I made my first beef bone broth when I was pregnant with my first child and developed a temporary but visceral aversion to all things processed.
A friend introduced me to Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions which is the basis for the recipe below; and I started buying raw butter, feeding my first kombucha scoby, and simmering my first pot of bone broth. My relationship with food has never been the same since.
Bone broth sounds a bit odd, I admit. A more culinarily romantic name is ‘stock’, but no matter how you call it, it all boils down to the same thing. Bone broth is delicious and nutritious – and easy to make too.
Every chef and foodie knows the key to a good soup or sauce is in the stock, and unlike the canned or cartoned varieties, homemade broth is loaded with minerals, gelatin, and glycosaminoglycans (which include substances like chondroitin and glucosamine, keratin and hyaluronic acid and more.) These nutrients known to benefit teeth, bones, hair, nails, and joints. Bone broth is also a digestive elixir that helps to heal the gut lining for those who suffer from digestive problems, food allergies, and nervous system conditions including anxiety and depression. There are even numerous claims I’ve read that regular consumption of bone broth will make cellulite disappear – I don’t know about you, but that seems worth the broth for me!
Whether you’re making broth for your health or taste buds, when it comes time to choosing bones always seek out those from pasture raised animals. Ask your farmer what he/she recommends and what’s affordable, and then use what’s available to you – this can be a combination of marrow bones, knuckle, neck, and ribs bones. Whenever you eat meat with bones, be sure to save them in a freezer bag for future stocks.
Be forewarned. This stuff doesn’t smell good while cooking, but I promise your final product will taste and smell nothing like the work in progress.
Make a big pot of bone broth at one time and freeze by the quart or in ice cube trays. You can use it for quick soups and savory stews, pour it over meals in gravy, drink it warm or cold, or use it instead of water to cook your properly prepared grains or beans. If you live in LA, you can have wonderful bone broth delivered to your door from Real Food Devotee. Easy-peasy.
Beef Bone Broth Ingredients:
- 5-8 lbs bones from pastured beef, bison, pork, or lamb (You can also make wonderful bone broth from poultry or fish which I’ll cover in a later post) - buy grassfed beef here
- A scoop of fat - coconut oil, lard, or tallow for roasting.
- Filtered water – Preferably not directly from your tap. Where to find the right water filter for every need and budget.
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar – Essential to leach mineral out of the bones and maximize the mineral content in your broth.
- 2-3 bay leafs (optional)
- 1 head of garlic (optional)
Beef Bone Broth Method:
- Rinse and clean the bones with water; pat dry, and rub with fat.
- Roast the bones with the garlic at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once, until they are well-browned. This ensures a good flavor in your resulting stock.
- Add the bones and the pan scrapings to a big pot, cover with filtered water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the vinegar, bay leaves, and garlic.
- Turn down the heat and simmer covered for several hours and ideally up to 24 hours.
- Throughout the simmering process, skim off any scum and add water as needed to keep bones covered.
- When the stock is finished simmering, allow to cool, and filter through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerate until chilled. Once chilled, the stock should set like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top.
- Pick off the fat and reserve it for cooking.
- Scoop out the gelled stock and reheat to serve straight or to use for a recipe. Store extras in in the fridge for a week or so, or freeze in PVC/BPA-free plastic freezer bags, mason jars, or ice cube trays.
- No Roast – If you’re pressed for time, skip the roasting. The flavor won’t be as rich, but the health benefits will still be plentiful.
- Add veg - Some folks like to add veggie scraps, and this is certainly an option. Keep in mind that anything you add to the stock with influence the flavor of the food it goes into.
- Slow Cooker – Don’t feel like watchin’ the pot boil? Simmer your stock in a crock pot for the same results.
- Shrink it – If you’re short on freezer space reduce your stock down to half or less by simmering. When ready to use, add water to reached desired concentration.
Wanna read more about bone broth? Visit WestonAPrice.org.
Top images credit to SimpleProvisions from flickr creative commons.