Bone Broth

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Kauai beef, neck meat & marrow

So my last post was about my love for rendered animal fat. But if it wasn’t for making bone broth I may not have gone so far as to question what beef tallow is and differentiate between that and lard. But I went there, I keep going and I’m pretty sure I’m not turning back.

Bones that have been simmered for hours and sometimes days extract minerals, collagen, and amino acids. The process is extremely easy, it’s just a matter of time. These days slow cookers make preparing bone broth even easier, but the stove-top method is simple too and can be largely unattended. All bones, from any animal, are (basically) created equal. If you’ve got them, I say use them, however bones from the neck, feet, tails and ribs are especially nutritious because they contain more cartilage. Try purchasing fish or chicken whole for a change and enjoy the cost saving benefits as well as the nutritional ones.

Here are a few reasons why I advocate making bone broths a regular part of your local kitchen repertoire as if your health and radiant good looks needed reason.

  • Collagen in a face cream? For $100 maybe. Bones broths are like your most expensive beauty cream but in a crock pot and at 1/20 of the cost. The gelatin that forms after making broths, that jelly like wiggle in the jar after it has cooled, is a beauty secret the people who manufacture MSG don’t want you to know about. It’s what all the modern American restaurants are by-passing with our demands for fast & convenient foods. You want more of this in your diet because it helps to heal the intestinal lining which facilitates better digestion and reduces inflammation. This happens because the glucosamine in broth stimulates the growth of new collagen.
  • Minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium get extracted from the bones. Just like we require hydrochloric acid in our own bodies to assimilate food, when making bone broths a bit of vinegar is required to extract nutrients that we’ll be utilizing. Calcium is great for our own bones and for tissue repair, phosphorous helps to generate energy and magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and proper contraction/relaxation of our muscles.

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    Fish head broth with ginger, lemongrass & ginseng

  • Glycine and proline are two essential amino acids we get from broths. Glycine helps to manufacture other amino acids and is crucial to wound healing. Proline is essential to manufacturing collagen and has been shown to have positive effects on memory and treating depression.
  • Broths made from marrow bones are nutritional power houses as they facilitate red (oxygen to the cells) and white (essential for immune function) blood cell activity that help with clotting.

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    Locally raised, slaughtered & butchered on Kauai – $3.59 per pound

  • Aside from the nutritional perks of incorporating this traditional method of cooking into our every day practice – it goes without saying that bones are not going to break the bank either. Notice the package on the right which not only contains bones with marrow, it’s also a nice chunk of meat – locally pastured cows from right here on Kauai, for $3.59/lb!!!
  • Here is an excellent resource for the benefits of bone broth, how to make it and more details if this article has you salivating for more.

We can re-instill this traditional cooking practice of extracting valuable nutrients and rendering useable fat in a few easy steps. Making broths from home is a great way to enhance our own health as well as our vibrancy all the while reconnecting to this age-old practice. Broths aren’t just for when we’re unwell or fighting a cold. They’re a preventative. The herbs, vegetables and spices that can be added are as flexible as the food broth is added to. The next time you prepare a piping pot of this nourishing food, be sure to keep the fat that rises to the top and reserve it for high heat cooking and use the broth in the most ordinary of ways. Use as a cooking liquid for rice, pasta or a base for potatoes and vegetables. Because I enjoy the gelatinous texture and easy meal, I’ll often eat the gelatin cold and share it with my baby daughter. Have fun, enjoy and see you soon.

Bone Broth – Your template

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 4 hours
Total time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Snack, Soup
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1-5lb animal bones (you can save the bones from fish and the few scraps of chicken bones to make a much smaller but useful pot of broth, in which case only use about 1 Tbsp of vinegar)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (organic, unfiltered)
  • plenty of filtered water
  • an array of herbs (save parsley for the last 10 minutes of cooking)
  • vegetables such as carrots, celery, eggplant, daikon etc (anything works so if it's laying around use it up)
  • sea salt (to taste)

Note

I often make broth like I make pot roasts. I get meaty cuts so when I'm done preparing the broth, the meat that falls off the bones is incredibly tender and juicy. Simply use tongs to discard the bones and stems from herbs and leave the rest. I don't like to strain my broth because it's a meal in itself and I enjoy the meat, veggies and broth as a complete dish. Having said that, you can strain your broth and discard the meaty bits that fall off, especially if you didn't use bones with lots of meat in the first place, and get rid of the excess vegetables/herbs.

Directions

Step 1
Collect bones and if they've got meat, take a moment to prepare them 1 of 2 ways. You can roast the bones in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on a large cookie sheet, reserving the juices. Or you can sear the bones on your stove top by adding a drizzle of olive oil to the pot you'll be using and sear all sides.
Step 2
Put bones in a large heavy bottomed pot and add COLD* water to cover the bones and add vinegar. If you're using a crock pot, it's the same, switch to high heat and then to low once the broth has come to a gentle boil. If you're doing the stove top method bring to a slow boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. A film may (or may not depending on the diet of the animal which is another reason pastured grass fed is best!) rise to the top, skim this off and discard.
Step 3
Allow to cook for anywhere from 4-24 hours with the lid on. Less time is required for delicate bones from fish and fish heads and longer cook times for larger bones from cattle and like sized animals.
Step 4
In the last 2-3 hours of cooking, add you vegetables, herbs and sea salt. These aren't required in the first 3/4 of the cooking process because the first part is about the mineral extraction. This last 1/4 is about flavor and nutrition enhancement from the add-ins.
Step 5
Once your broth has been cooking for several hours or the entire day you can do one of several things. See note.

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