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  • Bone broth?!? Come at me with your knowledge.

    Ok, so it seems like everyone and their grandma is drinking bone broth around here. Honestly, i tried to make it once and it turned into a bubbling cesspool that smelled like roadkill. I do like the idea of bone broth, nourishing warm liquid that tastes like... well, broth.

    Now i know i can google this and find 50 instructions on how to make it but i want to hear from you guys. How do YOU make it? from what cuts you use, to any additions, how long, secrets, tips, etc.

    I got a 5lb package of grassfed beef bones in the freezer and its high time they get used.
    Last edited by Zach; 03-29-2013, 07:11 PM.

  • #2
    I made it in the crock pot once but it wasn't fatty like I was hoping. I'd like learn a good method for it as well. A local butcher known for their high quality mostly grass-fed, humanely raised meats sells several varieties of it by the quart, even duck! I find it hard to want to make it with such a luxury at my disposal, lol.
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    “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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    • #3
      You have to simmer the bones for a GOOD long while if you're really serious about getting marrow out of the bones. Like... Overnight as a minimum.

      And by all means, feel free to add spices and stuff to the broth to add some flavor so it's not just bone, fat, and water. Not that that's bad, mind you, but it adds a little flavor and depth.

      Then, if you want to, brown some meat, toss in veggies for a little bit, and bingo! Soup's on!

      Not that hard really, just takes time.
      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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      • #4
        Put the bones in your crock pot, if you don't have one--get one. Cover with water just barely. Salt a bit on the heavy side. Put in whatever else tickles your fancy--pepper, onions, fennel, peppers--whatever...

        Cook on high for about 6 hours, then strain the whole mess through a fine wire basket sieve, pick off and eat any meat that looks tasty, eat or trash the spices/veggies that you strain out, and put the bones back in the crock pot and cover with juice you strained off. Cook on high a few more hours, then on low for 8-10+ more hours.

        Strain again if you have a lot of garbage in there, but if the bones looked like dinosaur bones, you may not have much. Pour into a pitcher or big bowl of some sort and put in the fridge over night. If the bones you used had a lot of marrow, you may see a nice lard cap on the cooled broth. If it's just yellow fat and doesn't look too great, throw it away--if it's nice and white, peel it off, cut into cubes and store for later frying stuff in.

        The bone broth should look like brown jell-o. I like to drink a cup or two at first, then use the rest to cook with. Use bone broth in place of water when cooking rice, pour over mashed potatoes, or make a nice soup--like mushroom soup or beef soup w/potatoes, carrots, onions, and chunks of beef, etc...

        An alternate way, if you have no beef bones, is to buy a Safeway Deli or Sam's Club type broiled chicken, put the whole thing in the crock pot, cover with water and cook on high for 2-3 hours, then pick off any meat you want to eat later, and disjoint all the bones and cook another 8-10 hours and treat just like you did the beef bones.

        The fat from chicken stock isn't as nice as beef and usually gets pitched around here.

        A great soup can be made with the chicken broth and the chicken meat you picked off earlier.

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        • #5
          I typically do pretty much what otzi does, but one trick I like to do is either add rosemary (for beef) or parsley (chicken) in generous amounts for the last few hours of simmering. Then when I pull the herbs out, the scum comes with them.

          I really like to use cross cut beef shanks for making beef stew; I add some wine and water and let them simmer for a good long while (overnight, or all day in the crock pot). The connective tissue adds a lot to the flavor of the broth. When I'm making my stew, I poke the marrow out and saute the veggies in it before adding back in the meat and broth.

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          • #6
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            Cooking with Bones
            I roast my bones ahead of time and cook for 2 hours in a pressure cooker with chopped onions, celery, carrots and black petter corns. I don't know if anybody else does this but I love the bone broth with a little tarragon, salt and pepper.

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            • #7
              I make broth once a week. I save bones from my food all week, then when I'm ready to make the broth, I buy a package of beef or pork knuckle bones (you want bones with a lot of cartilage or connective tissue) and one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, strip the chicken down to its carcass, and toss the carcass, knuckle bones, and leftover bones from the week into my crock pot. Cover with water, add salt and pepper, and--VERY IMPORTANT--add 1/4 cup vinegar (can be any kind, I use ACV). The vinegar draws the gelatin from the connective tissues.

              Some people put it on high and then lower the heat after it starts simmering; I just put it on low and leave it for 48 hours. Benefits of a crock pot: set it and forget it. It'll smell good for about 24 hours, then go through a period where it smells a little funky, like roadkill, for a while, and then it'll just smell rich and meaty. After 48 hours, turn off your crock pot and pour off the liquid into a big pitcher. It'll have all sorts of floating bits of meat and detritus in it. Put a cheesecloth or sieve over a big glass jar and pour the liquid through. You'll get a clear brown liquid with fat floating on top. Put the jar in the fridge and let it cool overnight. The next day, scrape out the fat on top and save it for cooking. The liquid beneath is HOPEFULLY a semi-solid gel, like broth jello; sometimes, however, for no discernible reason, this doesn't happen, and it's just liquid. Don't feel bad. Sometimes the broth just doesn't gel. I find it especially foolproof when I use pork knuckles or fish frames; it always gels. Beef and chicken are a bit more hit or miss.

              Regardless of whether it gels or not, it's still very nutritious. I microwave a mug and have it every night before bed. It's also good in the morning, if you're trying to drink less coffee; it's hot and energizing. The most useful thing I find about it is that it kills food cravings DEAD, so if you're trying to eat less, it's great.

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              • #8
                Pretty much otzi's crock pot method exactly, except for these two items: I wait until the final few hours of crockpot cooking to add herbs, spices, and vegetables, then strain it all off when the vegetal stuff I added no longer has any flavor left in it, and I find that out by taste testing a bit of carrot/onion/whatever I have added to the pot. I find that when herbed, veggied, spiced broth is cooked too long, it changes in a way I tend not to like.

                And I also add a hefty shot of apple cider vinegar to the straight-up bone-cooking portion of broth-making to extract lots more goodness from the bones. You will absolutely not taste it out in the final broth.

                Wait until you use a good, hard-jellied bone broth to flesh out the liquid portion of a gravy... you will moan in satisfaction...
                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                • #9
                  I do the same as crabbcakes - add the seasonings/herbs/spices towards the end. and I also add the vinegar - you extract more calcium and other minerals from the bones this way.

                  I never throw chicken carcasses away without making some bone broth from it, but I also make broth from beef bones, chicken backs and wings that I buy just to make broth/stock (and on occasion from pork).
                  Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

                  Dr. Seuss

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                  • #10
                    don't own a crockpot and literally make bone broth a few times per year. if i had to make it all the time, i would be laggard about it.

                    i use traditional stock methods and smoosh as many bones in my big pot as i can and cover with water. add chopped carrots, a few garlic cloves, peppercorns, dried thyme, bay leaves, maybe ginger, maybe a few small tomatoes. NO SALT. bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

                    for chicken and birds, i generally use oogly bits like heads, backs and feet. i cook them at least 12 hours.

                    for beef/lamb i use bones, either soup-bones or neck-bones, a foot if i can get it, tendons, oxtail, etc. -- whatever is cheap and gelatinous. i cook that at least 36 hours.

                    strain the solids out and reduce the liquid. portion and freeze. THEN you can salt and season more generously each time you want some. salting at the beginning can mean disaster.

                    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                    – Ernest Hemingway

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                    • #11
                      I use a pressure cooker also - two hours for chicken, three hours for beef seems to be where I'm getting the best results.

                      -Newer pressure cookers are really safe as the steam regulator thingy will blow out before the pressure cooker can explode, though I used an old second hand one for years with no issues. Also, if you get one that comes with its own strainer/colander, fishing out the bones and/or veggies afterward becomes a non-issue (which I love).

                      -Pressure cookers do require that you remain in the house to keep an eye out, but they reduce the time from almost a whole day to a few hours.

                      Either slow cooker or pressure cooker, if when you're learning, you get a batch or two that don't come out great, I find that adding hot sauce, a little lemon juice, salt, and garlic powder can pretty much make even an old shoe edible, so it doesn't have to go to waste.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                      B*tch-lite

                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                      • #12
                        I am the odd ball.

                        I do the same as others in some respects: vinegar, veggies, spices, and simmer for 24 hours (I have only done chicken bones usually from roasted chicken) NEVER smells like roadkill. It always smells delicious and fills the house with goodness.

                        Since it is chicken, I do set it in the frig for the fat to harden on top. Mark says of chicken:
                        Speaking of fat, I’d toss poultry fat. It’s a relatively high-PUFA animal fat, and a day of simmering has probably damaged it beyond repair.

                        Read more: Cooking with Bones | Mark's Daily Apple

                        My difference is that, after 24 hours since the bones just disintegrate, I just grind it all up - bones, veggies - all of it. It makes a super thick, super delish bowl of yummy. It looks like... well I wont say what it looks like.... but it really is so delicious.

                        I put it in containers and/or bags. Bags can then lay flat and stack nicely in the freezer.
                        65lbs gone and counting!!

                        Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                        • #13
                          Broth from chicken and pork is milder in flavor than beef bone broth.

                          For beef bone broth, I use marrow bones. Rinse them, put in the slow cooker with enough water to cover, some vinegar, salt, spices (pepper, turmeric, whatever I have on hand), cook on low for at least 30 hours.

                          For chicken and duck, I've made broth with 2 thighs. Same procedure as above, except only needs to simmer for 4-5 hours. The thighs are still tender and flavorful enough for a meal.

                          I make broth maybe twice a week, so don't make large quantities at once. The taste seem to change after a few days, so we try to use it all within 3 days.

                          After the broth is done, I put it in jars and refrigerate first so the fat solidifies. I remove it and either discard (chicken) or use for cooking (if grass-fed tallow).

                          If you add enough water just to cover the bones, the broth gels when chilled.
                          Last edited by girlhk; 03-29-2013, 11:31 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I own a meat cleaver. So I take an organic, kosher if possible, chicken and whack the bones into pieces (with the meat still on them). Ok, I can't stop laughing because my iPad changed organic to Iranian, and I don't have access to Iranian chickens.

                            Follow above directions (add onions, spices, salt, veggies) and cook over low heat. If you start with the heat low, your broth will be clearer than if you crank the heat to get a good boil fast.

                            I only cook my chicken stock for 2-3 hours, and it gels nicely. For beef I use bones that are cross cut to expose the marrow, and cook for about 4 hours. Strain into jars, pick the meat from the mess. I also save the beef fat which is usually white with grass fed beef, but I toss the chicken fat once it congeals on top.

                            It must be me, cuz this thing has me cooking sicken, grass fee beef, beef bounces for tomorrow, and using concealing fat.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Glenview View Post
                              It must be me, cuz this thing has me cooking sicken, grass fee beef, beef bounces for tomorrow, and using concealing fat.
                              Sounds like a covert operation, (w/concealing fat and all)
                              65lbs gone and counting!!

                              Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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