Hack mine please.
Two large-ish beef straight leg bones, no joints, roasted at 400F for 30 minutes with some tallow. Both ends of both bones exposed marrow. Very little meat on one of the bones.
Into the slow cooker with ~4 quarts of filtered water, 1 T. vinegar, 1 t. salt and 1 peeled garlic clove. Put the cooker on High and it took nearly 4 hours to get up to a boil- then turned it to low where it slowly simmered for ~6.5 hours. By that time it was time for bed, so I turned it off but left it overnight at room temp.
The next morning, turned it on High again- took 2.5 hours to boil (warm vs. cold water), turned it to Low. Added some finely minced onion and carrot, a bay leaf, and the leafy celery tops. Simmered for 4 hours. Added a couple cups finely chopped roast beef and a celery stalk, simmered another hour, and then turned it off and took the lid off to help it cool. Fished out bay leaf and celery tops. Once coolish, put into glass mason jars. Got 2.5 quarts "soup".
The bones were hollow- most of the marrow (but not all of it) had dissolved, and the remaining marrow was a big glop floating on top. Bones were not soft. I reserved the bones and marrow glop in case I can use it again.
Stuck it in the fridge overnight. Next morning had a great thick layer of fat on top of each jar which I chipped off, but definitely not gelatinous whatsoever. Tastes okay, and I will mess with the flavoring- but not gelatinous, which is what I'm going for.
Total simmer time- 10 hours, plus the 7 hours of heating, and the overnight (approx 9 hours) cooling. What else can I do-- hotter temp? Faster to bring to boil? Longer simmering? More vinegar, less water, more bones?!
Edit: Can I use the hollow bones and "marrow glop" for another batch? Might not gel up but I should get more out of the bones yet with some vinegar, right?
Marrow bones don't have a lot of gelatin in them. This is why the WAPF recommend including bones with connective tissue (e.g., neck or knuckle bones) in their beef stock recipe.
I get very little gel action from the straight bones, so started buying knuckle bones from US Wellness. I toss one in with my roasted marrow bones, some lemon juice or ACV, keep the water level as low as you can while still covering the bones -- this part is hard because of course we want MOAR BROTH but even a little too much water will dilute the gelatin, in my experience. I only toss in a few bay leaves, saving the bone broth from too much more moisture added by the vegetables. Also, for what it's worth, I apparently cook mine longer than everyone else -- usually upwards of three days on very low. Once I get a broth with a nice firm set, then I'll start part two with veggies and whatnot if I want a stock or a soup.
Go get some beef feet, the whole thing or slices, and throw it in your pot. 1 foot, 1 chunk marrow bone, simmering for 1.5 days, not turned off over night. Marrow bone for all the minerals in the bone, and the great marrow taste, and the foot provides all the collagen you could ever want, it will be solid, thick jello if you add a foot, I promise. Tastes better too. I don't add spices until about an hour before I turn it off, then I let it cool until I can handle it. Seems to work best that way, I can fish out the chunks of basil and parsley before they fall apart like they will if they've been in there for a day. But that's just how I do it. Add more feet. Chicken or turkey feet if you can't find beef feet, they don't need to be in nearly as long as beef feet, 8 hours or so will do them pretty well.
Marrow is mostly fat, theres like perhaps 10-15% protein. Altho it is the superfat. Best fat on animal par brains or something similar. Straight leg marrow bones are not so good for stock. Whole beef knuckle is what you want. It will have tendons etc. Best for stock. Ask from your butcher. Neck bones are great as well but they might be unavailble due to the bse scare.
I've never gotton my marrow beef broth to go gelatinous--only my chicken and turkey broth does. Maybe I'm going something wrong too. I cook for 48 hours at low in a 7 quart slow cooker. Also...I save all the fat to cook with but it's hard as a rock so you have to soften each time.
Stupid question, I know, but I'll start with you can't judge the consistency until the broth's been in the fridge for a long time such as overnight. Mine certainly isn't firm when I first put it in the fridge but it's like firm jello the next day.
I'm further guessing that the removal of marrow and/or tallow is a partial cause of watery broth because if meat is all that's in it you don't get real broth. I also agree you need a mix of marrow and joint bones for best consistency. I just made a batch that is like firm jello, so here's what I did for comparison.
I started with raw bones at about 10 in the morning. Like you, I had them on High for about 2 hours--I didn't roast them first. I then switched to Low and left them simmering on that setting until about 10 the next morning. The bones came out "clean" and I removed ONLY the clean bones. I put the clean bones in a bowl and even rinsed them with a little fresh water and then poured that "broth" back into the slow-cooker, discarding only the clean bones.
I added vegetables and cooked the broth and the veggies for another 4-5 hours when we dug into the pot.
I think the suggestion I'd make is don't remove the marrow from the broth for possible re-use; it's a key component of firmness as it continues to dissolve into the broth. Yes, a layer coats the upper surface but I believe other portions of the marrow and cartilage remain in solution and create the firm broth.
No matter what kind of broth I'm making, I always, always, always throw at least 1 chicken foot in. It's how my mom always made her beef, chicken, and turkey stock, and those guys are little gelatinous gold mines. Just buy a really big pack of them from the grocery store, and throw them all in the freezer. Every time you are going to make some broth, grab a handful and add them in.
Hack my Nightshade-Free, Bone-Broth Soup 4 Answers
Bone Broth in fridge 6 Answers
Question for bone broth commentor 1 Answer