Bone broth is part of ancient culinary history around the world. For most people throughout time, food has been a precious commodity, and people needed to eat every bit of an animal after all the energy expended raising or hunting it. Simmering bones for an extended period of time gave them a delicious and incredibly nutritious broth that was even boiled down to a jelled concentrate and carried as travel food (simply add water and whatever herbs, greens, or vegetables you found on the trail, and Voila! Dinner). Bone broth was always a popular folk remedy for illness, for example so-called “Jewish penicillin” – chicken bone broth from whole chicken carcasses with the secret ingredient often named as chicken feet (full of gelatin-producing collagen).
Like many ancient practices, the art of cooking bone broth was largely lost as the modernization of society occurred. Convenience took the place of cooking knowledge for most people, and in this case (and many others) that loss of knowledge and experience was at the expense of our health.
According to an article in Eater on Feb 12, 2015, cooking bone broth experienced a resurgence in the Northeast U.S. in late 2014. The Paleo movement latched onto it and helped bring it to the forefront of the healthy eating movement, and now locavores, the health-conscious, and just folks who love to make great food have joined the fun.
What is the difference between bone broth and stock?
Common stock in grocery stores is mass produced, often has sodium and additives and is a liquid. Even homemade stock is often not cooked more than a couple of hours, which is not a long enough time to gain the vast nutritional benefits from the bones, connective tissue, and marrow.
In contrast, bone broth is made from animal bones that are roasted and then cooked in water for many hours or even days, creating a gelatinized broth. The result is a flavorful, highly nutritious broth that contains:
- Glycosaminoglycans (GAG)
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others.
In addition to all this goodness, bone broth contains from 6 – 12 grams of protein per 8 oz serving. (The variation is due to the extent that the broth is reduced).
How Does Bone Broth Impact Health?
This is harder to determine scientifically. We know it contains plenty of nutrition, and that gelatin has a positive effect on health, but as in many cases, the simpler the remedy (and the less money can be made off it), the less attention it receives.
According to Dr. Axe bone broth is effective for:
- Treating leaky gut syndrome
- Overcoming food intolerances and allergies
- Improving joint health
- Reducing cellulite
- Boosting the immune system
In Chapter 8 of her recently released book, Nourishing Broth, Sally Fallon Morell refers to the research pioneers Nathan R. Gotthoffer, PhD and John F. Prudden, MD from the 1930’s and 1940’s as two scientists who both compiled older studies and performed new ones, particularly on the health benefits of gelatin.
Where Can You Find Grass Fed Bones?
At Sangres Best we offer knuckle bones,short marrow bones, long (canoe-style) split marrow bones, shank, oxtail, and meaty neck bones for sale by the 5 lb bag or by the case of 50 – 60 lbs. The bones are sliced for more effective unlocking of the elements. Find out more and purchase yours here.
We are also very excited to be perfecting our own Sangres Best Bone Broth! This quart size premium frozen broth will be available soon, and in the interests of nothing going to waste, keep an eye out for Bone Char as we are researching how to make this as the final by product of our Free Range beef!
Bone Broth Recipe
In the meantime, purchase some bones and give it a whirl in your own kitchen. Many recipes out there use vegetables and herbs to add flavor. We choose to let our amazing free-range, high-country grass-finished beef contribute the flavor that only it can and allow you to add salt, herbs, spices and vegetables as you wish. The recipe below is very simple.
3-5 pounds Beef Bones – variety is good but you can’t go wrong with any good quality bone
Filtered Water or good well water – enough to cover the bones
Organic Cider – 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water
Roast bones on a cookie sheet, cake pan or roaster (no lid) at 500 degrees F for 20 minutes or until nice and brown.
Transfer bones to a stock pot, crock pot or pressure cooker. Add a little water to the baking sheet and scrape up the juices cooked to the sheet and add to the pot… lots of flavor there you don’t want to waste!
Alternative: If you use a roaster to brown the bones, add water to the roaster, place the lid on, and heat to 350 F then turn down to warm and leave in the oven for a day or two! Super easy!!! This is my favorite method to do at home. I feel it is safe to leave home with the oven on warm.
Cooking time will vary depending on elevation and method. Six hours at sea level will get the job done but you have to add 5% to the cooking time for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet elevation. The consensus is “more is better” and you can’t overdo it. Some folks simmer their bone broth for a day or two. We will be experimenting with one to three hours in a pressure cooker to see what quality we can produce that way at our 8,000 foot elevation.
Remove bones using tongs and strain liquid through a colander. Be sure to scoop marrow from bones if it’s stuck inside. Don’t leave the marrow in the colander! Cool, package and freeze. Freezer quality zip-lock bags are handy because placed flat on a cookie sheet they are quick to thaw when you need it.