Under Pressure: Second-Time-Around Beef Bone Broth

I’ve been saving the bones from the grass fed and grass finished beef soup bones and oxtail that we purchased from a local farm. These were the core of a variety of soups, including Korean-Style Oxtail Soup, and we’d already enjoyed the meat and marrow attached to the bones. Would there be anything left in these pressure-cooked bones to make bone broth? Definitely!

I’m all about findings ways to reduce waste, especially food waste. You may be surprised at the useful and/or tasty substances that can be made from food you might otherwise throw away, like orange rinds or pineapple peel, but ensuring that meat isn’t wasted is arguably even more important, given how resource-intensive raising meat animals is, not to mention that the meat comes from once-living creatures – that alone should inspire a level of respect that makes using as much as possible compulsory.

It was easy to save the bones, stripped of their meat and marrow, in a bag in the freezer: large soup bones, with their now-hollow centers, and myriad small bones from the oxtail, devoid of the succulent meat and tender cartilage that once adorned it. The bones simply sat in the freezer until I was ready to finally make a big pot of bone broth…and yesterday was the day.

Into my 8 quart Instant Pot, I added the bones, enough water cover them (remaining mindful not to exceed the fill line of the pot), and a generous splash of kombucha vinegar – don’t forget the vinegar, as it will help draw out all the bones’ goodness. Because the bones had been frozen and already used once in a dish, I set the IP for 2.5 hours on Manual, followed by a natural release.

Right out of the bag, frozen

Unlike the bone broth I usually make from our pastured chickens, there wasn’t a noticeable “brothy” fragrance from the pot as the bone broth cooked, making me wonder if the bones had already given their all in the earlier meals. What would I find when I opened the pot? Thin, watery liquid that only hinted at the bones’ former glory?

When I finally opened the pot, I found what was undeniably bone broth: the liquid was golden, with a nice slick of fat on the top.

After cooking

Poured into jars, I could clearly see the layer of fat at the top. But how much collagen would be left? Only time would tell…time to set up in the fridge.

The next day, the results were clear: the liquid had solidified, like jello, in the jars. There had still been plenty of goodness left in those bones, and they were transferred to the broth (thanks to the Instant Pot). The taste test revealed the broth to be rich and delicious, with that characteristic flavor of long-simmered bones.

Based on this experience, I will definitely be saving all of my bones from meals and making bone broth – why not get two uses from them?

And you know who else enjoys that twice-used bone broth goodness on their meals? Our dogs. We like to put some on their food each day, and you’d think it was the best thing they’ve eaten! Not just tasty, it’s also nutritious as a supplement to their formulated diet. Now, get to making bone broth – find more information and instructions in this post.

2 thoughts on “Under Pressure: Second-Time-Around Beef Bone Broth

  1. I’ve yet to make bone broth of any sort…a little nervous. I’ve heard that if it’s bad it can put a person off …I’m glad I can call on your expertise if I need guidance.

    1. This is pretty much “no-fail” bone broth – you can *definitely* do it. And once you try homemade broth, you won’t buy it anymore! Just ping me if you have any questions.

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