I stole the base of my method from www.nomnompaleo.com She is a paleo kitchen ninja and I am in awe, but I am pretty bad ass in the kitchen so after about 4 days of obsessive reading I headed to the sweet Asian grocery store to pick up all the stuff I would need (and to check out their selection of coconut goods). I left the camera at home but they had the some of the freshest meat I have ever seen. The best bones for making bone broth are marrow bones, joint bones and cartlidge rich things like chickens feet, pork hooves...basically any animal feet...and ox tail..which, doesn't actually come from an ox, it it is just what they call the tail meat. I grabbed some beef ox tail and a crap ton of pork neck bones which were the only other bones they had.
For feces and chuckles and because I needed bay leaves I went to the regular old chain grocery store by my house and asked the butcher man for bones, he left and came back with 2 huge chunks of beef shank...that'll do butcher man, that'll do. I took my bones and my old bones home to start my boney old experiment. Here is the "official" recipe in case you are mad lazy like I know I can be
* 2 carrots, chopped...not too big, not too small >I used one big one<
* 2 celery stalks (no leaves!), chop again
* 1 white onion, chopped >I chopped it large so it would be easy to fish out, onions and me are kinda iffy<
* 9 cloves of garlic, chopped >I used 5 and just lightly squished them with the back of the knife so they would remain whole for the same reason as the onions<
* 3.5lbs of beef bones >I used beef ox tail, beef shank and pork neck bones... mixing mammals is fine but I personally wouldn't mix birds and other animals based on my readings and the meatier the bones the more flavor<
* 2 bay leaves
* pinch of kosher salt >I did this, some say not to as the salt concentrates when you boil it, I found the amount I added to be perfect and I personally think it should be slightly salty<
* 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar >Don't skip this, the vinegar draws the minerals out of the bones...and use any old acid you have on hand if you don't have acv...white vinegar or lemon juice should work<
* 10 peppercorns...I read this somewhere else so I added those in too even though it wasn't in the original recipe
(forewarning...I am not, nor will I ever be a food blogger)
Ox tail is not actually the tail of an ox
Meaty pork neck bones purchased from what A.C calls "the bone store"
The shanks were frozen the ox tail and neck bones were fresh, I mixed em both not sure if that is "kosher" but I friggin' did it!
Ooooo boney goodness you will be mine!
These are the ox tails, I think they are super cute for some reason (Mom are you grossed out yet?)
"Whatchu lookin' at?"
Cartlidge and bone! I had a great mix of bones
Just a note...it is super gross to handle bones then an expensive ass camera, I am leaving the food blogging to the experts.
Put the chopped veggies in first, then bay leaves, salt, peppercorn, drizzle vinegar over bones and cover with water and set the crock pot on low and walk away for like a couple days.
This is the meaty slurry stage. I have to admit that I had read that the smell might be a bit funky while cooking but all I experienced was a lovely rich smell, almost like gravy.
Scummies are normal and will not be in your end product
Now for some notes....recommendations for adding the veggies later if you plan on doing a very extended simmer (like a couple days) otherwise the veggies boiling too long can make it bitter. I put my veggies in at the beginning and removed them after 24 hours. Which bring me to my second point, I had planned on smashing up the bones at the 24 mark to release more boney goodness but they were just too hard! So I picked out the veggies gave it a poke and a stir and put the lid back on for another 7 hours. I started it on Monday morning and it was done by Tuesday night. Just watch your water level, it shouldn't get too low but if it does add more water. I also didn't roast my bones before hand which I will do next time to impart more flavor into the broth although it is plenty flavourful without the roasting if you want to be
I strained the broth through a fine mesh strainer. I separated the bones from the meat which was incredibly soft and tender like melt in your mouth pulled pork and beef. I saved the meat and tossed the bones (some people save the bones for reuse which you can do). I put it in a non-porous, non-metallic container with a tight fitting lid and popped it in the fridge overnight for the fat to rise to the top and harden. I was giddy waiting for the final results
I was not expecting the ripple like meat jello waves but I fear no bone broth...WARNING, prepare barf bags if you fear jiggly boiled bone goodness.
I dug in with a spoon and it was pure boney meat jello goodness...a total success!
I scooped off the tallow (fat) because I stored most of the broth in the freezer. If you don't freeze it, don't skim the fat off, the fat is protecting your precious brown gold from creepies.
Tallow for cooking, no way would I throw this out. I fear I am going to use it all before I have a chance to render it.
My delicious brew all ready for the freezer
I purposely left a few of the little chunks of fat in the broth for extra yummy...it alllllllmost looks like honey here
Hard work and a lost art form. For thousands of years our species ate and thrived on this nourishing liquid which tastes like amazingly savory, umami-ish and has the consistency when hot or warm of a nice thick canned coconut milk...I believe "creamy" was the first word I used. It feels so comforting to drink it, no joke!
So yeah...bone broth....that just happened in my kitchen and it is awesome. I so badly want the husbie to try this, bone broth has amazing health benefits INCLUDING ahem ladies...an impact on stretch marks and cellulite! So drink up.