Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homemade Beef Broth

Making nourishing bone broth is easier than one might think. I can't tell you the number of blogs that I've read that teach this valuable skill, but somehow, it always seems harder than it is.

Not the fault of the bloggers.

I am more of a hand's on kind of learner, so reading about making broth is never as easy as it is to just do it. I've been taking the Surf & Turf classes, taught by Ann Marie at the Cheeseslave for the last several weeks. She had a video showing me how to make broth.

I had an aha moment.

I will still use the occasional organic, store-bought beef broth for vacations and emergencies, but for everyday cooking, homemade wins.

Every time.

Homemade Beef Broth

2-3 lbs. miscellaneous, grass-fed beef (shanks, neck, oxtails, marrow bones, leftover roast bones, etc.)
filtered water
peppercorns (10-12)
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
2 Tb. apple cider vinegar

Place beef, onion, garlic, peppercorns, carrots, celery and vinegar in the crockpot. Add enough water to fill the crockpot, staying about an inch below top of pot.

Put lid on and let sit for 1/2 hour.

Plug in and turn heat to high, bringing to a boil.

Turn down heat to simmer.

Let simmer for 48 hours.

After 48 hours, turn off heat and allow to cool slightly.

Now it's time to strain. This can be done in several different ways. A fine mesh colander will work, but if you like your broth really clean, line the colander with cheesecloth. Or, just cut a nice square of cheesecloth and attach it to the top of a jar with a rubber-band.

Straining the broth

Using a ladle or glass measuring cup, carefully scoop out the broth and pour through your strainer. Repeat until all of the broth has been strained.

Your cheesecloth will look like this...


Not very appetizing, I know.

Cover with a tight fitting lid or saran wrap with a rubber band and place in the fridge. Even if your refrigerator is the cleanest in town, the broth will pick up any lingering odors and change the flavor.

Broth is finicky that way.

Leave it in the fridge overnight. When ready, skim the fat from top and give to your dogs or cat. They love it. Some people run it through more cheesecloth, but I don't think that's necessary.

The broth, if done correctly, will have thickened. Sometimes mine comes out very gelatinous. Sometimes it doesn't. Here, the broth is somewhere in-between.

Broth freezes very well. I like to freeze some of it in ice cube trays. 1 cube is the equivalent of 1 ounce broth. So, if a recipe calls for 4 ounces, use 4 cubes. After they are solid, I pop them out and store in a freezer bag.

You may notice that I didn't add salt to the recipe. Some do. I would rather add it to whatever recipe I'm using, when I need it. But that's entirely up to you. Just give this a try before buying a can of beef flavored broth.

Flavored means MSG.

Just in case you were wonderin'.


Dem said...

Wow, that looks easy! I thought you had to brown the bones first. Do you do that?

Kim said...

Dem~It is so easy! I've heard of people browning the bones, but it isn't necessary. I just packaged another batch that turned out beautiful...good enough to eat! :)