Have a couple of days to let things simmer on the stove and then sit in the fridge? Why not make some bone broth?
Bone broth, while it may seem complicated by the length of time it can take, is actually just as simple as making any other broth, and the health benefits far surpass the inconvenience it may cause.
Here is a rundown, compliments of Marks Daily Apple:
So last week I was browsing on Nom Nom Paleo and found this recipe for oxtail broth and thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunately, oxtails were about $8/pound, and mama is on a budget, so I swapped out the bones for pork neck and beef knuckle bones. Then, yours truly flubbed up the shopping list and forgot a couple of things, bought some extras that I didn't need. My brain was obviously not working yesterday. But the nice thing about a broth is that you can really put in anything you like! I give you my recipe below:
Equipment you'll need:
- Crockpot (or a large enough stock pot and enough patience if you plan on letting it simmer on the stove for 10+ hours)
- Strainer (a fine mesh strainer is an excellent tool for this, I used my regular strainer initially but after I scraped the fat off the top, I was left with some very fine drippings, so I sent that through the mesh strainer, and if you've got another pair of hands in the house to help, I'd recommend the mesh strainer first and save yourself a step)
- A soup pot aside from the one you use to cook the broth in
Ingredients you'll need (or ingredients that I used):
- 2 pounds pork neck bones
- 2 pounds beef knuckle bones
- 2 leeks, sliced lengthwise and cut into thirds and rinsed
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped (or a couple of handfuls of baby carrots, which is what I used)
- 1 large onion, chopped into big slices
- 7 cloves of garlic, smashed
- Kosher salt (I used about a palmful)
- Black pepper
- 5-6 bay leaves
In your crockpot layer the veggies on the bottom, toss in a handful of salt and pepper, toss in the bay leaves then layer the bones on top. Fill with enough water to cover. I have a 5 quart crock pot and the water was up to the top on this, and as it cooked, some liquid did splatter, so make sure your surrounding area is clean.
Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or until the meat is falling off the bones.
Remove cover and let cool for a bit, then begin to strain. This is where it will be helpful to have someone help, if you can. I didn't, so I just took the bones out with a slotted spoon, and took a bunch of veggies out, and then strained the broth out with the larger strainer (and this is where your mesh strainer comes in handy) into the other soup pot. Place that in the fridge overnight, and when you take it out, there should be a solid layer of fat on the top. Simply scoop that out and this is where the mesh strainer came in handy for me as I had to strain it again into another pot.
Now initially, my broth didn't have the gelatinous consistency that Nom Nom's did (aka, meat jelly), but that could be something as simple as using too much water in mine. However, it did thicken up a bit more after I re-strained everything and put back in the fridge.
Now, to enjoy! Simply scoop out a mug, heat and drink straight. Or, you can add some veggies/meat to it to have a soup/meal of sorts, but I'll be enjoying this just as it is. Maybe my body will use some of the gelatin and proteins and start to re-build some cartilage in my knees ;)
My batch came out pretty tasty, but it could have used more salt, so feel free to be a bit more liberal with your seasoning.