Korean Beef Bone Broth: A Rejuvenating Winter Elixir

When the chill of winter sets in, there’s nothing quite like a steaming bowl of bone broth to warm the body and nourish the soul. In Korea, bone broth is considered a highly nutritious and rejuvenating elixir, capable of fortifying the body against the harsh winter weather. Not only is it cherished as a staple in Korean households, but it is also shared with friends and relatives who are sick or recovering from illness.

The key to preparing a perfect bowl of bone broth lies in achieving a milky-white consistency, free from any impurities. To achieve this, it is crucial to soak the bones in cold water prior to cooking. While it may be tempting to use a slow cooker or pressure cooker for convenience, true Korean bone broth requires a slow simmering process to extract all the nutrients and flavors from the bones.

Unlike traditional bone broth recipes that incorporate beef, this particular recipe focuses solely on the bones. By using sliced beef leg bones and/or knuckle bones, you can create a rich and flavorful broth that is perfect for a large gathering or for freezing and enjoying over an extended period of time.

In Korean tradition, the cooking time for bone broth is determined by visual cues rather than strict measurements. Instead of relying on a timer, the broth is cooked until the bones become soft and spongy, with the marrow fully boiled out. The result is a smooth, velvety broth with a nutty aftertaste that can be served as a soup, a drink, or used as a flavorful base for other Korean dishes.


  • 6 pounds sliced beef leg bones and/or knuckle bones

Beef bones


Prepare the Bones

  1. Begin by rinsing the bones in cold water to remove any blood and bone fragments. Place them in a large bowl of cold water and soak for 8 hours or overnight, changing the water a couple of times during this process.

Soaking bones

  1. Once soaked, drain the bones and transfer them to a large stock pot. Ensure that the bones are completely covered with water.

Boil the Bones

  1. Cover the pot and bring the water to a vigorous boil over high heat. This initial boiling will remove any impurities, resulting in a cleaner broth. You may notice floating brownish matter and fat during this stage.

Boiling bones

  1. Remove the pot from the heat and drain the bones. Rinse each bone with cold running water, scrubbing them to remove any remaining impurities. Thoroughly drain the bones and wash the pot before returning the bones to it.

  2. Refill the pot with water, ensuring that there is enough to cover the bones. For a 10-quart pot, around 6.5 quarts of water should suffice. Cover the pot once more and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Bone broth after 30 minutes

  1. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and allow the broth to simmer for 10 hours. Periodically stir the bones with a wooden spoon while the lid is open.

Korean beef bone broth

  1. Refill the pot with water and continue simmering the broth, covered, for an additional 9 hours.

Bone broth after 19 hours

  1. Once again, refill the pot with water and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook the broth, without the lid, for another hour.
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Korean beef bone broth

  1. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before handling.

Remove the Bones

  1. Carefully remove all the bones from the broth and discard them.

  2. Strain the broth over a large bowl, discarding any bits that have been caught in the strainer (although you can choose to eat them if you prefer). The end result should be approximately 22 to 24 cups of white, milky bone broth.

Bone broth solid fat

  1. Let the broth cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for several hours or overnight. This will allow the thick layer of fat on the surface to solidify and can be easily removed and discarded.

Bone broth freeze

  1. If desired, the bone broth can be stored in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Ladle the hot broth into bowls and serve alongside rice, chopped green onion, ground black pepper, kimchi, and other side dishes. To enjoy the full flavor, add chopped green onion, ground black pepper, and salt according to your taste. Mix in some rice and savor the comforting combination of flavors.

Bone broth rice

  1. As you revel in the warmth and nourishment of this traditional Korean bone broth, take a moment to appreciate the rich history and culture surrounding this beloved winter dish.

Bone broth table

With its wholesome and invigorating properties, Korean beef bone broth is more than just a comforting soup—it’s a time-honored tradition that brings families and communities together. So, gather your loved ones, brew a pot of this nourishing elixir, and let the warmth of the broth awaken your senses and fortify your body for the winter ahead.

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