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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Pot Full of Bones

I never thought I'd see the day I was going to blog about bone broth...

Okay.  There's a few good reasons I'm 'down' with the idea of doing this. 

I love soup.  My family loves soup.

I love cooking.

I have read that people who consume bone broth daily following surgery heal better and faster.

I am very anemic, and I want to 'fix' this with diet and also I do NOT want my kids to be anemic like their mother.

I love doing things the 'old fashioned' way, (as long as it includes modern conveniences and an air conditioned home in Florida heat!

I have a LOT of stomach problems, and my poor gut could use some healing, naturally. 

I've made broth plenty of times, but I can honestly say I've never roasted bones, (beef or otherwise), and simmered them for days.  Though I like the idea of it.  

So after much reading, I have decided I AM going to start making bone broth, on a regular basis.  I will store it in mason jars.  I will use in soups, sauces, gravies, cook my rice in it, and anything I'd normally use water in, to add flavor and nutrition.  

At the grocer I've been taking notice of the beef bones and chickens feet.  I've never bought, handled, touched, or had anything to do with a chicken foot in my entire life.  Well, we did have chickens when I was a kid, but I was more interested in petting them and gathering their eggs than I was their odd looking feet.  I've looked at them frozen in the reach-in freezer at the grocer, and I'll admit I think they look GROSS.  But, no one is actually going to EAT them, and from what I've read they make the broth taste better and add to the gelatin factor in the broth.  

(2 days later)
I started two days ago with ham and chicken bones, onion & garlic, a couple of carrots and a few tablespoons of vinegar.  Today I found out that keeping the pot on 'low' is not good enough.  You MUST keep it at least at a low simmer.  I have thusly drained out everything but the bones themselves, which are now clean, and added them back to the pot with the strained broth plus a little more water.  I've picked through and got out the meat, and fed the carrots to my doggies.  The meat will go into something (gravy?) over the weekend, (frozen until I decide), and I've now got those bones at a decent simmer.  The idea is to simmer them until they're crumbling and the marrow is out of the bones.  Yes... I'm close, but no cigar.  Back into the pot, strained, with now only the broth, the naked bones, and a little more water.  In the meantime, I've bought some beef bones for my next pot of bone broth.  I'm going to get this down to a science yet. :)

Following day:

After boiling the bones more last night, they DID finally get where they were crumbling and the marrow came out.  FINALLY!!  I strained out all the bone, and took that very dark broth and stored it in the fridge.  It did not make as much as I thought that it would.  It made about a quart and a half.  But it's highly concentrated.  After it was cold in the fridge, I was able to scrape the layer of fat off the top and discard.  The rest is the nice jellied stuff to flavor things with.  I will add it to rice or grains when I cook them, or to gravies, sauces, etc.  WAY better for us than bouillon.  It makes me happy to do something that I KNOW is going to benefit my family's health. :)

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