Monthly Archives: May 2017

A Healing Bone Broth

Bone broth is the most accessible “cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers.

For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily-not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

It works great as a base for soups, sauces, grains, beans or add some kraut and a bit of miso for a delicious and easy lunch. A warm cup in the morning is a simple and nourishing tonic to begin the day. This is the flavor of love!

Here’s a simple recipe:

Every time you come upon a beef bone, like when you have steak, keep it. Collect leftover bones in a gallon bag in the freezer. Eventually, you’ll have enough for a pot of stock. If you like, you can buy some bones as well, or instead.

You can buy soup bones at a butcher store or your supermarket’s butcher counter. They might be labeled soup bones, marrow bones, or even “dog bones,” although people can eat them, too! If you don’t see them on display, ask the nice folks behind the counter, and they’ll set them aside to sell you when they remove them from the meat they process, or even order them for you.

Ingredients:

  • Beef bones, about 3 quarts, or 3 pounds – you can use any mix of leftover bones or soup bones, marrow bones or bones sold for dogs
  • Water

Equipment that bears mentioning:

  • Tall stock pot (ideal), or any big pot
  • Tongs
  • A big bowl or another big pot
  • Several freezer-safe containers

In a nutshell:

Roast bones until browning and fragrant. Simmer bones 6 to 12 hours. Cool and strain. Lift off tallow when completely cool.

Yield:

About 1 gallon.

Temperature and time:

  • Oven: 350 F : 45 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Low : 6 to 12 hours

In detail:

Heat water. Fill a stockpot or other large pot with water about halfway and set on the stove on high heat. It takes a while for this to get to the boil, so you might as well get it started while the bones are roasting.

Roast bones. Set oven to 350 F. Spread bones out on a shallow baking sheet or rimmed cookie sheet. Place in oven for 45 minutes, or until browned and sizzling. Don’t allow them to burn or get singed, or the whole batch will taste burnt.

Remove the pan of bones from the oven and set it near the pot. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the bones carefully into the water. The bones will be sizzling hot — up to 350 F (think about it) — so don’t drop them in so that they make a splash that could burn you. Slide or place them carefully.

Simmer bones. Add water, if there’s space in the pot, so that there approximately a gallon plus a quart of water. That’ll give you a gallon of stock, after about a quart of loss to evaporation, absorption into the bones and clinging to the bones. The precise amount of water is not important. If you don’t have a pot big enough for this amount of water and/or bone, just use less.

Bring the water to the boil. Turn the heat to the lowest setting possible that will maintain a gentle simmer. The surface of the water should be waving gently and making many tiny bubbles. It should not be frothing crazily.

Over the course of the next several hours, check the soup every hour or so to see that the simmer level is good.

After six to twelve hours, turn off the heat. The amount of time depends on your convenience. You could cook this overnight, but the strong cooking aroma might disturb your sleep, despite being wonderful.

Cool and strain. Let the stock cool. This will take an hour or two. Pour the stock through a strainer into a big bowl or another big pot.

Skim tallow. If desired, cool it long enough that you can easily lift the tallow (beef fat) that has collected and solidified atop the liquid. Store this separately in the refrigerator. It makes an excellent, stable and tasty cooking fat with a high smoke point.

Store stock. Ladle the stock into individual containers and store in refrigerator or freezer.

Variations:

  • Use any other kind of animal bones you like, chicken especially will take less time due to smaller pieces.
  • Add a splash of vinegar when simmering the bones. (The acidity will help extract more minerals from the bones).
  • Add chopped veggies like carrots, celery and onions for more flavor or variety.

A crock pot makes this recipe super-simple, but you can also use a large stock pot (hence the name) or an enameled cast-iron dutch oven type of pot.

Recipe from: How To Cook With Vesna

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