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Thread: Bone broth?!? Come at me with your knowledge.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

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

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    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 at 07:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Manhattan, NY
    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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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    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.

  4. #4
    otzi's Avatar
    otzi Guest
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Seattle, WA
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Silicon Valley


    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Austin, TX
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Appalachian Ohio
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    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.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    land of the glass pinecones
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    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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