Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easy & Delicious Beef Bone Broth

There is no better time of year than now to develop the habit of making Bone Broth on a regular basis.  My approach is to make small batches - which keep up to a week or so in the refrigerator.  I take out a small amount each day, warm it up in a small sauce pan, pour it into a cup and sprinkle the hot broth with a few good flakes of Maldon sea salt.  Delicious.  Warming.  Good for you!

Let's begin.  Beef Bone Broth.


A one pound to one and a half pound beef soup bone.  See below - it must be from a naturally raised animal.
Fresh Water
2 - 3 Bay leaves
One yellow onion
Good Sea Salt


The first and most important item in the broth making process is the bone.  I use a one pound to one and a half pound beef "soup" bone - as my local farmer labels it.  A nice big bone, some marrow, and a good deal of meat surrounding the bone.  You want - no, you must have - organic, grass fed, pasture raised beef bones.  Making beef bone broth from supermarket, factory farmed meat is a waste of time.  You are not looking for a nice hot cup of hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals from an unhappy, tortured creature.

Rinse your soup bone and pat dry.  Some folks roast the bone until it develops some color.  Much like you do to make a good rich stock.  I do not roast the bone.  My broth has a lighter color because of that, but I want all of the flavor and goodness in my liquid.

Place the bone in a medium sized stock pot.  Cover the bone by about 3 - 4 inches with fresh water.  Add about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to the water - this will leach out impurities that will  rise to the top early on so you can skim them off.

Cover the pot.  Bring your liquid to a boil and then immediately lower to a simmer - a very low simmer.  I use a "simmer plate" that fits over my burner and allows me to keep the heat very low.  You do not want the liquid to boil. I check it every hour so; if you need to, add water to maintain the level. In the first couple of hours, you can skim the scum floating on the top.  After that,  I do not skim the fat off!  I know that you will see many recipes that do skim the fat off.  Fat = Flavor.  I leave it alone.

Again, I make my bone broth in small batches, so I generally leave this pot on a simmer for from 24 - 30 hours.  I may not have mentioned this, but also note that you will have the most amazing aroma wafting throughout your kitchen after about hour three.

At about hour 28 I add a few bay leaves and a regular yellow onion cut into quarters.  That is all that I add. As mentioned,  I do not roast the bone.  I do not add tomato paste.  Thus, my bone broth is "natural" in color.  I like it that way, but once you start making it regularly you may want to experiment.

When the meat is all off of the bone, when the marrow is out and melted into the broth (I help this process along if it doesn't fall out itself) and the broth is a lovely golden color, it's done.

Strain once through a wide strainer for the meat, bone, bay leaves and onion; strain a second time through cheesecloth for the rest of the bits, etc.

After straining, I refrigerate the broth in a large glass measuring cup, covered,  for at least a few hours, and ideally overnight.

When you chill it, you will see that fat has solidified on the top.  Yes - fat.  Good stuff!  I stir this well
so that I am sure to distribute it and then I "bottle" it.

"A cup a day" - I usually drink about 8 ounces a day.  Heat the broth well in a sauce pan, pour it into your cup and sprinkle it with some really good sea salt.  Give the salt a chance to permeate the broth and enjoy!

NOTE:  That meat is delicious, although a bit chewy.  You can find a number of ways to use it, especially shredded and slow cooked - as in tacos.  If you live with dogs, you will make them very happy with some of this meat, as well!

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