Homemade vs Store Bought?
I would say that it’s very worth making your own beef stock. There is such a huge difference between the beef stock that you can buy, and the stock that you make, it’s amazing. And when you cook it for a few days, some of the bones end up soft and all of those minerals go into the broth. It can be intensely satisfying to drink just a cup of broth, especially if your body is low on minerals. Times when I’ve felt run down especially in the winter I’ve made beef stock instead of taking vitamins. I’ve found that my body seems to respond to ‘food vitamins’ better, which I guess makes sense since that’s how we were made to take in our vitamins. Beef broth is a great way to manage afternoon hunger between lunch and dinner and a great alternative to coffee if you’re trying to kick the caffeine habit.
People that don’t typically eat a lot of beef will potentially do really well with a bit of meat in beef stock, or just beef broth alone. All of the minerals and gelatin in the stock help the body digest meat more efficiently.
A Few Points on Making Bone Broth
- Brown your meaty bones really well on both sides before putting them into the pot, this enriches the flavour and gives it a dark amber colour.
- Save bits of meat in a bag in the freezer to add to the stockpot. Label your bag though so you know what it is for!
- Do NOT skip the vinegar step, it draws the minerals out of the bones
- Freeze your carrot, garlic, onion and celery (I save all vegetable cuttings, except onions) trimmings in a bag, and add to the pot
- Let the pot sit for longer than you think is possible, it will be fine over 2 or even 3 days. Turn the stove off at night if you want and then turn it back on in the morning.
- OR Cook in a Slow Cooker- switch it on low and leave it for 30 hours (this is actually more energy efficient that using gas or an electrical element)
- Fine strainer
- Stockpot or Crock Pot / Slow Cooker
- Glass Jars or Ice-cube trays for storage
- Roasting tray
- 2 kg of stock bones
- 2 liters of filtered water
- 1/4 cup vinegar, apple cider vinegar or kombucha
- Vegetable scraps (I often use kale stems, pumpkin seeds or ends of zucchini)
- Chop up some staples, like onion, carrot and celery.
- Himalayan salt optional – for after broth is completed
- Optional: Place all of your bones that have meaty bits on them on a roasting pan and brown in the oven at 200*C degrees until well-browned (30-60 minutes usually). Or you can just put them in raw.
- Meanwhile, throw all of your non-meaty marrow bones into a stockpot/slow cooker, add the water, vinegar and vegetables.
- Turn the slow cooker on high.
- Add the browned bones to the pot, deglaze your roasting pan with hot water and get up all of the brown bits, pour this liquid into the pot. Add additional water if needed to cover the bones.
- Bring to a boil on high and remove the scum/foam that rises to the top. Checking back every hour or so, until no more foam appears. No need to remove the floating fat.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more rich and flavorful it will be.
- After a 2-3 hours you will want to ‘rescue’ any of the meat you need for recipes or marrow that you’d like to eat. Using tongs find your marrow bones, pop out the marrow with a small knife and return the bone to the pot.
- After you simmer for 12-72 hours, Nourishing Traditions describes it perfectly:
“You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelantinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes in this book.“
9. Remove the bones with a slotted spoon and/or tongs. Strain the stock into a large bowl, and allow to cool. Distribute the stock amongst the jars, or ice-cube trays, then freeze or refrigerate.
10. You can remove the congealed fat after refrigerating or even freezing and use it for cooking.