Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beef Bone Broth

Recently we purchased a side of beef from Hill Creek Farms - Hartsville, and among the many cuts of 100% grass-fed Angus beef we brought home, were several packages of beef bones. I immediately knew I was going to make Beef Bone Broth with them. Then I just had to wait for a "cool" Fall day to get started.

Completely different from beef stock it is typically made with beef bones which contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with any stock, the bones are roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours). This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.

What are the benefits of Beef Bone Broth? Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids. Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health. (source:  Nourished Kitchen)

Roasting Beef Bones
after slow cooking 48 hours

4-6 lbs. beef bones (preferably pasture raised, grass-fed)
4 quarts water (and more as needed)
2 tbls. apple cider vinegar (do not skip this - it helps to extract minerals from the bones)
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 onion, quartered
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300.  Roast bones in a large roasting pan several hours, or until nicely browned. Remove from oven.

Place bones, water, vinegar, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low at least 24 hours, but 48 hours is better, adding a bit more water as necessary to cover bones, however, there will be some reduction as it cooks down which you want. The longer it cooks the more nutrient-dense it becomes.

Remove bones from broth and strain broth through a colander, removing solids.

Allow to cool in the refrigerator until fat rises to the top and solidifies.

Remove fat which has solidified into "beef tallow." The fat forms from the marrow of the beef bones. Save the fat by cutting into wedges, wrapping in plastic wrap and freezing. This can be used as a replacement for shortening in biscuits, pie crusts and  more. 

Freeze or pressure can beef bone broth.

Pressure canning:  Fill pint or quart canning jars leaving a 1-inch head-space. Process pints 20 minutes and quarts 25 minutes at 11 lbs. pressure.

Uses: anytime a recipe calls for beef stock, use the bone broth. Use it as a beef base in soups, braising meat, gravies, stews, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables.

Cook's note - the bone broth will be gelatinous and look much like beef jello, which is completely normal. It will thin out and become liquid again once heated.


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