Friday, August 19, 2011

Beautiful Bone Broth


I have been learning about the beauty of bone broth. It may not look pretty, but it is full of good stuff for our bodies. It is also cheap and easy to make.

This was my first attempt. It made a generous amount of broth from about 1 kg of beef bones. It cost about $6.

So, I covered the bones with water, added a small slug of vinegar (which helps bring out the minerals), and brought it to the boil. Then I added a whole lot of vegies and scraps - the bits of leeks that we don't eat, a big bunch of parsley, some carrots and onion. Then I simmered it for about 5 or 6 hours. Then I strained off all the liquid.

This is what was left behind:
Our dog enjoyed chewing on what was left of the bones and meat.

Bone broth is full of minerals: calcium,magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. It also contains glucosimine and chrondroitin - great fro your joints.

It is rich in gelatin, which is a great supplementary protein, and also works to support our connective tissue. When the broth is cold, it sets with a lovely layer of solid fat (or lard - great for frying, sauteing and roasting vegetables), and the broth sets like a jelly. It turns liquid very quickly when it is warmed.

I learnt today from here:, that it is a good idea to roast the bones first. I think I will try that next time, because my broth didn't have as rich a flavour that I'd like.

Tomorrow I'll go to the farmer's market and see if I can get chicken carcasses to make chicken broth. I'm excited.

Tonight I made a beautiful vegetable soup using the broth and fat from the broth. I sauteed some leeks, onion and garlic in the fat, then added  chopped brussel sprouts, a bunch of silver-beet (Swiss chard) from our garden, along with some lemon thyme and a little bit of massel stock for flavour.

I have been craving stodgy, carby comfort food, and have done really well avoiding it, but tonight I just had to have something - so rather than succumb to something sweet, I decided to make some dumplings for the soup. They turned out quite well, despite  their not-so-good looks.
Here's the recipe:

Beat 1 1/2 tablespoons of soft butter with an egg. Add a cup of ricotta cheese, a cup of gluten free flour ( wheat flour if you eat it), half a cup of grated tasty or Parmesan cheese and salt to taste. It makes a sticky, wet looking dough, but it still makes fine dumplings. Boil a pot of water and drop spoonfuls of the dough into the boiling water. When the dumplings rise to the top, reduce to a simmer and cook for about three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve the dumplings in the soup.

You'll be surprised how filling and satisfying this meal is.


Sept 17 - I've just blogged about chicken broth - see it here:

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