Friday, June 7, 2013

How To Make Bone Broth

My afternoon project was to haul all the various bones I'd been storing in the freezer out to make up a big batch of bone broth.  Every time we visit the farmer where we get our meat, or find another locally sourced provider for quality meat, we pick up a bone or two - they are very inexpensive, so making bone broth is an amazing way to get some high nutrients for a low cost.

I hadn't made broth in a long time, so we had a big assortment of bones - some marrow bones, some meaty beef  bones, along with a leg of lamb bone and a small free range chicken carcass.  It was too much for my crock pot, so this was done in a big stock pot on the stove.

After putting the bones into the pot, splash them with some apple cider vinegar - I used about 3/4 cup - and let that sit awhile, then cover with water and add veggies if desired. (That is optional, and avoid getting too creative there, unless you know what's likely to make things bitter.  I used some carrot and onion - no celery because we were out, and no garlic because I forgot!  But I've done it with no veggies at all, leaving a very neutral broth that can be seasoned as it is used, and that's fine too.)

Why apple cider vinegar?  Because it will react to the bones, and begin the process of leeching the good nutritious minerals from  them so that your finished broth is as nutrient-rich as possible.

I brought all this to a low boil, then turned down to a low simmer for the next 24 hours.

Here's where things went a little bad - my intentions for Monday were to strain the broth, and then we were going out for the evening to have dinner with a group of friends.  All well and good, but as evening approached, I started to feel very ill - too ill to go near the broth, and way too ill to go out to eat.  I sent Michael off without me, and slept for 3 hours.  Then woke up after he got home, moved to the bed and slept another 12 hours.

This morning, I still felt very shaky and headachy - a good 24 hour bug (the downside of my meds is that I am very susceptible to anything that's 'going around'), but decided to try sipping a bit of the broth that was still simmering.

It ain't pretty, but it sure is tasty!

I've had 3 mugsful today, and am feeling human again - just a little sprinkle of sea salt and this is not only a healthy restorative, but also quite rich and delicious!  On a day when I am feeling better, I think I'd have some of this with a dash of hot sauce or a bit of lemon just because it's awesomely delicious that way.

Other than drinking it all up, this batch is destined to be strained and put into jars for the freezer in small batches, to be used in all sorts of recipes.  And  the bones are headed back into the pot to make another batch, repeating the vinegar to help the bones break down and release their minerals into the broth - I'm not sure how many batches I'll get out of my hoard of bones, but in the end I'll have gotten so much broth from them, for so little cost, that it's like having a free food supply that just happens to be insanely good for us, too.

Now, THAT is magical.

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