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Flavorless broth--why?

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  • Flavorless broth--why?

    I make broth all the time. This time--fragrant water. I used a turkey carcass and a couple of beef bones--though they were all bone, really, no marrow and no meat. Nonetheless, the turkey carcass was from a flavorful turkey, and was only in the freezer for a few weeks, maybe. It's like the turkey and the beef cancelled each other out. Plenty of aromatics, too, and herbs, and salt, and peppercorns... After 4 hours, I gave up. I'm making cabbage soup with some of it, and tomorrow when it's cool I'll pack it up and freeze it, and just have to remember to reduce it by half or more when I cook. But--Why?

  • #2
    How long did you simmer it for? And why not reduce it BEFORE you freeze it so it takes up less space ?

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    • #3
      How brisk was the simmer? It should barely bubble for best flavor--I call it "burble".

      Broth can be a mystery at times.

      spugy's idea of reducing first is a good one if you have time.
      Last edited by missblue; 03-11-2012, 04:26 PM.

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      • #4
        I have only mixed beef and poultry once and it did not turn out very well. Have you mixed the two before?
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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        • #5
          I've mixed pork and everything. I thought turkey (richer than chicken) and beef would be okay--I've mixed actual SOUPS before, but perhaps not beef and poultry in a broth. I barely burbled for four-plus hours, to no avail. I'm not reducing it now because I'm frustrated, mostly, but it's also a really big pot (it was a REALLY big turkey), and it's really tall, and I think in the end I'll be happier reducing soup-by-soup and trying to adjust flavor as I go. Perhaps the turkey bones/carcass just had too much air around it in the freezer, and it got freezer-burned even though it was a short period of time? I don't think I'll be trying turkey and beef at the broth-making stage again, though.

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          • #6
            The bones are totally spent, by the way. I'm convinced they gave all they had. If I thought they had more, I would have left it on a few more hours, I suppose.

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            • #7
              My first thought is not long enough, despite your thinking the bones are spent. Maybe too much water for the amound of bones, as well with the time cooking. I generally leave poultry bones simmering for about 24 hours, and beef/bison for up to 72 hours in the slow cooker. Haven't mixed the type of bones, however.

              Definitely reduce before freezing.
              My musings

              The old stuff

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              • #8
                Alright, I will work on my patience some more.

                But usually four hours gives a broth I can like, or at least it shows signs that I will like it if I hang in there a bit. Oh well.

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                • #9
                  Did you roast the bones before making your stock? For me that's the trick. A light coating of olive oil then in the oven at 350 until they start to smell lovely - I know, I'm weird, I use my nose instead of a timer to tell me when my stuff is done.
                  || 2/28/12 || 5'6" || 144 lbs ||
                  My goals: 125 lbs, 27" waist, fat-free, shapely, muscular legs
                  AND to be able to do my very first pull up!

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                  • #10
                    Does "reduce it" mean let the water evaporate?
                    "If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat?" - Tom Snyder, talk show host

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by denasqu View Post
                      Does "reduce it" mean let the water evaporate?
                      Yes.

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                      • #12
                        The last bone broth I made, was done in a crock pot, with beef bones (with marrow), salt, peppercorns, onions and garlic.

                        I cooked this for 22 hours. It's AMAZING!
                        A Post-Primal PrimalPat

                        Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by missblue View Post
                          How brisk was the simmer? It should barely bubble for best flavor--I call it "burble".

                          Broth can be a mystery at times.

                          spugy's idea of reducing first is a good one if you have time.
                          I think this is the key. At higher temperatures, the aromatics start to cook off. That's why it smells so good! If it's in the air, it's not in your stock. This article about pressure-cooking stock tipped me off to it:
                          Pressure-Cooked Stocks: We Got Schooled.

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                          • #14
                            One trick I learned was to use a pressure cooker to make bone broth. You get two benefits from this. One, the higher temperature means you don't have to wait as long for the bones to give up the ghost. Two, the temperature is high enough to get a Maillard reaction (better flavor) which allows you to skip the bone roasting step. My broths are noticeably better than when I used the open pot method. And I never use bones twice for the simple reason that I cant. The bones almost turn into a crushable powder by the time I'm done. They can be pulverized with my fingers.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chooky fuzzbang View Post
                              One trick I learned was to use a pressure cooker to make bone broth. You get two benefits from this. One, the higher temperature means you don't have to wait as long for the bones to give up the ghost. Two, the temperature is high enough to get a Maillard reaction (better flavor) which allows you to skip the bone roasting step. My broths are noticeably better than when I used the open pot method. And I never use bones twice for the simple reason that I cant. The bones almost turn into a crushable powder by the time I'm done. They can be pulverized with my fingers.
                              What type of pressure cooker do you have? According to that link I posted, the kind with a spring mechanism (the ones that don't let any steam escape under normal operation) produce wonderful stock, while the ones that continuously vent produce less flavoful stock. I have a "continuous vent" pressure cooker and while it does turn the bones to dust basically, the flavor can be somewhat lacking.

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