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Beef Broth Canning

November 29, 2010

A few weeks ago, I used the first of the beef soup bones that we got with our 1/4 cow to make a rich beef broth to be used throughout the year.  Of course it required the “dreaded” pressure canner, but hey, that’s K’s job (while I run out of the room and hide). I did most everything else myself.

I always end up buying “organic” beef broth at the store when a recipe calls for some, use about 1/4 or 1/2 the container and end up throwing the rest away because I have nothing else to use it for within the 7 day window they give, once it’s opened.  I thought this might be a better way of making smaller amounts (and possibly tastier) so I wouldn’t waste so much.

Part of what I love about making broth is that I get to use whatever veggie odds and ends I have. Throughout the year I’ve been saving things like stripped celery leaves, the tops of carrots, onion skins, etc. in a ziploc bag and sticking it in the freezer. All of this will get roasted and worked into the broth.

The broth recipe is really subject to interpretation and reinterpretation. It’s a little of this, a little of that, and all of it comes out great, it just needs to be fully cooked to make sure you won’t make yourself sick. Ever since last year when we canned meatballs for the first time, I feel confident in our pressure canner to keep us from getting sick.

I used 2 1/2lbs of beef soup bones to make this recipe, but that’s only because that’s what the bag of soup bones I took out of our freezer weighed. We still have other bags in the freezer, ranging all the way up to 6lbs, and I’ll play around with it equally the next time, trying to get just the right flavor. I had no idea how much broth 2 1/2 lbs of bones would make, but it turned out to be 3 1/2 quarts of beef broth.  Obviously, the more bones you use, the more broth you’ll get.


  • 2.5lbs beef bones, with some meat on them
  • 3 medium, scrubbed carrots, chunked
  • 3 medium stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
  • 3 medium unpeeled onions, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

First, I preheated the oven to 425F. The bones went into a roasting pan and into an oven to be baked, uncovered, for 30 min.

Then add your celery, carrots, and onions, any odds and ends you’ve saved. As long as they’re clean, it’s ok to use, peelings, leaves and all. Bake the veggies and the bones an additional 30 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure everything is evenly browned.

After roasting, transfer everything to a big stockpot, most likely the biggest you have.  If you don’t have one large pot, you can use a couple of smaller ones. Pour two cups of water into the roast pan, and scrape out all the browned, roasted bits into the pot. Then fill the pot with water until it’s about 2 inches over the ingredients in the pot. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam as needed.

Reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 hours (I simmered for 4 hours), adding water as needed to keep the ingredients submerged. Add salt and pepper as desired.

When done, strain the broth through a fine sieved colander and discard the solids. Meat can be used for another purpose, but after cooking for so long might not taste so well, since the boiling will drain the taste of the meat.

Cool the stock/broth in the fridge overnight before canning.

The next day, skim any fat off the top (mine was green, it did not look pretty, and I saved you from looking at it). Return to a pot and boil. Fill quart and pint jars with stock, leaving 1 inch headspace. Process quarts for 25 minutes and pints for 20 in a weighted-gauge pressure canning at 15 PSI for normal altitude (under 1000 ft). Check the appropriate pressure for your area if it varies from mine.

And now you have plenty of beef broth/stock ready for the next time your recipe calls for it!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 6:53 am

    If you have a dog, that meat is a perfect treat. Since my hound eats a 50/50 dog food/human diet, I use it as a supplement for her. I also include the veggies.

    If you have no dog, well, the meat is pretty tasteless, and not much use-though the marrow can be scooped out of the middle of the bones for a mouth watering sandwich of fresh bread! Veggies, of course can go into the compost…if you have a well enclosed bin, and a hot pile, you could get away with shredding the meat fine and composting it too, but it’s not something I’d do often.

    It never occurred to me to roast things first, what a great idea! I’ll have to try that next time I do stock…

  2. December 2, 2010 3:20 pm

    Thanks for saving us from seeing the fat lol I made a huge pot of turkey stock last weekend, and skimming the fat was definitely my least favorite part and it wasn’t even green :) I was wondering if homemade broth could be canned, but I ended up freezing mine since I don’t have all the canning paraphernalia.


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