What is Bone Broth?
Oh, the things we do to stay young. If you haven’t heard of bone broth – it’s exactly as it sounds. Broth made with bones. It has plenty of collagen and is good for your skin and your stomach. For many, beef bone broth has a semi-ick factor, until you drink it. Then, it’s delicious.
So maybe you think drinking a broth made out of bones is gross. To be honest… I did. I was naive and back then, I didn’t think twice about what was in the broth that I’d buy at the store. At least when you make your own, you know you’re using healthy bones from healthy animals.
Now, things are different. Forget bag lady – I’ve become a bone lady. I’m proud of it too. I buy bags of bones (cheap!) from local farmers and whenever I buy local and organic cuts of meat, I’ll sometimes buy bone-in and save those too. More bones = better broth = beauty.
So what is bone broth? It’s a mineral-rich soup – with plenty of gelatin and collagen. It’s good for your gut and for digestion. It can also help with joint pain, thyroid issues, and can help remove toxins. Here’s a good breakdown for why you should drink this stuff.
How do you make Bone Broth?
You can make many types of bone broth: Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Goat, Beef. For this particular bone broth recipe, I used beef marrow bones. Marrow bones make your broth a beautiful and rich dark brown color. Grassfed beef marrow bones are more expensive than regular grass-fed beef soup bones, but any bones will work for bone-broth. I cook beef bones for a long while (45 hours) and add water to the crockpot as the broth is cooking. I make sure the water level is slightly above the bones – I don’t add too much water because I prefer a concentrated broth. That way, I can just drink a little and (hopefully) get a lot of benefits. I’ll say though, in the winter, I don’t mind drinking a lot of this stuff.
When I make this broth, I like to first parboil the bones. By boiling bones (with a little white wine – a tip from my godmother, Mailan), you can hopefully remove or reduce impurities and scum from the broth. I think it also helps get rid of some of that bone smell. Dump out the water, rinse the bones, and put them in a slow cooker. Add spices or vegetable scraps and then pour enough water to slightly cover the bones.
I set beef bones in the slow cooker and cook on low for about 45 hours (you can try anywhere from 10 hours to let’s say 48 hours). Occasionally check on the broth and if the water level goes below the bones, just add a little more water on top. Strain the broth, put it in a container, and let it cool. Then put it in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
When you take it out of the fridge, you’ll notice a layer of fat on top.
Underneath the fat, you should see what looks like beef jello.
Should you save or toss the fat on top of the broth? Some people save the fat and use it for cooking. Some throw it away citing possible toxins (if you’re making a chicken bone broth – the fat on top could be high in polyunsaturated fatty acids so you may want to toss that). Our paleolithic ancestors probably ate the fat. Really, it’s up to you. Here’s what I do – I leave the fat on top of the broth until I’m ready to use it or ready to store it in the freezer. Then, I toss the fat – it’s not my cup of tea.
If you want to freeze the broth then I suggest scooping the jello into ice cube trays.
Once they freeze, put them in a ziplock bag – it’ll take up less space than a container.
So what can you do with Bone Broth?
Once you remove the fat, you can warm up the jello and drink it up.
If drinking broth isn’t your cup of tea, then use it the way you’d use stock in any recipe (i.e. stir-fry, curry, stew, soup). I recently used bone broth to braise some veggies. It was amazing. Bone broth adds a rich beefy flavor to your food.
More questions about Bone Broth and Gelatin?
You can check out this book called, The Gelatin Secret. It’s loaded with information about gelatin, including why it’s good for you and how it might help gut health. The author offers troubleshooting tips for making bone broth and provides delicious recipes on how you can incorporate more bone broth into your diet.
- Bring the bones to a boil in a saucepan filled with water and a splash of white wine and then dump out the water (this helps rid of bone smell).
- Rinse the bones with water and then put them into a crock pot.
- Add your other ingredients and add enough water to barely cover the bones. Put the crockpot on low and cook for 10-48 hours. (I cooked for 45 hours). Check on your broth occasionally and if the water level drops below the bones, just add more.
- Strain the broth, put it in a container and let it cool. Once cool, put it in the fridge, and after several hours, skim off the fat.
- Warm it up and drink it, use it in a recipe or store it in the freezer.