Aug 5, 2013

Broth Making

It's been a busy few months at my house.  Baby number three has pretty much consumed our lives.  

Searching the freezer this weekend I came to the stark realization that we were OUT OF BROTH.  


Some would say that I like to "go big or go home" and today's broth making day is big.  In the 4.5 gallon roaster, there are beef bones.  In my biggest crock pot I have chicken parts.

These are big bones from when I bought a quarter of a cow.
In the picture below I've added a gallon bag of steak and roast bones I've been saving in the freezer for several months.   When giving specifics to the butcher, I request the bones stay in the roasts.  And, after enjoying a wonderful steak dinner I do not hesitate to rescue bones from the plates of my guests. For those with cootie fears, all the germs are boiled out in stock making.  Bones are precious in my sight.
Last but not least, I add my frozen compost stock parts.  These are the ends of celery, carrots and onion bits that I have saved when not actively making broth.  They add flava that otherwise would go in the compost.
Other ingredients to my broth: bay leaves, cracked pepper, a splash of apple cider vinegar (to help draw out minerals) then fill it to the brim with filtered water.  Salt is added when I am using the broth.
The roaster and crock pot (with chicken parts) are plugged up outside - to keep the heat and smell out of my kitchen.  Because the beef bones are so big, I will probably keep the roaster plugged up for several days making perpetual soup.  I'll skim a bit off the top and add more water.  See also this article - the heat will be turned down to a simmer once the broth comes to a boil.

The chicken stock in the crock pot (below) will simmer for a couple days.  I will remove broth tomorrow and refill it with water.  Because chicken bones are much smaller than beef bones they are finished sooner.  You know the bones are "finished" when you can smash them between your fingers - all the calcium and other minerals have been transferred to the broth.  [By the way, this is a good object lesson for kids.  Ask them if they thing they are strong enough to crush a bone.  Then give them one that has been in the crock pot a few days (cooled, of course.)  After their amazement, I explain that we use broth so that our bones will not become brittle like the chicken bones.  When we drink/eat the broth, those minerals are transferred to our bodies.]

What to do with gallons of broth?

Once it is cooled, I freeze it in yogurt containers.  It is so nutritious, I look for ways to use broth.
-use it in rice, quinoa
-give flavor to greens
-add moisture when reheating food on the stovetop
-red beans and rice
-drink it straight


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