Simple Bone Stock
Whenever I get a chance I get some open beef bones and joints from the butchers to make a large batch of bone stock.
I include bone stock frequently in my diet often for several reasons:
- Flavour and to avoid the use of processed stock cubes – real stock adds amazing depth to soups, casseroles, stews and any recipe asking for stock as an ingredient.
- Ethical balanced eating – it is correct to eat as much of the animal as possible, for ethical and nutritional reasons. Excluding organ meats, the cartilage, bones, gristle, and fats excludes many vital nutrients from the diet when only the leaner cuts are chosen. AND it is wasteful.
- Winter warmth when the summer juice season is over I switch to warming soups and broths made from fresh bone stock and as many veg as I can get in one soup. Juices are very cooling and often not appropriate for people in the cooler autumn and winter months. So switching my strategy to warmer vegetable containing foods ensures I continue my nutrient rich pH balancing diet.
- Skin, hair and nails – this stuff is the bomb for supporting the health and vitality of the skin, hair and nails replacing any need for supplements containing collagen, hyaluronic acid or other structural protein (glycine and proline) supplements.
- Immune system – the marrow fat contains many immune supporting factors and minerals from bones also support a healthy immune response. Adding ginger, turmeric, herbs, pepper, chili and plenty of veg (shiitake mushrooms are a great choice) to your stock will add more immune supporting clout.
- Gastrointestinal and liver health – the minerals and structural protein and soft tissue building ingredients in bone stock support the healing and repair of an inflamed gastrointestinal system and liver detoxification function. Broths also providing easy to digest nourishment to the whole body. Use broth to prepare nutrition filled soups and casseroles to add even more food quality to your diet.
- Bone, tooth, and joint health; wound and musculoskeletal system healing – bone broth is rich in minerals and ligament and tendon healing ingredients. The addition of ginger, turmeric, herbs, plenty of veggies and some omega 3 rich salmon to your broth will give you a broad spectrum natural healing supplement and will aid injury prevention in active persons.
- Cheap – most butchers don’t charge for bone marrow beef bones, lamb bones, or pork bones. Beef long bones and the large gnarly joint bones containing tendons and sinews are fantastic choices as they will provide marrow fat and also more soft tissue supporting nutrients.
Although I have written about all in the pot bone-broths when I am time crunched often I keep the stock plain and simple and freeze it for later addition to soups, stews, casseroles and other recipes asking for ‘stock’.
How long does it take?
Many people are unsure of how long to simmer the bones for. Honesty, I simmer mine for as long as I have the time to babysit them, while doing other chores and work at home. Ideally the beef bones should simmer for up to 48 hours (unpractical for most people; do your best); chicken and turkey carcass for 24 hours and fish bones for less.
- Bones – from a quality source: usually grass-fed beef, lamb, poultry, fish (or game). Some people prefer to roast the large marrow bones first for additional flavour. Perhaps try both ways and see which you prefer. I do both depending on my mood.
- Filtered water
- Optional and recommended apple cider vinegar; approximately 2 tablespoons.
Place the bones in a large stainless steel saucepan, cover with water, add the apple cider vinegar and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover and leave. Allow to simmer for anything from 1 to 48 hours depending on how long you can be on the lookout! You may wish to remove any impurities or scum that rises to the top on occasion and top up with water as needed.
Really knuckley joints are excellent as they are rich in collagen and soft tissue supporting amino acids like glycine and proline. Long marrow containing bones are excellent also; aim for both.
Although I have not yet done, this can be prepared in a slow cooker or crock pot on a low heat over-night or longer.
When the broth is done, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool somewhat. Use a fat straining jug to remove excess fat and pour your stock into sealable glass containers. This may be stored in the fridge or frozen for later use. Be sure to leave a gap to allow for expansion in the freeze or you will be dealing with smashed glass bottles!
Before I discard the bones I remove any remaining bone marrow for use in cooking or slathered onto home-made bread or vegetables. FYI Bone marrow fat makes a delicious fried egg.
Looks disgusting I know; but full of marrow bone immune factors and brain friendly phospholipids.
If you have a dog some of the bones may be safe for him or her to chomp away on; superb for dental health. Ensure that the bones are not soft and do not give dogs chicken or turkey bones or any small shark bones. If you leave the bone marrow in the bone it gives them something healthy to occupy them with.