Delicious Herbed Beef Shank Broth – Simple and Delicious Recipe For All

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Steaming bowls beckon. Aroma tantalizes. Herbed Beef Shank Broth whispers secrets of culinary mastery. Dive into a pot where beef shanks dance with fresh herbs. Every sip? A journey. 

Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Rosemary, thyme, and basil paint rich, savory strokes. Slow-simmered to perfection, this broth brims with depth and warmth. Nourishment meets flavor. It is a favorite for chefs and an indulgence for home cooks. 

It’s not just a broth; it’s a symphony of tastes. Dive in, let your senses rejoice. Your next culinary adventure begins here. Experience the magic of Herbed Beef Shank Broth.

What Is Herbed Beef Shank Broth?

Herbed Beef Shank Broth is a rich, aromatic soup made by simmering beef shanks with fresh herbs.

This broth is commonly infused with rosemary, thyme, and basil, which boasts a deep, savory flavor profile. Slow-cooked to extract the marrow’s nutrients and collagen, it offers nourishment and indulgence.

This broth is a staple for many chefs, elevating dishes with its robust essence. It’s a harmonious blend of meaty richness and herbal freshness.

History Of Herbed Beef Shank Broth  

Historically, utilizing every part of the animal was essential for survival. Herbed Beef Shank Broth has roots in ancient culinary traditions spanning continents.

From European stews to Asian broths, beef shanks, and herbs were combined to maximize nutrition and flavor. 

Over centuries, as trading expanded spices and herbs, these broths evolved, becoming more aromatic.

Today, the broth is a testament to humankind’s ingenuity, turning simple ingredients into gourmet experiences and bridging old-world techniques with modern-day appreciation.

Interesting Facts About The Herbed Beef Shank Broth  

  • Beef shanks, being tougher cuts, release gelatin when slow-cooked, creating a silky texture.
  • Broth consumption can aid in joint health due to its collagen content.
  • Ancient cultures valued shank broth for its supposed medicinal properties, especially for bone health.
  • Basil, a common herb in the broth, was once considered a royal herb and symbol of love in Italy.
  • Marrow, found in beef shanks, is a nutrient-dense superfood packed with essential fatty acids.
  • Different cultures adapt the broth with local herbs, creating countless regional variations.
  • The prolonged simmering helps meld flavors, making day-old broth taste richer.
  • Historically, broths were a solution for reducing food waste, utilizing bones and leftover herbs.

What Makes The Herbed Beef Shank Broth Special? 

  • Deep Flavor: Slow-simmering beef shanks extract rich, meaty nuances.
  • Texture: The collagen from shanks creates a velvety, mouth-coating broth.
  • Nutrition: Packed with essential amino acids, minerals, and collagen for holistic wellness.
  • Herbal Symphony: Fresh herbs infuse the broth with aromatic and palate-pleasing notes.
  • Versatility: A base for numerous dishes, from soups to risottos.
  • Culinary History: A dish with roots in multiple global culinary traditions.
  • Wholesome: A balance of protein, minerals, and flavors.
  • Comfort: Its warmth and depth offer solace on chilly days.
  • Sustainability: Utilizes parts of the beef often discarded, reducing waste.
  • Artistry: Perfecting the broth is science and art, showcasing a chef’s skill.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Ingredients List

Beef shank4 to 5 pounds, cut into 1-inch slices
Bay leaves3
Black peppercorns5 (whole)
Fresh thyme1 sprig
Fresh rosemary1 sprig
Dried red chile1
Leek greensFrom 1 leek, chopped
Garlic1 clove
Fresh ginger1 small piece
Ground turmericPinch
Black cumin seeds½ teaspoon
Lovage (fresh or dried)2 teaspoons fresh OR 1 teaspoon dried
Summer savory (fresh or dried)2 teaspoons fresh OR 1 teaspoon dried
Cold filtered water4 to 5 quarts

Ingredient Tips 

  • Beef Shank: Opt for grass-fed beef for a richer flavor and added nutrients.
  • Bay Leaves: Fresh bay leaves impart a more vibrant taste than dried ones.
  • Peppercorns: Crush lightly to release the essence, but avoid overpowering the broth.
  • Herbs: Always use fresh herbs when available; their flavor is more pronounced.
  • Dried Red Chile: Adjust based on heat preference; removing seeds lessens the spice.
  • Leek Greens: Wash thoroughly to remove any grit or soil.
  • Garlic: Freshly crushed garlic enhances depth.
  • Ginger: Peel and slice thinly for a milder, more diffused taste.
  • Spices: Store in a cool, dark place to maintain potency.
  • Water: Cold, filtered water ensures a clear broth with no impurities.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto & Paleo: Stick to the original recipe but emphasize the bone marrow for added fat and nutrients. Eliminate any high-carb ingredients or thickeners.
  • Gluten-Free: The basic broth recipe is naturally gluten-free. Ensure that any added seasonings or enhancements are devoid of gluten.
  • Whole30: Use organic beef shank and ensure all ingredients are Whole30 compliant. Avoid additives or processed seasonings.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute beef with a blend of hearty mushrooms like shiitake or portobello. Use vegetable stock as the base.
  • Vegan: Along with the mushroom substitute for beef, ensure no animal-based ingredients are added. Enhance flavors with seaweed or kelp for a deeper umami taste.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Roast beef shank in a pan for 20 minutes until browned. Turn occasionally.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker.
  • Add all ingredients and cold filtered water to cover.
  • Cook on low for 3-12 hours. Monitor water level.
  • Remove the beef shank—strain the broth.
  • For later use: Cool, refrigerate, skim off fat, and store.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Asian Flair: Incorporate star anise, cinnamon sticks, and sliced green onions.
  • Mediterranean Touch: Add olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and a hint of lemon zest.


  • Protein Boost: Drop in shredded chicken, tofu cubes, or poached eggs.
  • Vegetable Medley: Introduce chunks of carrots, celery, and sliced mushrooms.
  • Grains: Quinoa, barley, or rice can be simmered in the broth until tender.


  • Herbal Garnish: Chopped cilantro, parsley, or dill.
  • Crunch: Toasted sesame seeds or crushed roasted nuts.
  • Zest: A dash of freshly grated ginger or lemon zest.
  • Heat: Drizzle of chili oil or sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  • Umami Kick: A splash of soy sauce or fish sauce for depth.

Scaling The Recipe

  • Ingredient Proportions: Maintain the ratio between beef shanks and water. If you double the meat, double the water and other ingredients.
  • Cooking Vessel: Ensure the pot or slow cooker is appropriately sized. Overcrowding affects cooking and flavor extraction.
  • Cooking Time: While scaling up, you don’t necessarily double the cooking time. Monitor the broth for desired richness.
  • Taste Test: As you scale, always taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, especially salt and herbs.
  • Volume: When scaling down, reduce ingredients proportionally, but be cautious with strong ingredients like peppercorns or chilies.
  • Storage: Remember, more broth requires larger or more storage containers. Conversely, smaller batches might only need a few jars.

What Is Used For Garnishing? 

  • Fresh Herbs: Sprigs of parsley, cilantro, dill, or chives bring a burst of color and aroma.
  • Citrus Zest: Grated lemon, lime, or orange zest can brighten the broth’s flavor and appearance.
  • Seeds: Toasted sesame or sunflower seeds offer crunch and a nutty essence.
  • Spices: A sprinkle of paprika or freshly ground black pepper adds warmth and visual appeal.
  • Green Onions: Sliced thin, these add a mild, fresh, oniony touch.
  • Edible Flowers: For a luxurious touch, small edible blossoms provide beauty and subtle flavors.
  • Microgreens: These tiny, nutrient-rich greens bring vibrancy and a slight peppery.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Can I Make Herbed Beef Shank Broth In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • Using a slow cooker is perfect for the Herbed Beef Shank Broth. After roasting the beef shank in the oven, transfer it to the slow cooker, add the remaining ingredients, and cover with cold filtered water. 
  • Set the cooker on low and let it simmer for 3 to 12 hours. The prolonged, gentle cooking extracts deep flavors from the ingredients.

Instant Pot

  • For those short on time, the Instant Pot is a boon. Follow the same initial steps of roasting the beef. 
  • Then, place all ingredients in the Instant Pot and set it to the ‘Broth’ or ‘Soup’ function. Pressure cooking for 2 to 3 hours will yield a rich, flavorful broth.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 

Both store-bought and homemade broths have their merits:

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Ready in a pinch, it’s great for quick meals.
  • Consistency: Offers a uniform taste each time.
  • Variety: Available in numerous flavors and dietary options.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Control: Adjust ingredients to your preference.
  • Freshness: No added preservatives.
  • Economical: Utilize kitchen scraps and bones.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Broth? 

  • Meat: Beyond beef shanks, consider chicken bones, pork ribs, or lamb shanks. Each offers a unique flavor profile.
  • Fish: Fish heads and bones, especially from non-oily fish like cod or halibut, create a light, aromatic broth.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like orzo or vermicelli can be added for heartiness. However, cook them separately to prevent the broth from becoming starchy.
  • Vegetables: Almost any vegetable can be added. Popular choices include carrots, celery, onions, and tomatoes. However, use cruciferous vegetables sparingly; they can impart a bitter taste.

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup

Prepping Tips

  • Bone Quality: Opt for grass-fed beef shanks for richer flavor and nutrients.
  • Roasting: Don’t skip roasting the shank. Browning enhances the broth’s depth and color.
  • Freshness: Use fresh herbs when available; their potency surpasses dried versions.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Low & Slow: A gentle simmer extracts flavors without clouding the broth.
  • Skimming: Periodically skim off impurities that rise to the surface for clarity.
  • Check Water Level: Ensure meat remains submerged; top up with cold water as needed.
  • Taste Test: After 3 hours, begin tasting. Extend cooking for deeper flavor, but avoid overcooking, which can muddle tastes.

Nutritional Values 

The Herbed Beef Shank Broth is more than just a flavor-packed delight. It carries a trove of nutritional benefits.

This broth is a healthful elixir, aiding digestion, boosting immunity, and rejuvenating the body packed with essential minerals, proteins, and vitamins.

What Are The Total Calories In The Broth? 

Calculating the exact caloric content of homemade Herbed Beef Shank Broth can be challenging due to variations in ingredient quantities, cooking times, and specific product brands.

For an accurate count, you’d typically analyze each ingredient’s nutritional information and then factor in the yield of the broth.

However, a general estimate for a beef bone broth (without the herbs) is about 30-50 calories per cup, primarily from the trace amounts of protein and fat.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Herbed Beef Shank Broth 

  • Gluten-Free: The recipe doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten-based ingredients.
  • Dairy-Free: There are no dairy products used.
  • Paleo & Whole30: Complies with both diets; all ingredients are natural and unprocessed.
  • Keto: Low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for a ketogenic diet.
  • Low-FODMAP: Avoid garlic and leek greens if you strictly follow this diet.
  • Not Vegetarian/Vegan: Contains beef. For vegetarian/vegan options, one would need to use vegetable bases and omit the beef.
  • Allergens: No common allergens like nuts, soy, or eggs are present.

Health Benefits Of The Herbed Beef Shank Broth 

  • Joint Support: The broth is rich in collagen and gelatin, which aids joint health and elasticity.
  • Gut Health: Gelatin can help reinforce the gut lining, possibly aiding digestive issues.
  • Bone Strength: Provides essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which promote bone health.
  • Immune Boost: Broth’s nutrients can enhance immune system function.
  • Inflammation Reduction: Ingredients like turmeric and ginger offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Skin Health: Collagen promotes skin elasticity, potentially reducing wrinkles.
  • Rich in Amino Acids: Contains amino acids like glycine and proline, beneficial for various body functions.
  • Herbal Benefits: The added herbs provide antioxidants and additional health-boosting properties.

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Herbed Beef Shank Broth Lower In Sodium? 

  • Ingredients: Use fresh herbs and spices to amplify flavors without relying on salt.
  • Low-Sodium Alternatives: Opt for low-sodium versions if you ever incorporate store-bought broths or stocks.
  • Rinse Meat: Briefly rinse the beef shank under cold water to remove surface salt before cooking.
  • Homemade Herb Blends: Create salt-free herb and spice mixtures to season your broth.
  • Monitor Ingredients: Some ingredients, like store-bought dried herbs or seasonings, may contain added salt. Read labels carefully.

How Can I Make Herbed Beef Shank Broth Lower In Sugar? 

  • Check Ingredients: Ensure store-bought seasonings or herbs don’t contain added sugars.
  • Limit Vegetables High in Sugar: Some veggies like carrots, contain natural sugars. Use them sparingly.
  • Opt for Fresh Ingredients: Fresh herbs and spices typically don’t contain additives or hidden sugars.
  • Avoid Flavor Enhancers with Sugar: Some broths use tomato paste or sauces, which can have sugar. Opt for sugar-free versions.
  • Read Labels: If incorporating store-bought broths or stocks, choose ones without added sugars.

How To Serve The Herbed Beef Shank Broth At Its Best? 

  • Heat Thoroughly: Ensure the broth is piping hot but not boiling before serving. A gentle simmer will retain its delicate flavors.
  • Use Warm Bowls: Pre-warm your serving bowls to keep the broth hot for longer.
  • Fresh Garnish: Sprinkle freshly chopped herbs, like parsley or chives, for added freshness.
  • Taste and Adjust: A quick taste before serving lets you adjust any last-minute seasonings.
  • Serve with Sides: Offer crusty bread, rice, or steamed vegetables to complement.
  • Broth Clarity: Use a fine-mesh strainer before serving for a clear broth.
  • Presentation: Use a ladle and pour gently, ensuring a graceful presentation.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Herbed Beef Shank Broth 

  • Crusty Bread: Ideal for dipping and sopping up flavorful broth.
  • Steamed Rice: Provides a texture contrast and absorbs the broth’s richness.
  • Grilled Veggies: Charred vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers add a smoky touch.
  • Green Salad: A light, tangy salad with vinaigrette balances the broth’s depth.
  • Dumplings or Noodles: Enhance the heartiness of your meal.
  • Roasted Root Vegetables: Carrots, turnips, or parsnips offer a sweet, earthy complement.
  • Sautéed Greens: Spinach, kale, or chard, sautéed with garlic, add a nutritious touch.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

How Long Can We Store The Broth? 

  • Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Before using, skim off any solidified fat on top if desired.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, pour the cooled broth into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays. It can last several months (typically 4-6 months for optimal flavor).
  • Reheating: Thaw frozen broth in the refrigerator overnight. Then, heat on the stove until it reaches a gentle simmer.
  • Avoid Repeated Thawing: Consume the broth and don’t refreeze to maintain quality.

Can I Make The Broth In Advance? 

  • Prepare and Cook: Follow your recipe, then cool the broth quickly by placing the pot in an ice bath.
  • Storage: Transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate if using within a few days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the broth in portioned containers or ice cube trays.
  • Reheat: When ready to use, thaw (if frozen) and reheat until simmering.
  • Convenience: Advanced preparation ensures a flavorful broth is always available for recipes or sipping.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Soup Base: Enrich soups with a robust foundation.
  • Grain Cooking: Use broth instead of water to cook rice, quinoa, or barley.
  • Sauces & Gravies: Deepen the flavors of sauces and gravies.
  • Braising: Cook vegetables or meats in broth for added moisture and taste.
  • Stews: Enhance stews with a hearty depth.
  • Pasta: Add to pasta dishes for a flavorful twist.
  • Marination: Use as a marinade for meats.
  • Steam: Steam vegetables using broth to infuse flavor.
  • Sipping: Reheat and sip as a nutritious beverage.
  • Ice Cubes: Freeze in trays and pop cubes into dishes for a quick flavor boost.
Herbed Beef Shank Broth

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Heavy-Duty Stockpot: Essential for simmering the broth and ensuring even heat distribution.
  • Roasting Pan: For browning the beef shanks in the oven.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: Alternate cooking methods that can offer convenience.
  • Fine-Mesh Strainer: For achieving a clear broth by filtering out solids.
  • Tongs & Slotted Spoon: Useful for removing beef shank and larger ingredients.
  • Ladle: For serving and pouring.
  • Heatproof Bowls: For collecting strained broth.
  • Ice Bath: To rapidly cool the broth if needed.
  • Freezer-Safe Containers: Ideal for long-term storage.
  • Thermometer: To ensure the broth stays at a safe temperature during preparation and storage.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is There A Specific Cut Of Beef Shank Ideal For This Broth?

Indeed, it’s preferable to use a bone-in beef shank. The bone marrow enhances the broth’s flavor depth and adds nutrients. If your local butcher offers various cuts, opt for pieces with a good balance of meat and bone.

Can I Add Wine Or Other Alcoholic Beverages To The Broth?

Indeed, many chefs incorporate wine, especially red, to deepen the broth’s flavor profile. However, ensure the alcohol cooks off by simmering for an extended period.

How Can I Ensure My Broth Has A Gelatinous Texture?

The collagen from beef shank bones will naturally render a gel-like consistency upon cooling. If your broth isn’t set this way, prolonged cooking or a higher bone-to-water ratio might be required.

Why Did My Broth Turn Cloudy?

Cloudiness can result from boiling the broth too vigorously. It’s best to maintain a gentle simmer. Using cold water to start and skimming off impurities as they rise also helps.

How Can I Intensify The Herb Flavors In The Broth?

Fresh herbs lose some potency during long simmering. Add extra herbs for a stronger herbaceous note in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Delicious Herbed Beef Shank Broth - Simple and Delicious Recipe For All

Delicious Herbed Beef Shank Broth – Simple and Delicious Recipe For All

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Broth Recipes


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A soul-soothing concoction, the Herbed Beef Shank Broth blends beef shank’s rich, deep flavors with aromatic herbs. Each sip reveals a symphony of taste, making it a perfect standalone sip or a foundation for myriad recipes.


  • 4 to 5 pounds 4 to 5 Beef shank (cut into 1-inch slices)

  • 3 3 Bay leaves

  • 5 5 Black peppercorns (whole)

  • 1 1 Fresh thyme (sprig)

  • 1 1 Fresh rosemary (sprig)

  • 1 1 Dried red chile

  • 1 1 Leek greens (chopped)

  • 1 clove 1 Garlic

  • 1 1 Fresh ginger  (small piece)

  • Pinch Ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Black cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Lovage (dried)

  • 2 teaspoon 2 Summer savory (fresh )

  • 4 to 5 quarts 4 to 5 Cold filtered water

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Set the oven to preheat at 450°F. Lay the beef shank slices evenly in a roasting pan.
  • Cooking
    Place the pan in the oven. Roast the beef shank. This should take roughly 20 minutes.
    After roasting, carefully transfer the beef shank to a slow cooker.
    In the slow cooker, incorporate all the remaining ingredients.
    Pour in the cold filtered water until the beef shank is fully submerged.
    Seal the slow cooker with its lid and set it to cook on a low setting. This simmering process can range from 3 hours for a quick broth to 12 hours for a deeply infused flavor. 
  • Blending And Final Touches
    Once cooking is completed, use tongs and a slotted spoon to take out the beef shank.
    Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the broth, capturing it in 2-quart measuring containers or a large heatproof bowl.
  • Serving And Additional Options
    The broth is now ready for immediate use. Place the cooled broth (uncovered) in the refrigerator for hours.

Recipe Video


  • Opt for organic beef to ensure the purest flavor.
  • Broth color can vary based on the beef’s cut and age.
  • Fresh herbs yield the best aromatic essence.
  • Letting the broth sit overnight can enhance its flavors.
  • For a clearer broth, consider using a cheesecloth during straining.
  • Don’t rush the simmering; patience yields the best results.
  • Store in glass containers to maintain the broth’s pristine quality.

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