Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bone Broth


Finally!  The miraculous elixir I keep talking about and adding to myriad recipes.  Delicious, nutritious, bone broth!

But first, why do I love it so?

Well, it's tasty and useful for recipes, but besides that...





It's incredibly nutrient-dense, high in minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, trace minerals) making it valuable to the health of your bones and teeth.  It's also high in collagen which supports joints, hair, nails and skin (Hello, natural Botox!).

I usually make it with beef or chicken, but it can also be made with bison, lamb, fish and other poultry.

Knowing how jam-packed it is with all things good for me, I try to have at least one mug a day of straight broth (that's besides using it in recipes).  It's a good afternoon pick-me-up at work, is soothing and immune boosting, improves digestion, brain health, and is said to even reduce cellulite by smoothing connective tissue. (Yes, please!)

And for those times when you don't feel good (cold and flu season), there's nothing quite as comforting as a serving of homemade bone broth.  Besides it's warm-fuzzy element, it's just what the doctor (should) order to get you feeling better fast, plus it's gentle and soothing to a sour tummy.


Here's how I do it...

First... The Beef Broth  (Chicken Broth, below)



Marrow (soup) bones and oxtail bones


After roasting them for an hour or so


Into the pot they go


Add the veggies and simmer, simmer, simmer


Gelatinous perfection!  When it's chilled, I skim that solidified fat before freezing.
(Careful about freezing in mason jars - leave plenty of head space, if you do, and don't go bigger than pint-size.)



Beef Bone Broth


 Ingredients:

1 pound marrow bones (soup bones) 
1 pound oxtail bones (they really help to give you a gelatinous broth, which is what you're striving for)
1 gallon cold water (enough to cover bones)
3 or 4 T apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, quartered
2 or 3 carrots, quartered
2 or 3 celery stalks, quartered (tops included)
1 or 2 bay leaves

Small bunch fresh parsley
Unrefined sea salt, to taste

Any other spices you like to pair with your beef

Preparation:

For richer flavor, I like to roast the bones before simmering them.  Roast them at 350 for an hour.  Then transfer to a large stock pot, scraping any juice and bits into the pot, as well.  Cover the bones with cold water and add the vinegar.  Let soak for a half hour, or so.  The vinegar draws all the goodness (minerals) out of the bones.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a soft boil, then reduce to simmer with a gentle rumble on the surface. Cover and let it continue to simmer for many hours.  Skim the foaming impurities as they rise to the surface.  Since these are thick beef bones, I let it go for at least 24 hours, usually 48.  Give it a taste test, and if it is not as full and rich as you would like, allow it to simmer another hour (or so) uncovered, allowing some of the water to evaporate so that it will reduce.  When done to your liking, cool and strain the solids out of the broth.   I freeze it in 1 to 2 cup portions and use it for soups, stews, gravies, in place of water when making rice – there are so many possibilities.

And if those bones aren't soft and brittle yet, I freeze them until I'm ready to make another batch, and give them a second go around!



The chicken version is very similar...


Chicken Bone Broth

 Ingredients:

1 chicken carcass (or the bones of chicken pieces to equal at least a whole chicken) that has been roasted or baked and its delicious meat enjoyed in a previous meal* It's important to do your best to get free-range, pastured chicken.
1/2 gallon cold water (or enough to cover bones)
2 or 3 T apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, quartered
2 carrots, quartered
2 celery stalks, quartered (tops included)
1 bay leaf

Small bunch fresh parsley
Unrefined sea salt, to taste

Any other spices you like to pair with your chicken

Preparation:

In a large stock pot, cover the chicken bones with cold water and add the vinegar.  Let soak for a half hour, or so.  The vinegar draws all the goodness (minerals) out of the bones.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer with a gentle rumble on the surface (not a full boil). Cover and let it continue to simmer for many hours (12-24).  Skim the foaming impurities as they rise to the surface. Give it a taste test, and if it is not as full and rich as you would like, allow it to simmer another hour (or so) uncovered, allowing some of the water to evaporate so that it will reduce.  When done to your liking, cool and strain the solids out of the broth and freeze it in 1 to 2 cup portions.
*If you can get your hands on the head, neck and feet, throw those in, too!  The addition makes a rich, nutritious, and gelatinous broth.


Store-bought broth doesn't hold a candle to the homemade stuff made from healthy cows/chickens. It's well worth the effort for it's nutritional value, it's superior flavor, and it's frugality.  I have the freezer stocked always.

I hope you'll do it, too!  Your body will thank you.






13 comments:

Susan said...

Is there any negative effect to canning the broth?

Pam O'Brien said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for your comment/inquiry. I'm not a canning guru, but I've read that it is not safe to water bath broth. If you can it, it must be done in a pressure canner. I've also read that once you pressure can it, it will no longer gel. Again, not an expert, but my guess, therefore, is that the benefits of the collagen is reduced (or eliminated?) by the high temperature.
If your freezer can handle it, I think that's your best bet for long-term storage. As a space-saver, you could freeze it flat in freezer bags (and once frozen, they can be stored upright), instead of freezing in the jars.

Nancy W said...

Pinned this to try later, it's been on my list of things to make for a while. My daughter just ordered 15 pounds of beef bones from her local farm. do you have a local source for your bones?

Pam O'Brien said...

We do, Nancy. We get our beef/bones from Black Watch Farm in Springfield/Weathersfield. It's right on Weathersfield Center Road just before you get to Wellwood Orchard (Wellwood is on the right - Black Watch is on the left). They have a nice farm stand and operate on the honor system. Very convenient.

KristiinaSheree said...

I'll second that Nancy! Black Watch is where I get my grass fed beef. I even get whole livers there for supplements too.

Kristiina said...

I'll second that Nancy. I go to Black Watch too for my grass fed beef. I even get whole livers for supplements too.

AmyG said...

Lovely post! I dearly enjoy making bone broth, and it's nice to see all the instructions written out like this!

Summers Acres said...

We got a few pounds of beef soup bones in the freezer from where we by grass fed beef locally. I may need to try this. Thanks for sharing!

Please join us again Thursday at:
The HomeAcre Hop

~Ann

Nancy W said...

Thanks for the advice on where to get bones locally! Wanted to let you know I'm featuring this on the Home Acre Hop tomorrow! Happy 4th of July!

Nancy- On The Home Front

Summers Acres said...

I just wanted to stop by and let you know that your post will be featured at tomorrow's The HomeAcre Hop. I will also tweet, like, and +1 your post. Please stop by and grab the featured button at:

http://summersacres.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-homeacre-hop-26.html
Congrats!
~Ann

Pam O'Brien said...

Thanks Nancy and Ann for the feature! That is always so encouraging. Will head over to get my button now - which I'll display proudly!

Living Day 2 Day with Purpose said...

Hi, I so love bone broth!! I add the parsley during the last 10 min of simmering to add mineral ions to the broth. When do you all the salt? My recipe from Weston A. Price website does not call for salt or the bay leaf.
http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/broth-is-beautiful/pdf

Pam O'Brien said...

Hi Sherry,

I think the addition of herbs and spices is a matter of personal preference. I just like the flavor of my broth with the bay leaf and salt. I typically add those two ingredients in right at the beginning when I'm loading it up with the veggies.

I love bone broth, too, and use it for so much!