Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bone Broth!

We've all read enough about how good bone broth is for us--for our ow strong bones, for skin, nails, hair, even arthritic or injured joints.  Lately, it's popped up in my reading about autoimmune syndromes...so yes, good stuff!

I've made it off and on for years, from whatever bones we have on hand--leftover turkey carcass, bones from a roast chicken, beef bones, you name it.  I've used it as is, as well as for the basis for some incredibly good soups and stews, even as an addition to sauces and gravies.

Let me tell you, the stuff you buy can't TOUCH home made.  It's thin and tasteless and not at all tempting, and yes, I've tried a lot of diffeent brands.  I add it to soup stock if I have it, but if you plan to drink it you pretty much need to add something to give it a bit of savor.

Enter home made.  Of course grandma used to keep a pot simmering on the back of her old woodstove, but these days the crock pot does a wonderful job!  (I'm sure an Instant Pot would too, but I don't have one.)

It really IS easy...all you need are bones (duh, right?) and whatever vegetables need to be used up in your crisper or garden, and a little salt and herbs for savor.

Get hold of the best bones you can...from grass-fed or free range critters is best.  I brown them or roast them before putting them in the crock pot.  (The last batch of beef bones I got, from Barham Cattle Company and Family Farms had SO much meat on them I ended up with a luscious beef stew instead of broth!  And of course they were marked soup bones!  I'm going to see if they'll save some bone broth bones for me...)


Cut up whatever vegetables you have on hand...I used enough to fill the crock pot.  Here are carrots, celery, onion, radishes, garlic and spinach, with a bit of chard and cabbage as well.  If you have other faves, add 'em.  If they're getting a bit long in the tooth, add 'em anyway.)

Add the bones....
Cover with water (or leftover broth), add salt and herbs, and you're done.  Turn on the crock pot, put on the lid, and walk away.  We do ours for at least 24 hours or more...a couple of days extracts more minerals.  (Sometimes I add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help liberate those minerals...but not enough to make the broth taste sour.)

That's a rich, delightful broth.  I love beef bone marrow, so I scoop it out and eat it when I discard the bones--it's full of nutrients!  Then you can enjoy this as is or strain out the vegetables, which is what we did.  That gave us two big quarts of luscious bone broth I'm enjoying a mug at a time, plus a container of vegetables to eat later or add to other dishes.  (They became part of a mixed vegetable side dish last night, and Lady enjoys the bones with our veterinarian's blessings...we don't waste much.)

As you can see, the hardest part of this is cutting up all those vegetables  A good cutting board and a good sharp knife makes that a pleasure, for me...I Zen out...

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