Bone Broth

Bone Broth
  • Sumo

I can never keep enough bone broth in the house. My goal is to make enough so that I can have a mug of it every day plus have enough left over to cook with. I used to work with an old fashioned doctor who swore by chicken soup as a cure for just about anything. Now I think maybe he was on to something. He was pretty old, so I’m sure he didn’t have Campbell’s soup in a can in mind, but rather real homemade broth from actual bones.

Bone broth provides our bodies with bio-available (very easy to consume, digest and absorb) forms of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and other trace minerals that are  lacking in our diets today (source: You can also use vegetable-only broths to obtain certain minerals, but without bones in the mix, you won’t get some of the other fantastic benefits from the gelatin and collagen they provide. Plus, it just tastes good! To learn more about the benefits of bone broth, have a look here, here or have a look at what Mark Sisson has to say here.


This seems to be a pretty standard recipe. You can also add in crushed garlic or other spices, I was just too lazy. The idea of adding fish sauce comes from Michelle.

  • 1.5 kg beef bones (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (helps pull minerals out of the bones)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce (or salt to taste if you don’t have this)
  • 2 carrots, chopped in big pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped in big pieces
  • water, enough to cover it all

What to do

  1. Roast your bones in a preheated 200C/400F oven for 30 minutes. I spread mine out on a baking sheet.

    Ready to roast

  2. Chop your carrots, celery and onion while your bones are roasting.
  3. Once your bones are done, throw everything into your crock pot (slow cooker) or a big soup pot.

    Ready to be covered with water

  4. Fill with water to cover.
  5. On the stove top, cover and cook all day. If using a crock pot, set for 6-8 hours. You can’t overcook this stuff. The longer you cook it, the richer it gets. I sometimes cook it as long as 24 hours.
  6. When you are done cooking, strain your broth. I toss out the bones but some people use them again.
  7. Put your broth into a large bowl and chill until all of the fat solidifies on top.

    Discard the top layer of fat

  8. Remove the fat layer with a spoon and you are left with a gelatin soup (kind of like bone jello).
  9. I spoon my bone jello into zip lock bags in 2 cup portions and put them in the freezer.

I love to enjoy a nice hot mug of this stuff. It’s pouring down rain as I type this and I’m sipping it right now 🙂

Perfection in a mug

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  1. Hi there, nice blog! Found you at Jimmy’s.

    We love bone broth and normally prepare it with a mixture of bones. The beef only version tastes a bit intense sometimes. Probably because of the fat, as we do not remove it.
    Best wishes for 2013 from the Thur Valley!

    • Hi Miriam,
      Thanks for stopping by! We’re a pretty new blog and still working on content. You found us at Jimmy’s? As in Jimmy Moore? I’ve made it with a mix of bones before, too. I usually skim the fat off after reading about how it oxidizes after cooking for such a long time. If I find any definitive sources about that I’ll be sure to update the post.

  2. I love making bone broth using oxtails. I don’t own a slow cooker so I use my pressure cooker. Takes only about 1 hour and I got tender oxtail meat with yummy bone broth. Typically I only use 1/4 onion, 12 garlic cloves, fish sauce, salt, white pepper and star anise as the base spice.

    • Hi Jos,
      Thanks for sharing! A pressure cooker is on my list of things to get someday. Already I have an ice cream maker, a crock pot, a dehydrator, a huge wok, a food processor, a mandolin and a hand blender. I’m pretty much out of storage space for anything else in my kitchen 🙂

  3. Yes, that is Jimmy Moore.
    I have not heard of the oxidising problem. Thanks for pointing it out!

  4. I love drinking and cooking with bone broth! I make mine with pressure cooker!
    By the way did you find organic apple cider vinegar here?
    I’m thinking of ordering Fish Sauce & Coconut Amino from Amazon!

    • Christian,
      We get bio apple cider vinegar from Coop. Amazon won’t deliver the fish sauce or the aminos to Switzerland 🙁 We stock up whenever we visit the States and we have our daughter bring it over for us. We’ve been thinking of asking our local Asian store if they would consider ordering them for us.

      • Have you tried any of the Asian food stores? The ones in Zurich stock many brands of fish sauce.

        • Hi Paul,
          Yes, I have. I go to a greal little Asian store and it does have many brands. I haven’t found one here as clean as Red Boat in terms of ingredients, but |I have found a few that aren’t really all that bad. I did contact Red Boat awhile back and they told me that they don’t supply to any shops here at the moment.

    • you can find a very nice unfiltered Apple cider vinegar in glass bottles at the health food store (Reformhaus). It’s only about 5 francs for a large bottle. And the larger Migros will also carry the Alnatura apple cider vinegar, which is also the nice, “murkier” kind.

  5. Lisa, do you throw out the vegetables because they are void of any vitamins after they have been cooked for so long or can they be eaten still ?

    • I usually throw them out because they get pretty mushy and tasteless. If they taste good to you though, eat em! After cooking for so long, I would think most of the nutrients are gone.

  6. What do you strain your broth through? Cheesecloth? A coffee filter? A colander? Your toes?(Just joking on that one!);)

    • Hi Poppins,
      I just strain it through a colander. I don’t mind the little bits that make it through my colander. However, if you want to your broth to be really clear, then I would suggest lining your colander with cheesecloth. I usually throw away the stuff I strained out (the vegetables and bones). Some people eat the vegetables…I don’t because they are too mushy for me and I figure I boiled all the nutrients of out of them anyways 🙂 I also only use my bones for one batch of broth, but I know others who use them several times before throwing them out.

      • Do you suggest cooking it on low or high setting in the crockpot for 6-8 hours?

        • Hi Crystal,
          In a crockpot for only 6-8 hours, high would be ok. If you were going to set it for longer, then I would start with high for a few hours and then turn it down to low. I’ll sometimes cook mine for 24 hours (on low) if I’m feeling patient and don’t need my broth urgently for a recipe.

  7. Nice post! Any idea if bone broth can be bought in switzerland?

    • Hi Milan,
      I’ve never seen it for sale here, but to be honest, I haven’t looked all that hard since I just make my own 🙂

  8. I LOVE the stuff. I don’t cook with it much, because I like to make sure I have enough for at least one mug every day. I typically make a batch every week or so. I don’t roast my bones beforehand –
    – also because I love roasted marrow and I am not sure I would leave any for the broth if I found myself in front of a batch of roasted marrow bones! I put everything in the crock pot, cover with wate and cook roughly 20 hours. Yum.
    P.S. For those who cannot get Red Boat fish sauce, add 2-3 anchovy fillets to the pot. I swear it doesn’t taste fishy, it just adds that rich salty taste and a bit of umami that you’d get from the fish sauce. I use both those and Himalayan pink salt in each batch.

    • Hi Elisa,
      Yes, the bones don’t really have to be roasted ahead of time. I just do it because it helps to render some of the fat off. Great tip on the anchovies 🙂

  9. Hi Lisa, great post. Love bone broth! Any idea where to source organic beef bones from in Zurich? I just moved here and can’t seem to find a bio butcher. Thanks ☺

    • Hi Ness,
      I get mine from a local farmer. I have a tab on the website called where to shop and then I have a few farms listed under there. I just did a google search for ‘bio metzgerei zürich’ and came up with a whole bunch of hits for organic butchers. Do the same search and just pick one that is closest to you. Any of them should have bones for you 🙂