Monday, June 9, 2014

Bone Broth Stock

     I make bone broth stock.  Pictured is a lovely blue/green enameled stock pot which I was lucky enough to see at "Tuesday Morning" discount store.   Isn't it a beauty?  Making bone broth stock is not beautiful so a beautiful pot helps.  It's rather disgusting really, but once you get past that, the results are wonderful and so nutritious. 

 This picture is the second day of this batch and I just added  some vegetables, garlic and bay leaf to beef bones.  With beef bones, I cook the bones on warm or low setting on my electric stove for 3 days.....round the clock. Some use a crock pot...good if you can find one big enough and that cooks low enough. 

 I want all the minerals and nutrition out of those bones and the tissues hanging onto them that I can get.  You see, that bone broth is used to cook up my pulses.  Homemade broths add extra nutrition and flavor that can't be duplicated.   

Bone broth is big on the GAPS diet for those trying to kill off candida yeast overgrowth.  You have to starve those yeasts by not eating any starchy foods or sugar for about 3 months.  You may eat meat, bone broth, cultured raw milk products, vegetable soups and stews made with bone broths and vegetable ferments.  From what I hear, it works really well! 

You can use chicken bones, or lamb, or elk, buffalo, beef, turkey and fish. Here in the West, we do not have a big choice of fish so it is the land animals and fowls that are available for us. 

You can find lots of good information about the benefits of bone broth on the internet and you can search where to get good quality bones in this area.  I will mention one farm I use;  Christensen Family Farms in Vernon, Utah.   They have pig and goats on their farm that are "pastured" and they can bring the meat, lard and bones here along the Wasatch front when you purchase them on their online site.    Real Foods Market sells beef bones that I like, I don't know about chicken bones. This process is becoming really popular so there are sure to be other stores now that offer animal bones.   

Easter Sunday this year, my sister invited the whole family to her home for the Easter meal and she and husband grilled up about 30 lamb chops.  I did not let anyone throw the bones away.  I collected them all and over the next 3 days made 3 quarts of the most delicious lamb bone broth.  I bottled the broth and stuck them downstairs in storage.  

Bone Broth Basic Recipe:

3-5 pounds bones, with connecting tissue, some meat and fat.  Large bones like joints and knuckles should be cut up at the processing plant.  Grass-fed animal bones are best.
Water; lots of it, enough to cover the bones by an inch a stock pot with a lid and big enough to hold it all. 
Vinegar;  about 1/3 to 1/2 cup vinegar.  Can be apple cider or regular.  It is needed to help or pull 
or leach the minerals from the bones.

The second day, you can add  2 carrots cut up, not necessary to peel, 3 stalks of celery with leaves, 1/2 large onion cut up, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 2-3 whole bay leaves.  All of this will be tossed out when broth is finished as it won't have any flavor.  

Begin by roasting the bones in a pan at about 400-375 degrees for 1 hour or more.  This helps to render some of the fat that you can keep or throw away and provide some flavor for the stock.  When bones are cooled down, add them to your stock pot with the right amount of water and bring the water and bones to boiling. 

 Reduce heat to simmer, warm or low, place lid and continue to cook low and slow for 24 hours.

 Next day, skim some fat and scrum off the top, add vegetables and continue cooking. 

Third day; skim the top and leave lid off so liquid can evaporate faster.  Take the bones out onto a platter and allow to cool.  Continue low/slow simmer to reduce liquid.  When bones have cooled, look for marrow inside bones.  Scoop it out and reserve for yourself.  It will be dark and hold together and doesn't look like the fat and cartilage. Pick over the bones removing all the disgusting stuff.  Remove the vegetables also.  Cool down the broth, maybe even cold storage for a while so the fat will harden.  Remove the fat and strain the broth.  If the broth has "set up" because of the gelatin, that's good, gelatin is very good but you may warm it up a bit to strain the broth faster.  A stainless steel mesh strainer works. 

I use some old newspaper to dump all the disgusting stuff onto and then fold it up before going into the garbage.  The bones when you are done are not for dogs....there's nothing nutritious left and they will be soft and not good for them, so they get wrapped up in paper too and put in the dumpster.  

Strained broth now gets some salt and is heated up to hot.  About 1 tsp. Real Salt per quart of broth.  I heat up some quart and pint jars and heat the lids in hot water too.  I "heat pack" the broth.  Hot broth in clean hot jars, with clean hot lid tightened down will preserve your broth for several months, even a year or more if you keep it in cold storage.  The nutrition you get from this process can't be duplicated or purchased.  It is worth the effort once in a while.  Be sure to label and date the jars.      

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