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The Healing Benefits Of Bone Broth

  • By
  • Teresa Cutter

Last week I finally bought myself a slow cooker with a good ceramic base…..

I’ve got to say, now I’m hooked and I’ve been making the most amazing bone broths and soups to help support and nourish my digestive and immune system. I have always been making my own broths and stocks using my usual 10 litre stainless steel stock pot – but now it’s so easy I just set and forget.  Making your bone broth is as easy as making a bowl of porridge – it’s that simple.

Bone broth is not only a winter staple meal, it’s also a key ingredient in gut health.  It can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles. I love adding seasonal vegetables of the moment, which makes them more into a complete meal as well as taste purely delicious.

While generally made from organic chicken or beef bones, my full proof version uses grass fed oxtail that provides loads of nutritional benefits that come from its gelatin and mineral rich properties. I remember my grandparents and mum constantly making oxtail or chicken soup for us when we were young – especially when we were unwell. The tradition has been carried on by yours truly and it’s a staple in my kitchen all year round.


Unlike regular chicken or beef stock, bone broth is usually simmered for 24 – 48  hours, giving the stock enough time to extract all the nutrients from the bones to create a magical elixir that does wonders for your health. As a young chef, I remember the saucier at our restaurant used to start his stocks beginning of the week and he would simmer over a gentle heat for around about 2 – 3 days, making sure to extract all the goodness from the bones, meat and vegetables used.

Incorporating grass fed beef in your diet will help you build a strong immune system due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Grass fed beef contains significantly more antioxidants and healthy fats than grain fed beef, which helps support healthy cell membranes and function.

When slow cooked as in this recipe, this succulent and rich protein source creates a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting dish that’s brimming with essential minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.


1. Bone broth is anti-ageing

Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen that forms the structural building blocks of strong skin, giving you a youthful glow. Collagen also supports hair growth, skin regeneration and assists in keeping your nails strong. 

2. Bone broth is bone building

Vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bone broth is important to help create and maintain strong and healthy bones.

3. Bone broth supports your gut

Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in gelatin. Gelatin is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.

4. Bone broth is anti-inflammatory

The long cooking time for bone broth breaks down cartilage and tendons releasing anti-inflammatory compounds, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, that are found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These compounds keep your joints young and flexible.


1.8 kg grass fed oxtail, chopped
6 Liters water
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 onions, halved
1 leek, sliced
1 bunch parsley stalks
3 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme

Preheat your oven to 200 / 400 F.
Place oxtail into a baking dish and brown in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.
Remove oxtail from the oven and carefully place them into the stockpot.
Add onion, carrot, celery, leek and water to the pot.
Fill the pot with water and place over a medium heat.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
Add parsley stalks, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.
Cover the pot partially and allow the slow simmering to begin.
Simmer partially covered over a low heat for a minimum of 6 hours ( the more the better) If you have a slow cooker simmer for 24 – 48 hours, skimming the broth regularly to remove any surface fat and scum. Add more water if necessary.
Remove the oxtail and strain the bone broth through a sieve or muslin.
Discard the solids.
Refrigerate the bone broth overnight and remove all the excess fat that solidifies over the top. Your cold broth should look like a jelly at this stage and be full of goodness.
Heat the broth over a stove and enjoy “au naturel” or as a base for soups or sauces.

Notes + Inspiration

  • Add 3 star anis, 3 cloves, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sticks of cinnamon and a little tamari to your bone broth when simmering and use as a base for a delicious Pho soup. All you need to do is add oxtail meat from the bone, spring onion, noodles and coriander.
  • Use as a base for the most delicious French Onion Soup.
  • I don’t add vinegar as it will make the stock cloudy.
  • Stock will keep for for 4 days in the fridge.

And that’s it! This bone broth is ready to heal your gut, flavour your favourite risotto or saute your veggies!


Want to know how to heal your gut and re-discover perfect digestive health? Perfect Digestive Health is available from The Healthy Chef eStore HERE




29 Responses to “The Healing Benefits Of Bone Broth”
  1. Julie says:

    1. Can you freeze the bone broth? If so – for how long?
    2. What is a substitute if you can’t source grass fed oxtail from your butcher?

    • Yes you can freeze it for upto 3 months. I would ask your butcher for grass fed marrow bones or beef shin that’s chopped up with some meat on it. You can enjoy both the stock and met with veggies or make a delicious pho soup with noodles.

  2. shelly says:

    Hi Theresa,
    I do mine in the pressure cooker on high for an hour after roasting and I find it is so thick and gelatinous compared to simmering for a few hours. Don’t get as much stock though with this method as once I put the bones in, I only have room for about 4 litres of water.. Usually end up with about 2 litres. How much do you end up with by slow simmering?

  3. Anna says:

    Hi Theresa,
    Which slow cooker did you buy?
    Been looking for a good ceramic base for a while.
    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  4. Jen says:

    Would like to know how many litres the slow cooker needs to hold to fit this recipe? Would also like to know the brand as I am currently in the market for one.

  5. Amanda Paul says:

    I keep all of my bones from roasts (put them in the freezer) and add them to my bone broths with the raw bones. It gives them a lovely depth and theyre too good just to throw in the bin. Just made a huge batch of chicken and lamb broth and made scotch broth with it. Will have to try oxtail!

  6. Amanda Paul says:

    Also, the broth will keep longer if the fridge if you don’t skim the excess fat of the top. That will form a seal and preserve the broth underneath. Then just remove the the before use (or use to roast potatoes etc – very tasty!)

  7. julie says:

    hi Teresa can you please tell us which ceramic bottom slow cooker you bought please ? thankyou Julie

  8. Louise says:

    Hi Theresa! Would you mind telling me which slow cooker you use as I’m looking to buy a new one! Thank you! Louise

  9. Vicki Edinburgh says:

    As I do not eat meat would I get the same benefits from Fish Broth and would the recipe change much?

    • Yes fish is great….just like a miso soup ! Simmer for about 4 hours then strain. Make sure to add a mirepoix of other aromatics including parsley, carrot, onion, leek. when it’s ready Ladel into a mug and stir in a little miso for it’s probiotic benefits as well as some seaweed. T:) x

  10. Margaret says:

    Would this freeze ok?

  11. Janette says:

    Hi Teresa
    I love making broth but stopped using the slow cooker and also cooking for so many hours because of the smoky/burnt/heavy flavour the broth imparts. Any clues as to how I can avoid this – I know the longer cooking is better, but no one will drink the broth due to this flavour and smell.

  12. Jacqueline says:

    I use meaty kangaroo bones to make a lovely gelatinous broth I feed to my dog – it simmers on the stove for between 12-24 hours. She loves it and at 14 yrs is in excellent health. I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.
    Love your work Theresa, and your photography!

  13. Kate says:

    Hi Teresa,
    We are right into our none broths at the moment and I’ve been using stainless steel pots but I love the idea of turning on a slow cooker and leaving it.
    I am off to buy one tomorrow! Do you just set it to low and leave it for 24-48 hours as you would in a pot on the stove?

  14. Kay says:

    Hi Theresa which type and cut of bone (chicken/beef etc) is best for gut healing? Thank you

    • Hi Kay, for beef bone broth I like to use a mix of big beef bones such as oxtails and knuckle or neck bones. Those knuckle and neck bones have a lot of collagen, which give the broth body and lovely rich flavour. For Chicken broth I use chicken wings and drumsticks and leftover bones from Roasted Chicken. Happy Cooking! Tx

  15. Braden Bills says:

    I’ve been trying to come up with a good, natural way that I can get stronger bones and better digestion. I didn’t know that you could make bone broth that could help with all of that stuff! I might have to add that into my diet. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Marisa says:

    Hi Teresa,
    would making bone broth in a pressure cooker be as nutritious as it would be using the slow cook method?
    Thanks in advance for your assistance

  17. Debbie says:

    Hi Teresa as per the previous question from Marisa, could you use a pressure cooker? Thank you

  18. Tiffany says:

    Is browning the bones necessary before simmering them? I’d like to try making one at home. Right now I have Au Bon Broth as my go-to for broth. I find their organic broth so tasty and nutritious.

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