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  • Makin' Bone Broth...?

    I'm in the process of making my first-ever batch of bone broth. It's been in the slow-cooker for about 17 hours. Planning on a full 24.

    Anyhow, had to kick it up to high for a simmer. Most of the recipes mentioned a "scum" that would form but I'm not seeing any. Just a layer of oil/fat.

    Also, should the visible marrow be completely dissolving leaving hollow bones or not? And does the gelatinous stuff form after cooling?

    I'm using beef neck bones and roasted them before if that makes any difference.

    TIA
    Last edited by Charlie Golf; 05-10-2012, 08:58 AM.
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  • #2
    I think you're on the right track.

    I boiled mine before simmering to de-scum, then simmered the full 24 hours. There was only minimal scum and a lot of fat floating at the top by the end. The gelatin wasn't jelly-like, just runny and drinkable. All in all, it was a success and made every dish I added it to taste amazing.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    • #3
      Did you add any vinegar? I added a splash (really not very much) of apple cider vinegar on my last batch and it made the bones crumbly by the end. All that calcium mmmmm
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      • #4
        I second the vinegar.

        Never get scum either... I have heard good organic/grass fed meats don't cause as much scum. Are you using grocery store meat, or grass fed? I've found it to be true that when I use good meat, I get no scum on the broth.

        Gel only really forms in my broths if I boil them down in a pot (about 50%) but I don't think I am doing anything wrong...

        ETA: the bones are always crumbled by the end. I usually make 3 batches from the bones; the first is a lot of "soft" tissue, the second mostly minerals, and third batch I crush up and expose the marrow. I cook 24hrs for chicken bones, 48hrs per batch for beef. So chicken uses the cooker for 3 days, beef for almost a week. But as I said, I get 3 batches per half-pot of bones and it lasts about a month.
        Last edited by GrokON; 05-10-2012, 01:35 PM.
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        • #5
          A lot of people skim off the fat. We leave it.

          When you jar/bottle the broth, the fat will float to the top and form a protective layer on top. Old school, this was how they kept yucky from getting into the broth if it lasted more than several days.

          So, I don't ever skim it.

          If you boil it too long, without enough water, you'll end up with gelatin. Not a bad thing, it's just super thick and sticky. So, make sure that you have enough water.

          We usually do 8-9 hour boils of chicken bones, using a crock pot. we add just a bit of apple cider vinegar, which helps leech the bones a bit. Good stuff.

          We mostly make chicken broth.

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          • #6
            I use grass fed beef marrow bones and place in crockpot with about a 1/4 C of apple cider viegar and gallon of water. Put the lid on, cover and leave for 72 hours!! Jarred in mason jars it turns to gelatin every time.. I LOVE it.. the bones are so crumbly I make bone paste and add it to other dishes.. mmmm.. Just finished a new batch yesterday!!

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            • #7
              I've made it 5 times so far...just finished my 5th batch. I hated my first 2 batches... Blech. Each time I simmered it 72 hours at least. I've never had scum and for the bigger bones found I had to scoop out the marrow as some seems to stay in the bones (the long ones). Definitely the more gelatinous the better according to the forum threads and websites. And the vinegar makes the bones pitted and crumbly as others have said, ensuring maximum nutrition and gelatin.

              Last 3 batches have been great - I've followed this recipe and I've been very happy with it.

              How to Make "Brown" Beef Bone Stock
              Last edited by KerryK; 05-10-2012, 06:02 PM. Reason: To confirm that my bones, too, were 100% grass fed/finished
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              • #8
                It was conventional beef neck bones from our favorite grocery. I was anxious to try making some and the normal farms I get meat from were out of soup bones. Never got any "scum" only a thin layer of oil.

                I added 2 T apple cider vinegar, 1 T iodized sea salt and 10 cloves of garlic. The last 7-8 hours it took on a "liver" aroma vs simply "beefy" like the preceding 16 hours or so.

                Strained it, and poured it into a quart mason jar. Cooling now in fridge and is a nice golden color with a thin layer of fat on top. Looking forward to trying it!

                And our puppies are gonna love the meat that came off the bones in their dinner tonight!
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                • #9
                  I never thought to use vinegar in my stock! Awesome, since I'm just getting ready to cook up a vat. When I had my steers butchered I had the option to have the shanks sliced into 1" slices, with the meat left on (not like the longer meatless marrow bones from the store). Makes it really easy to pre-roast and pop the marrow out as it cooks.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KerryK View Post
                    I've made it 5 times so far...just finished my 5th batch. I hated my first 2 batches... Blech.
                    What did you not like about the first two batches?

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                    • #11
                      UPDATE:

                      Well I strained everything off, poured it in a quart mason jar and stuck it in the fridge. Next morning there was a nice layer of tallow on top and it looked like it was "sealing" all the liquid in.

                      Well...I just cut through the layer and discovered glorious, beefy, jello!!!

                      Just heated a cup up and am enjoying it as part of a protein-sparing, modified "fast."

                      This will definitely be a regularly made item in our household. Delicious!
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