I started making bone broth last year after I was spammed by a publisher (that's you Rodale!) via email. I never signed up on their mailing list but one day I received promotional material on Dr Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet. And heck, they don't even deliver to Malaysia.
You know I am a sucker for any kind of weight loss program (hah..hah...) so I did a bit of reading up on bone broth. I also watched lots of videos of Dr Kellyann on Youtube. I was so convinced of the goodness of bone broth that I bought her book (yes, totally worth it).
I won't go into the details of what bone broth can do for you as you can read that for yourself if you are interested. What I am going to share is how I make bone broth.
Bone broth is nothing new of course. Most of your mothers or grandmothers (or even yourself) may have made bone broth. But not my mother or grandmother. Nope, I don't think they ever did that hah...hah....
What I discovered is that bone broth tastes awesome and ever since then, I have stopped using stock cubes. In fact just last week I discovered some expired chicken stock cubes in my fridge. Hah!
Let's begin. You can use any bones. Chicken, pork, beef or even fish. I like to use pork bones because I can get fresh reliable supply from the pork shop at Aeon. Usually I use a combination of pork marrow bones, soup bones, chicken carcass and chicken feet. But that day, not a marrow bone was in sight.
So I ended up using 2 packets of soup bone, 1 packet of neck bone and 1 packet of tailbone. Total weight approximately 2.5kg of bones. To that I add some celery (usually 4 ribs) and about 3 or 4 big onions like so.
I rinse the bones thoroughly and I don't bother blanching them. It's too much trouble. But if you are fastidious, by all means, blanch the bones.
Then I chop the celery and onions into smaller pieces.
I do that so that I can slip them into every nook and cranny between the bones for efficient space utilization.
Then I fill up my 6.5 liter slow cooker. Yup, it's a big ass slow cooker purchased specially for this purpose. Worth every cent I spent. And it wasn't that expensive.
Once the pot is filled, I add approximately 2 liters of water into the pot. Just until the water is about one inch below the rim.
At the start, everything is rigid and tight and the pot is so packed that you can't stir it. If some of your ingredients are sticking up above the water, it's OK. Don't worry.
Then I cover the pot and turn it on at the low setting.
This baby sits like that from 9 a.m. until 9 a.m. the next day. That's 24 hours of low and slow simmering. After many hours, you will find some caramelization going on at the top like this. This is the stuff that gives your bone broth its amber color and deep smoky flavors.
At this point, the bones would have loosened up/vegetables softened and what you need to do is stir the ingredients to get those brown parts under the pot and you are good to go for another few hours.
Then it is time to strain the broth.
I use a metal strainer over a big pot with a spout. This photo was from an earlier session where I used chicken feet. Yeah, I know it looks yucky.
Yes, more yuckiness. I strain this into the big pot.
And I let it stand undisturbed for 30 minutes or more.
In that time, sediments and impurities will sink to the bottom of the pot. Just give them time.
So what do I do with the strained bones/meat/vegetables? I discard them. It may seem such a waste as there is quite a bit of meat there.
But this meat is dry, stringy and tasteless as all its goodness have gone into the broth. The vegetables are all soggy and equally tasteless. Not good for eating.
As the broth sits, I go do my clean up. Then I come back and I slowly pour the broth into my measuring cup.
Look at that. Liquid gold my friends. I then pour this into mason jars, about 500ml per jar.
The jars are labelled (on the lid) and left to cool completely before being stored in the freezer. Just in case you are wondering, I did not purposely go and buy mason jars. They are recycled from my favorite pasta sauce.
Hee...hee.... You will note the fat that floats at the top of the broth. This will solidify in the fridge/freezer and you may choose to remove it. But I don't. That's where all the fabulous flavors are.
I once removed the fats after storing the broth in the fridge. Then after making soup, I realized that I was missing out on the big bold flavors from my previous batch of broth. The difference was significant.
Once all the clear broth is poured into the jars, there is the matter of the sediments at the bottom of the pot.
I use this as fertilizer. I just pour it into one of my flower pots. Kautim!
Your bone broth is successful if it gels in the fridge. That's a lot of collagen going on in there.
So there you have it. Bone broth. Not difficult to make at all.