Posted on | April 7, 2012 | 15 Comments
You’ve seen me mention bone broth/stock in this blog a few times. We love our broth around here & it’s so easy to make & incorporate into your daily foods. You don’t have to drink it hot from a mug to reap the benefits.
This article from the Weston A Price Foundation has some good information on bone broth.
When animals are slaughtered for our consumption, many of the parts go to waste. Sometimes, people just don’t know what to do with these piece. By making broths from the bones & pieces of offal that are usually considered “trash,” we are making sure that no part of an animal goes to waste. This, of course, goes hand in hand with my waste not, want not tendencies.
I’ve consolidated the 3 most used broth recipes here at our house in this one post for you. You can print each one individually to keep on hand.
How I Make My Beef Stock/Broth
I take 2-4 pounds of beef bones (preferably marrow bones when I can get my hands on them) & put them in a cast iron pan. It doesn’t matter what type- a cast iron roasting pan or cast iron skillet work fine. Don’t have cast iron? That’s ok, too. I’ve been known to use my Pyrex baking dishes occasionally. Sprinkle them with a little salt, then roast for 30 minutes at 350-400º. Once your bones are roasted you can scrape the marrow (we love marrow & it’s easy to puree into sauces later or make marrow butter out of- I’ll post the recipe for marrow butter soon!), or you can leave the marrow in. The marrow makes an excellent stock.
As with all my stocks, I save scrubbed carrot peelings & ends, onion skins & celery scraps. I have a container in the freezer that is labeled for this. I use a Brother Labeler with laminated label tape. It doesn’t come off when washed, by hand or in the dishwasher.
When I’m ready to make stock, I throw my scraps into a 5-6 quart slow cooker. To the slow cooker I add my roasted bones, 2 T of apple cider vinegar & about a teaspoon of dried thyme. Add water to almost the top of the crock. Turn to low, & walk away. If you don’t have veggie scraps available, you can cut 2 onions into quarters; 3-5 carrots (scrubbed) into halves or thirds & 3-5 celery stalks scrubbed & cut into halves or thirds.
Check your crockpot every 12 hours or so, & add water if needed. You’ll have beautiful bone broth in 48 hours. You can, if you so choose, pull your broth in as little as 12 hours, too. However, the longer you let it go, the more minerals are leached from the bones, making a MUCH more nutrient packed broth.
Making broth is not a science. If you don’t have all of the veggies, or you don’t have any at all, that’s ok. Your 2 main & necessary ingredients are bones & water, however the vinegar helps to leach minerals from the bones as well. Roasting your bones is not necessary, but the roasting imparts such a rich flavour, it’s hard not to roast them.
How I Make My Chicken Broth
Almost everything is the same as above for beef broth. I buy whole chickens a lot, so I save the carcasses. Usually, I’m starting a new batch the same night we eat chicken. If for some reason, I can’t make it immediately (like if we’re going out of town or something), I freeze the carcass.
Add your veggie scraps, thyme & a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Occasionally, I’ll add a package of chicken gizzards & hearts as well. These make an AMAZING stock. I’ve also been known to use ONLY gizzards & hearts when I needed chicken stock & didn’t have bones available. You can add the neck, liver (if you’re not frying it to eat, like we do), and even FEET! Feet are a beautiful way to add gelatin to your stock. You can sometimes find feet at ethnic markets, the local butcher & chicken farms in your area. I’ve also read where some people do ONLY a chicken feet broth.
With chicken broth, it’s best to cook it on low for 24-36 hours. I like to cook mine to the point that when I can pinch the bones in my fingers, they crush fairly easily.
With all of your broths, when they’re done, simply strain the broth. Add your broth to jars, cap tightly & refrigerate. If you feel you won’t use the broth within a few days, feel free to freeze it in freezer jars or BPA-free plastic containers. You can also pressure can it if your batch is large enough to take that task on.
How I Make My Shrimp Broth
I buy shrimp with shells on. I peel them and add the shells to a container in the freezer. Once I have enough, I put them in my 3-quart slow cooker. To that I add my frozen onion peels, & celery bits. If I do not have any, I cut one onion (skin on) into quarters, scrub & chunk a couple of celery stalks. I do not add carrots to my shrimp stock, but if you would like to, 2 carrots (scrubbed & cut into halves or thirds) would suffice.
I also find that shrimp stock tastes better when not allowed to go as long beef or chicken stock. I typically allow my shrimp stock to cook on low for about 10-12 hours.