Homemade bouillon can come in handy, especially when you don’t have the time and ingredients to make a broth. We’ve shared a recipe for chicken bouillon in a previous article, so we’re going to change things up this time and use a new recipe.
You’ll see that bouillon powder is easy to make. You can use virtually any liquid soup base, reduce and dry it into the perfect blend of seasoning. This works perfectly for soups, grains and even nutrition and mineral-packed drinks!
Beef bouillon from scratch
The end result of this recipe will be bouillon cubes. We’ll show you how to store them so they’ll keep for months and be readily accessible.
- 5 lbs. beef bones
- 1 lb. beef steak
- Celery stalk
- 2 carrots
- 2 yellow onions
- 3 whole garlic cloves
- Bay leaf
- Coarse black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop your onions and carrot. Buff the meat and bones with extra virgin olive oil, after cutting into the bone to expose the marrow. Add them to a roasting pan with the onion and carrot.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Turn the meat and bones over and continue roasting for 20 minutes, ensuring a nice, brown texture. Reduce heat if they begin to burn, as this will ruin the flavor, as well as the delectable nutrients.
Keep the cooked meat, then transfer the bones to a large stock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Use some hot water and a sturdy spatula to scrape off anything left in the roaster and add it to your broth. Cover with cold, filtered water.
Bring the pot to a boil at high heat, then reduce to a low simmer, covering partially throughout. This process takes longer (about 5 hours or more) than boiling straight through, but ensures that nothing is burned. Avoid stirring the broth. Remove the frothy grease that rises to the top every hour or so.
Finally, pick out large bones and veggies. Pour the broth through a fine strainer into another pot to remove as many solids as possible. A layer of cheesecloth will help, but isn’t necessary for our purposes.
The road to bouillon granules
Congratulations, you now have the perfect starter for beef bouillon powder! Before dehydrating, let the entire pot sit until cool enough to store in the refrigerator.
Leave the broth in overnight. You’ll notice the fat rise to the top after about 8 hours, allowing you to simply scoop it out.
Bring the broth that you’ll use for your bouillon granules back to a boil. Reduce it to a low simmer once it begins to thicken, and continue to heat it until it’s about as viscous as gravy or maple syrup. Remove from heat, let it cool for 5 minutes, and then pour about 1” thick into dehydrating trays (solid, not mesh).
Set your meat dehydrator to its highest heat setting. It may take several hours, or even 24 hours or longer, until your beef broth’s moisture content is completely removed. You’ll know it’s ready once it’s completely dry and brittle.
Granulating your beef bouillon powder
Place your beef, chicken or vegetable bouillon (this method works universally) in a strong blender. If the pieces aren’t breaking up, try grinding less at a time, slowly increasing speed throughout the process.
Once crushed into a beautiful powder, vacuum seal it and add an oxygen absorber to each package. We recommend having multiple containers or vacuum seal bags, so that you can use your bouillon cubes or powder whenever is most convenient. This will allow your entire batch to last longer, as it’s not being exposed to oxygen.
You can also store your beef bouillon straight from the meat dehydrator machine, without blending. We prefer getting everything done in one sitting, so that the rest is as easy as a calm, summer breeze.
A jerky dryer machine is an amazingly efficient way to create dry foods that pay off for months at a time!