Monday, 5 May 2014

Bone Broth

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I have Bone Brothed!  I'm a relative newbie at this kinda thing.  I was researching recipes for nourishing soups and came across all these blogs extolling the virtues of bone broth.  Apparently it is very good for your gut, chocked full of minerals leeched from the said bones and absolutely jiggling with gelatinous goodness.  

I like the sound of that.  So I tried.  The traditional method of bone broth production requires you to cook the broth over 24 hours on the stove top.  Being an already highly strung individual, I knew the traditional method would not work for me.  I would not be able to sleep or leave the house knowing the stove is on.  So after some more googling, I came across this excellent site by Nom Nom Paleo.  Michelle Tam, the author of Nom Nom Paleo had very easy to follow recipes for slow cooker and pressure cooker versions of bone broth.  (Nom Nom Paleo is a great site - very well written and crammed with do-able recipes, even if you are not a paleo)

Being an impatient person, I gave the pressure cooker bone broth recipe a go first.  See here for Nom Nom Paleo's recipe.  It worked out very well and it eliminated the interminable slow cooking involved.  It took about 50 minutes in the pressure cooker once it has reached full steam.  Being a first timer, I did end up doing some running around to source good organic, grass fed bones.  At first, I came across a big bag of soup bones in Woolworths (supermarket) however the lady stocking the shelves was rather bemused when I quizzed her on the diet of the cows.  So off I trotted to Camberwell market and the lovely butcher guided me to some good quality bones and sawed them up for me to fit my pot.  I more or less followed Nom Nom Paleo's recipe to the letter.  I added a few kale stems only because I had them lying around.  The resulting broth was viscous, not fully jelly-like but full bodied if you know what I mean.  It was definitely beefy in taste.  I threw in some sprouted barley once I have strained everything and simmered over a low heat until the barley cooked.  The barley gave me something to chew on.  

Since kiddo had a head cold, my first batch was gone in a matter of days.  I then tried my hand at the slow cooker version.  See recipe here.  I like the electric slow cooker version better.  I am always a bit anxious when operating my pressure cooker as I irrationally fear that it would explode. The electric slow cooker minimised my anxiety somewhat.  The quality of the broth is similar.  

Here are a few tidbits re bone broth I came across in my googling and in my own limited experience in bone brothing:
  • roast the bones in the oven at the highest temperature setting for 15 mins to get reduce the boney soap factory smell.  I did  this but found the beef bones still smell a bit boney and soap factory-ish.  
  • chicken bones did not stink as much as beef bones
  • throwing in a pair of chicken feet or pig trotters help with the gelatinisation process
  • if using pig trotters, must must must, refrigeration before drinking so that the fat can be skimmed off easily
  • seasonings such as sprigs of thyme, bay leave, peppercorns seem to work well
  • the vinegar is used to leech the minerals out of the bones so must not omit!
So there you have it - bone broth!  I am a convert and have started the practice of stock piling bones in the freezer specifically for this purpose.  

Until next time...
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