Are beef neck bones healthy to eat? You are likely to have this question every time you eat those bones.
Or maybe you are thinking of adding them to your diet. Beef neck, as the name implies, is a neck section of the animal.
The neck is a tough cut because of its connective tissue and bones, but stewing or simmering for long leaves you with tender meat.
Okay, so you know you can experiment with neck bones using different recipes, but are they healthy too?
Yes, beef neck bones contain many vitamins and minerals and are extremely healthy to include in your diet.
Are Beef Neck Bones Healthy to Eat or Not?
Turns out, beef neck bones are packed with various vitamins, minerals, and protein as well.
Once cooked, beef neck bones become incredibly tender and flavorful. It has the power to take you back to your southern upbringing.
The good thing is that it comes with supplemental calories and protein, especially in the neck bone’s fatty tissue and collagen.
The secret to making them tender and pliable is a slow, low cook. The longer the meat is cooked, the softer the bone will become.
And if you heat them at the right temperature, they will release their juice and provide you with a healthy dish.
What is the Nutrient Profile of Beef Neck Bones?
After removing the bone, each roasted neckbone has 85.5 calories, as reported by the USDA.
Neckbones are devoid of carbohydrates, fiber, and sugar, but they still contain many other nutrients.
It Contains Potassium
Cooked beef neck bones provide you with a good dose of potassium. All living cells rely on potassium to function properly.
It controls the rhythm of the heart, keeps the nerves and muscles working, and is essential for protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.
With a 134g serving of beef neck bones, you get about 322mg of potassium.
Tip: Try beef neck bones if you are looking for an alternative to oxtail, as they have a similar texture and taste, but are a lot less expensive.
It Contains Calcium
By going for beef neck bones, you will get some calcium as well.
Calcium is essential for bone development and maintenance. It also supports normal muscle, heart, and nerve functions.
Calcium and vitamin D have long been known to be good for bones. But recent research suggests they may also help stave off diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.
A small serving of beef neck bones provides you with about 23mg of calcium. It is not much, but it is still a good way to supplement your calcium intake.
It Contains Iron
By consuming beef neck bones, you can also increase your intake of iron. The body requires iron as a mineral essential for proper development and growth.
Iron is used by your body to create the proteins myoglobin and hemoglobin.
These proteins transport oxygen from your lungs to your muscles and tissues, respectively.
It Contains Vitamin-D
Although not a lot, you still get a good dose of vitamin D from beef neck bones. Vitamin D controls the levels of phosphate and calcium in the body.
To maintain strong teeth, bones, and muscles, your body requires certain nutrients, and vitamin D helps with their synthesis.
Bone pain from osteomalacia in adults and rickets in youngsters are both symptoms of a deficiency in vitamin D.
Other than these nutrients, you can also get trace amounts of vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin B6 from beef neck bones.
It also provides you with a good amount of protein, which is why beef neck bones are considered healthy.
Tip: Although frying is a viable option, it is less popular because it might toughen the meat unless you cook it at a low temperature.
How Do You Cook Beef Neck Bones to Get Health Benefits?
Beef neck bones contain various nutrients, but they are also quite versatile as well.
You can use them in many dishes, especially Chinese, American, or Italian cuisines.
How Can You Cook Beef Neck Bones?
Beef neck is a hearty cut perfect for the cold months. Even though they are a tougher cut of meat, they are quite tasty and a great source of protein.
The beef neck is usually stewed or braised for a long time over low heat, but a slow cooker makes this process much simpler.
The flesh turns out to be tender and juicy, and the flavor is powerful if cooked slowly and low.
How Do You Cook Neck Bones in a Crockpot?
You can cook neck bones in the oven, over the stove, or in an instant pot, but using a crockpot is the simplest option.
When cooked low and long in a crock pot, beef neck bones take on an irresistible flavor.
What to Do Before Cooking Neck Bones?
We recommend preparing your neck bones with the fatty and connective tissue still attached, as this adds flavor and nutrients.
It is crucial to keep the bones whole if you want to utilize them to produce broth since this will allow more collagen to be extracted from the bones.
In addition, regardless of the cooking technique you choose, it is always a good idea to brown those bones first.
Doing this intensifies the meaty / umami flavor notes.
How to Proceed with Slow Cooking?
This cooking process is versatile enough to work with a wide range of liquid bases, from dry red wines to apple cider vinegar and everything in between.
The liquids aid in dissolving the stiff connective tissue of the neck bone and improve the beef’s flavor in general.
- Begin by preheating the crockpot. Use a low setting.
- Season beef neck bones with black pepper, salt, cumin, and dried garlic.
- Also use about 1 ¼ cup of flour with allspice to make the seasoning better.
- Take some olive oil in a hot skillet and add the neck bones to it.
- Cook for a minute until they turn light brown.
- Transfer those browned bones into the slow cooker.
- Add a couple of cups of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Leave it on a slow setting for up to 12 hours.
- After that, you can add some diced onions or whatever aromatic ingredients you have.
- Let it cook for another 10 hours for an outstanding taste.
Tip: To cook in the oven, always use your oven's roasting pan to brown the bones first and then cook in an oven preheated to 400F.
What Can You Cook with Beef Neck Bones?
As mentioned, versatility is one of the biggest advantages of beef neck bones.
You can cook a number of dishes with these bones.
Make Some Delicious Soup
This soup has all the makings of a warm winter staple.
Essentially, you will be making a stew that uses neck bones as the main ingredient along with veggies and seasonings.
Braised Neck Bones
Neck bones are a common component in traditional Italian braising.
The beef becomes soft and savory as it simmers in the tomato sauce for several hours.
Roast Some Neck Bones
Neck bones can also be prepared in a simple and tasty method by roasting them.
You can always roast them in the oven with carrots, potatoes, and onions.
Try Gravy and Rice
A simple, quick, and budget-friendly way to cook with neck bones is to make some gravy.
Combine it with some rice and you have the best meal ready for weeknight dinners.
What Else Can You Use to Complement Beef Neck Bones?
You can prepare so many dishes with neck bones being the main ingredient, and you can pair them with many different types of desserts and side dishes.
Some of the most popular sides include:
- Green beans
- Mashed potatoes
- Collard greens
- Mac and cheese
It is also possible to pair those delicious bones with desserts. Some options include:
- Ice cream
Tip: Cooking neck bones in the air fryer is a great option, but try it only when you can determine the right time and temperature setting.
You may already be thinking of trying beef necks, but “are beef neck bones healthy to eat?”
Have you heard someone raving about how delicious those tiny neck beef bones are? Turns out, they are.
In fact, they are a good source of various vitamins, minerals, and protein. If you cook them properly, they can always be part of your healthy diet.
And to make things even better, you can always consider adding some sides and desserts.