Paleo-Primal Beef Bone Broth

Saturday, December 17, 2011
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

I know that some of my libertarian-Austrian Economics colleagues worry about my blog becoming a paleo/primal/foodie blog (and it won’t), however, some things foodie are just too good to pass up for the KDC blog.

I love to make bone broth during the winter months. Bone broth is one of the most natural, satisfying, and nutrient-dense foods in my arsenal. I have been making it every weekend in the slow cooker since Thanksgiving. Though it takes 24-30 hours, it is very simple and low-maintenance, as I will explain. However, due to the time passage from the initial investment of labor to the production of an edible good, folks with high time preferences might not want to bother with this recipe. In my case, since I use grass-fed bones, my labor started back in May when I worked with my farmer to order the appropriate quarter of cow, have it delivered to slaughter, decide upon the various cuts and wrapping for each cut, and then I made a 150-mile round trip to pick up the meat.

First off, don’t let the dogmatic “paleos” tell you that only grass-fed bones will suffice – that is poppycock. It is my preference, and since I buy cows directly from my farmer(s), I always have a six-to-nine month stash on hand, including all sorts of beef cuts, at any point in time. Meaty soup bones, marrow-filled bones, short ribs, or beef shanks that are store bought will still make a healthy and fabulous bone broth.

There are so many ways to make bone broth, so I do it differently each time. I am a make-it-up-as-I-go-along type of cook, so I don’t have definitive recipes for anything. But here is my general blueprint.


I use a 6-quart slow cooker and I toss in the meatiest bones, and I cover the bones in the crock pot with filtered or spring (never tap!) water. I add a few splashes of raw coconut vinegar (available from Whole Foods), though you can use apple cider vinegar. Then I add salt (Himalayan or Celtic) and fresh-ground pepper, and I let things cook with the crock pot on “high” for a couple of hours.


Then I revisit the crock pot to add more bones (the ones that have far less meat), more water, several bay leaves, minced garlic, thyme, a tablespoon of bacon grease, and a couple of tablespoons of raw butter. Then I switch the crock pot to low and go do stuff (for a few hours, or whatever).


When I come back to the kitchen (the time is not important) I cut up onions, carrots, and fennel, and add it all to the crock pot. The carrots are in here; they sunk to the bottom. I also add the throwaway core of (whole) fennel bulb to the crock pot to help flavor the broth. Some people also add celery and other vegetables for flavor.


I have a crock pot with a timer with a 12-hour maximum, so I reset it every so often and cook my broth on low for 24-30 hours. The house smells glorious for a 2-3 day time period. After that time I use a fine strainer to strain the broth into a stock pot for storage in the refrigerator, where it is good for a week. I keep the strained veggies and meat for other purposes and separate the broth entirely in the stock pot. I use the tender, delicious meat pieces in omelettes, in veggie dishes, or I add it back to some of my servings of the broth. I will make side dishes from the tender veggies. My dogs get the bigger bone remains (after I dip them in the broth). My dogs really like me.

Eating pure bone broth is a joy, and I also use it to detoxify when necessary, especially as I find myself attending multiple Christmas Parties and eating food that is not a part of my daily routine. I detoxify by eating bone broth for an entire day, or more, and I feel marvelous afterwards. Often I eat the broth on its own, but sometimes I add veggies, some of the leftover meat slivers, etc. Also, when reheating the broth, I heat the whole stock pot and take my servings from the pot.  After heating the broth, I pour servings into small serving bowls that I can take to work, etc. I don’t like to dish out a serving while the broth is cold because of the fat, or tallow, that forms a solid at the top, which will give me an uneven distribution of that fat. Lastly, if I want to save some of the broth for a later time, I will freeze it in freezer containers or in ice cube trays and warm the “broth cubes” in a pan on the stove when desired.

If you want to get creative and separate your top layer of fat, or tallow, from the broth after it sets in the refrigerator, you can – the tallow will make a good cooking resource on its own.

It really is that simple. Get creative with your broth and splash in some new flavors each time you make it or reheat it.

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16 Responses to Paleo-Primal Beef Bone Broth

  1. Karen De Coster says:

    December 20th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Unfortunately fake Sally with the fake email (but I looked up your IP address), I hate to disappoint you …… but, at 49 years old, I still wear the same size pants (0 or 2) as I did in Junior High. Ohh, so disappointing to hear you poor vegan fool, eh?!

  2. Mycroft says:

    December 22nd, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I say bring it on with the paleo lifestyle/diet postings as it’s anti-establishment. Besides, you are my go-to person on the latest and/or best books on the subject. I’m a little older than you are, and I’m about back to my high school weight, or about 15 pounds lighter than I was. Now if I could just make it up with more muscle. Love the other political and economic posts also, and the Karen-at-the-shooting-range pics.

  3. George Super BootCamps says:

    May 23rd, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hi Karen,

    I’m glad I found this page (from your post about your injury/surgery recovery) as i hadn’t actually thought about putting extra veg in my bone broth.

    I’ve just been doing bones, salt and vinegar. Then using the remaining juice as a base for everything from curries to soup to gravy. Making it more flavoured and veggie filled must only make it taste better, and leave you a load of food to pick from afterward!

    Also like you, my dog gets the bones afterward and sits there happily chewing on them for hours…

    As you can see from the following video, he’s hardly short of condition!

    Keep up the good work,

  4. Tammy says:

    July 31st, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hey! Looks delish, I’m glad I’m having some of my own right now :)
    I use leftover ribs for most of my bone broths, 2+ meals in one!

    Smart on the fennel! I’ll have to try that next time
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kathy says:

    August 12th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Roasting bones first gives a much deeper flavor (chicken carcasses as well).

  6. Jay DiNitto says:

    November 20th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I’m all over this. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Gia Angeline says:

    November 21st, 2012 at 10:34 am

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  8. Karen De Coster » Beef Bone Broth says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    [...] cooking my beef bone broth for 24+ hours, I took out a sample at about hour 19 and strained it. I added back meat shreds from [...]

  9. Karen De Coster » Beef Bone Broth Soup says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    [...] cooking my beef bone broth for 24+ hours, I took out a sample at about hour 19 and strained it. I added back meat shreds from [...]

  10. Karen De Coster » Neanderthals Didn’t Have a Federal Food Pyramid says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    [...] think they may have enjoyed fat, and perhaps bone broth. Here’s one of my bone broth recipes for the modern [...]

  11. Neanderthals Didn't Have a Federal Food Pyramid « Blog says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    [...] think they may have enjoyed fat, and perhaps bone broth. Here's one of my bone broth recipes for the modern [...]

  12. Neanderthals Didn’t Have a Federal Food Pyramid | The Penn Ave Post says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    [...] 2013 by Karen De Coster Archeologists think they may have enjoyed fat, and perhaps bone broth. Here’s one of my bone broth recipes for the modern era. [...]

  13. Bruce Sloane says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I would not give my dogs cooked bones, only raw

  14. Bill Jones says:

    February 7th, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Try this simple one.
    At least as much weight of onions, browned in your oil of choice, as meat and bones.
    Water to barely cover.
    Time as you can resist on low.

  15. Dora says:

    February 7th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Have you tried sous vide?

    It gives more options for achieving something new with eggs and the cheapest bits of the animal. Connective tissue dissolves into a brothy goo. It also protects the more expensive cuts from occasional ruining.

    I’m just using an aquarium circulator and candy thermometer, but for people who don’t wander by the stove as often as I do, the fancier machines would still be worthwhile.

  16. Karen De Coster says:

    February 8th, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Dora – I’d like to get the sous vide. Problem is its size and storage of the unit.

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