October 29, 2023

The Mad Canner: Beef broth

A few weeks ago, I canned a big batch of chicken broth for the pantry. Checking the shelves, I knew then that I needed to do beef broth as well, but my local grocery didn't have any marrow bones available. I wasn't in a hurry so I waited until they had what I wanted. 

I don't create beef broth the exact same way as I do chicken and turkey. With poultry, I've roasted the bird before I cook the bones. I don't add a lot of salt or anything else because I don't want whatever recipe I use it in to be over-seasoned. Beef broth is different.

I tossed the rinsed marrow bones in my larger crockpot with two ribs of celery, a chunk of yellow onion, three beef bouillon cubes, about a teaspoon of peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves. I added as much water as the crockpot would hold, turned it on high for ten hours (overnight), and then cut it back to low until I was ready to strain and process the first batch. If you like your broth to be a darker color, save your onion skins and add that when you're cooking the bones. I don't feel the need for a dark broth. 

Meat broth needs to be pressure-canned to be safe. The guidelines for my elevation (above sea level) call for pints to be processed at pressure for twenty minutes. I did two batches for a total of sixteen pints. 

Beef broth comes in handy for more things than soup, although that's our primary usage. If we have a beef dish for dinner, adding some beef broth to mashed potatoes kicks the flavor up a notch. You can cook rice or pasta in beef broth to rev up the flavor. You can also drink broth as a hot beverage although we really don't. 

But back to soup, I've been hungry for beef barley soup. Having the broth and some stew beef chunks in jars makes soup-making easy. I haven't yet read where barley is safe to home can, most grains are not, so until I read a process has been approved, I'll make it from "scratch" each time. 

It's not difficult to make beef broth. The crockpot does the bulk of the work, and the rest of it is simply having a good book to read while the Presto canner does its thing. I'm calling it a lazy day's work well done.

The Lady of the Hideaway

Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, home food preservation, beef broth, crockpots, home canning food, rural living, country lifestyle, gardening

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