I see blogs and articles everywhere on bone broth. It seems it is the latest craze. I've been making broth for years now. Nothing is really “new” about it, other than I think people are more aware of the health benefits today. I remember when my family was small I was making it because it was a thrifty use of my chicken. I'd serve roasted chicken one night, chicken meat in some casserole the next night and take the carcass and saved bones and make chicken soup the next night.
I began to understand broth for it's health and healing properties when my Mother in Law gave me Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions. I started seeing broth as a staple in the household. I made many pots of broth over the next few years. Each year we would buy a whole cow for the freezer and I'd always ask for the soup bones.
Somewhere along the way as the children were growing up and life became hectic I stopped making broth. Occasionally I'd make a pot to have it on hand for soup making.
I've slowly started making broth again. Mostly it has been chicken broth. Chicken is easy to obtain. Beef bones are a bit harder to find now that I don't buy my meat the same way I use to. I was surprised to find beef soup bones in the grocery store last week. So I bought a package and decided to make some broth.
I'd like to get into the habit of making it weekly. It was a small package of bones, about 4lbs. For the first time I made it in the crockpot. I could see how a small weekly batch of broth is more doable when made in the crockpot.
I have to say I'm happy with the results. I may do less water next time and my broth will be more concentrated. Meaning I can add a spoonful to a cup of hot water if I want to drink it or a few spoonfuls to a pot of soup.
Here is how I did it..
I started with my package of soup bones. They were frozen...
I put them in the crockpot with 1T salt and 2T white vinegar. The vinegar helps draw out the minerals from the bones. The minerals and trace minerals are much of what makes bone broth so good for your body.. I added 1 gallon of water, put the crock pot on high (because my bones were frozen I wanted to get the water to a nice light boil a little faster). After it had started to boil around the edges I turned the crockpot to low.
I really let this cook for a long time. In total it cooked for about 70 hours. The recommend time for most broth is 24 to 72 hours of cooking time.
I strained the broth to remove the bones and bits of fat..
The end result was beautiful (if you can call stock beautiful ;). A lovely rich dark color. I ended up with 7 cups of stock and a thick layer of fat.
I put the broth in the fridge overnight to let the fat harden and then removed it..
Broth will keep in the fridge for about a week and can be frozen. I plan to save some this week just for drinking by the cup and use the rest in a pot of soup.
The crockpot really made this a simple process. And as I mentioned before, somehow it seems more doable to make a small batch weekly in the crockpot.
The health benefits of bone broth are huge. The minerals and trace minerals, the collagen which helps joints, skin, hair and can help to reduce joint pain. It fights inflammation throughout your whole body and promotes a healthy digestive system. It's a worthy food to have simmering in your kitchen each week.
Sally Fallon also wrote another book on nothing but bone broth. Her original book, Nourishing Traditions is an excellent book and I just recently ordered her bone broth book and am eagerly looking forward to it arriving.