Saturday, November 21, 2009

Delicious Nutritious Beef Bone Broth

Back before my days of studying holistic nutrition, I was a closet fan of Martha Stewart and was always impressed by her homemade soup stocks. (I say closet because with a part-time job and 2 small children - I really can't be Martha Stewart, but it was fun to watch her create). Although I thought after watching and reading her bone broth recommendations that a good stock should be made from scratch and use soup bones, I never really made the time to try it. Recently I've been reading a lot about the awesome healing benefits of a good bone broth/soup stock and decided it was time to try it for myself. I'm 27 weeks pregnant now and trying to prepare myself and the baby for delivery in -my goodness- 13 more weeks. Amazingly, it really wasn't that difficult - like anything else it's a matter of having the right ingredients on hand and knowing what to do. Why take the extra time? Why not buy some soup stock from the grocery store?

Benefits of a properly made bone broth

  • By adding vinegar to the cooking broth it releases calcium, magnesium phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals from the bones. Held in a broth form, these minerals are so easy for the body to absorb and provide quick nourishment and healing. These minerals are also the basic building blocks for healing whether from the flu, broken bone, or surgery. Drinking a good bone broth will speed healing time.
  • Broth also contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons, like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine - no more expensive supplements to take!!
  • Bone broth is rich in collagen and gelatin which aids digestion of milk, beans, meat, and the proteins in wheat, oats, and barley. (Adding whole grains and beans into your favorite soup makes even more sense now!)
  • Bone broth can be helpful in easing the following conditions: food allergies, dairy allergies, colic, bean maldigestion, grain maldigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, weight loss, muscle wasting, cancer, osteoporosis, calcium deficiency and anemia.
  • Bone broth contains amino acids in a readily absorbable form that helps the body detoxify.

How to make Beef Bone Broth
6-7 pounds of various beef bones, including marrow, knuckle, meaty rib, and neck bones (Remember the quality of your broth will depend on the quality of the ingredients. I recommend spending a little more for grass-fed beef or organic and avoiding beef tainted with antibiotics or hormones).
4 quarts of cold filtered water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
Several sprigs of thyme or other favorite herbs
1 bunch of parsley
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup of favorite red wine

Place the meaty bones on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees until browned. Add bones, vegetables, vinegar, parsley, tomato paste, and red wine to pot and cover with water. Liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking.

Bring to a boil. A small amount of particulate matter may rise to the top and it is important to remove this with a spoon or small fine mesh sieve. Reduce heat and add thyme or other herbs.

Simmer the stock for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours.* Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.

Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer your delicious, nutritious broth into small glass jars and freeze for long term storage.

This broth can be used to make soups and stews; added to rice or other grains in place of water; freeze in small cubes and use when cooking vegetables; or just drink warm when feeling under the weather or in need of healing.

*Another idea is to make your stock on low in the crock pot. If you are like me and cannot be home for long periods of time and don't want to leave the stove-top on this works really well. Mine spent 2 days in the crock pot on my counter and turned out great. You may have to adjust the recipe depending on the size of your crock pot.

Stay tuned as I plan to experiment with Chicken Stock and for our vegan readers a delicious Vegetable Stock to make ahead, freeze, and have on hand when needed.



mom2rian said...

Thank you for posting this. I just went to the farmer's market and actually got some soup bones. I am going to try this recipe. Although, I'm not sure how my stomache will handle the congealed fat. Thanks again:)

Living A Whole Life said...

Hello Courtney! I must have read your mind. Hope your broth turns out well and don't worry - that fat part wasn't as bad as it sounds! :)


Anonymous said...

Just came across your beef bone broth post (thanks!) and have two questions, to which I can't find the answers on any blog.
1) I always need my broth right away; in other words, I skip the cooling step, which all instructions seem to include. Does the broth HAVE to cool?
2) How about cooking beans in the broth? Most recipes I see say, "add cooked beans to the broth." Anything wrong with doing the whole bean cooking process in the broth?

Living A Whole Life said...

Hello rdg64!

I don't think it's important to let your broth cool - I think you can use it right away. Most recommend letting it cool though before putting directly in the freezer.

You can definitely cook beans in beef broth (or chicken or vegetable broth) and from all I've read it's highly recommended. Your beans soak up the nutrition from the bone broth and you get all that added goodness when you eat the beans. When I cook soup I usually add dry beans and a little extra broth and let it simmer on a low crock pot setting until the beans are soft. Yum!


The Love Blogger said...

Hi Karla,

Sounds like a great recipe. Can't wait to make it!! I had one question though. What if you want to eat the broth with the stock? Would you then skip the straining step where the two are separated?


Living A Whole Life said...

Tyler, I would always strain after the first go around. All of the bones, meat and vegetables should have cooked down and left most of their nutrition in the broth. At that point, you could add new meat, vegetables and herbs and make a soup, or just drink the bone broth.


nice A said...

Thanks for these very helpful tips here. I've finally found the solution to getting rid of the unwanted fats from the beef bone broth I need to cure my tennis elbow. I've also added apple cider vinegar to my stock.

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