Whether you’re making a bone broth recipe, homemade stock, or want to try eating bone marrow, properly roasted bones are important for quality. Find out the benefits of roasting bones and how to roast bones for each type of use!
This post was updated on July 1, 2019 with new content for your enjoyment.
As we begin looking at the different building blocks of sauces, let’s focus on how to roast bones. This is great if you want to take up drinking bone broth, want to make a thick and rich brown stock, or you want to start eating health-promoting marrow.
What Are The Benefits of Roasting Bones?
There are many different reasons for roasting bones, both for your stock/broth and for your health.
- Stock and/or Bone Broth Benefits
- Flavor. Roasting your bones helps to create a deeper, fuller, and richer flavor from the caramelizing of the meat and marrow.
- Gelatin. The naturally existing collagen and connective tissue in the bones helps make your stock thick and gelatinous. When you add acid to your bones (usually from brushing them with tomato paste) it helps to draw out even more of the collagen to make an even thicker stock. This is great if you plan to reduce it into a demi-glace.
- Nutrients. As the bones are boiled into the bone broth or stock, it melts in the marrow; this may release many of the marrow's health benefits (although this is up for debate as there isn't a lot of scientific backing for it. If you would like to read more, check out this article from NPR).
- The marrow in bones is not just for food snobs or your dogs; it is packed with lots of quality vitamins and minerals, stem cells, and amino acids.
- Marrow is believed to reduce inflammation (especially in the GI tract), promote self-healing, improved brain function, healthy skin, and help prevent and/or heal cancer.
- Marrow is high in healthy fats and is good for promoting a longer lasting "full" feeling after eating.
Not all bones are equal! Knowing how to roast bones properly can maximize the health benefits. It's also important to choose bones that have a higher amount of marrow and are from animals that are raised humanely and organically.
How To Roast Bones for Bone Broth or Stock
Properly roasted bones give additional flavor and body to your bone broth or stock. If I could give you my number one trick for success, it is this!
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Place bones in a heavy bottomed deep roasting pan, or on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. You want the bones to be a darker color but not burn any residual meat.
- If desired: remove the bones from the oven, brush them with tomato paste and return them to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.*
*The acid in the tomato paste helps dissolve the connective tissue in the bones. It also adds a little extra flavor.
How to Roast Bones for Marrow
When it comes to eating marrow, the best bones for the job come from beef or veal. You can get marrow bones pretty easily from your butcher (and usually very cheap) and they can leave them whole or cut them in half. Either will work wonderfully, but if you get the split bones your cooking time may vary depending on how thick they are. However, this does make it easier to get the marrow out
You want your marrow to be loose and give a little, but make sure to remove it from the oven before it begins to cook away.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place your bones vertically on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and sprinkle them lightly with salt.
- Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove the bones from the oven and scoop out the marrow using a spoon or butter knife.
- Serve as desired: on grilled bread, in a compound butter, with garlic and caramelized onions, with parsley and lemon, straight out of the bone - whatever strikes your fancy.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now that you know how to roast bones, put it to good use. Here are some recipes I recommend trying:
- Rich & Flavorful Brown Stock (This works for beef stock, chicken broth, etc...)
- Espagnole Mother Sauce
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Cooking! 🙂