…in the Instant Pot!
A meal-prep experiment in preparation for postpartum that turned out to be killer! The PDF recipe is attached at the bottom of this post.
Inspired by the best advice I’ve received for postpartum (“save your future self from dinner woes and spend time meal prepping”), I decided to home-make bone broth for the very first time. Not that this is a meal, but it is a very nutrient-packed drink for postpartum recovery, as I’ve discovered, so I put it on my list of third-trimester deep-freezer preparations.
I’ve read about some of the health benefits of drinking bone broth: healing for the gut and stimulating for the immune system producing anti-inflammatory benefits1. I guess that’s why a bowl of Pho revives me when I’m sick! I have also heard that you can screw up the taste of your bone broth if you use the wrong kind of bones, or don’t roast them before slow cooking them.
I did not want to screw this up! Especially considering that oxtail is expensive, about $11-12 per pound, and this recipe needed 3 pounds of oxtail, beef short ribs, beef necks, or a combination. It’s a nice cut of meat, I had no idea!
I came across two recipes, one for “Chicken Stock” and one for “Beef Broth (aka ‘Bone Broth’)” in The Instant Pot Bible by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough just as I was doing research for the right recipe to make a decent bone broth. This recipe post is for my review of the latter, though I have a post for the chicken stock recipe as well because I’ve now made them both and they were equally awesome and very different.
After a long slow-cook in my Instant Pot, I’m happy to say I’ll be making this recipe again! I’ll be here, slowly stocking our deep freezer to have about 12 liters on hand, mostly for sipping 1 or 2 cups a day postpartum, and to have some extra for cooking. I am having a winter baby after all, and soup is my vibe in the winter! This Oxtail Bone Broth recipe is my adaptation of the original “Beef Broth” recipe in The Instant Pot Bible.
Oxtail Bone Broth
Makes 9 Cups
- (3 pounds) oxtail
- (1) large leek, trimmed of the squiggly roots, bulb halved lengthwise, washed, and entire leek thinly sliced
- (3) medium carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
- (4) large garlic cloves, peeled
- (2 TB) apple cider vinegar
- (4) large fresh thyme sprigs
- (1 TB) whole black peppercorns
- (2 tsp) salt
- (2) bay leaves
- (1) cinnamon stick, optional
- (10 Cups) purified drinking water
Also required: 6-qt or 8-qt Instant Pot
- Preheat your oven to 350*F. Spread the oxtail out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast the bones for 30-40 minutes, or until they get a nice golden bake to them.
- Place the roasted bones into your 6-qt or 8-qt Instant Pot. Scrape any roasted bits from the pan into the Pot, as well as any juices.
- Add the leek, carrots, garlic, apple cider vinegar, thyme, peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to the Instant Pot and cover with 10 Cups of water, or as much that will fit without going over the Max Fill Line. Lock the lid in place and make sure the valve is OPEN, or set to VENT.
- Set the Instant Pot: SLOW COOK // HIGH // 6 HOURS, with the KEEP WARM selection OFF. Press START.
- When it’s finished cooking, remove the lid. Taste your liquid gold. Set up a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and strain the broth into a large mixing bowl or otherwise. Reserve the meat.
- Allow the broth to cool for 1 hour at room temperature, then store in freezer-safe jars. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 3 days, before transferring to the freezer, for up to 3 months. If freezing your broth, be sure to leave about 1/2″ headspace in any container to leave room for expansion.
Notes & Recommendations
- Reserve the meat! If you have never eaten oxtail, I highly recommend trying this meat straight out of the pot once it’s cooled. Poke the meat out of its cavities and you’ll have the most buttery-tasting meat. My husband and I ate it straight up, though I know this would be equally awesome in a hoagie roll with some sauteed veggies for lunch the day, or in a bowl of ramen.
- On that note, I also recommend reserving the vegetables as part of your snack. My daughter loved the roasted carrots just out of the pot as a post-naptime snack.
- I found cheesecloth at our local large grocery store for about $3.50. You could also use a fine mesh sieve. Avoid having a devastating moment like I almost did and set up your strainer AND bowl before you forget and start pouring the broth through the colander straight down the sink (face palm)…(I luckily only lost a second’s-worth!)
- Allow the broth to cool at room temperature for an hour before transferring to any glass jars, just to be safe! Enjoy a cup of broth on the couch while you wait for it to cool.
- The cinnamon stick is optional, and adds great aroma and a subtle warming flavor for sipping. Omit if you plan to use this broth primarily for making soups.
- Label your broth and use it within 3 days in the fridge for anything from ramen, store-bought beef stock replacement in stew, or straight sippin’.
Here’s the recipe for my Instant Pot Chicken Stock for more adventures in bone broth.
Let me know if you make this, enjoy!
xx Paris Gray
1Mar-Solís, L. M., Soto-Domínguez, A., Rodríguez-Tovar, L. E., Rodríguez-Rocha, H., García-García, A., Aguirre-Arzola, V. E., Zamora-Ávila, D. E., Garza-Arredondo, A. J., & Castillo-Velázquez, U. (2021). Analysis of the Anti-Inflammatory Capacity of Bone Broth in a Murine Model of Ulcerative Colitis. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11), 1138. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57111138. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8618064/.