the fridge for about 5 days.
After beef broth is divided and stored, pour all the ingredients (bones, carrots, onions, etc.) back into the slow cooker and fill to the top with water for a second time. For the second batch, I like to change up the flavors just a touch by adding 3-4 cloves, a star anise, teaspoon of fresh peppercorns, bay leaf, and a sprig or two of thyme. Salt is optional in the second batch. I prefer a less salty (if not salt free) broth to cook with. It is easier to adjust the salt content of each individual dish on a small batch basis.
I cook this batch for the same amount of time, strain it, and freeze it.
Now that you’ve made your beef broth, its time to get that chicken broth started!