Bone Broth Has Many Health Benefits
How to make a delicious beef bone broth
In western society it seems we have lost the art of making a good homemade broth. It is a quite common practice in many other parts of the world including Europe, Asia, India, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
North Americans, generally speaking, like to have a disconnect between the origin of our food and how it gets on our plate. Tell me – unless you grew up on a farm – have you ever seen an animal slaughtered? I know I haven’t. Yet I’ve been eating meat for about 35 years.
This got me thinking about certain parts of the animal we throw away such as bones which we would have traditionally utilized.
I always thought that if I was a hunter I would want to use every part of the animal to respect the gift that nature has provided including the organs, hide, and bones.
I asked a friend of mine with experience making bone broth and then I conducted a search on the topic.
A lot of Paleo Diet websites came up (what is Paleo?) claiming how good bone broth is for health and it does make sense from a nutritional standpoint. If you look at the typical North American diet it is commonly deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. The great thing about bone broth is the minerals that are traditionally locked up in the bone are liberated during the slow cooking process. Homemade bone broth is rich with easily absorbable minerals such as:
- trace minerals
In addition if you choose bones with cartilage, ligaments and tendon still attached (as pictured below) you will be getting glucosamine sulfate which is helpful for cartilage, and collagen – one of the most common and important proteins in the body. Therefore bone broth should help skin, digestion, bones/joints including those with arthritis. I have an interest in this because my knee has major cartilage damage and I’m about to undergo my 3rd knee surgery soon. This will be a fantastic pre/post surgery/rehab food.
So how do you make it? You will need a slow cooker.
- 2 Leeks
- 2 Carrots
- 1/2 Bunch of Garlic
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 1 Onion
- Rosemary or Parsley (optional)
- 6 Grass Fed (pastured) Beef Bones (preferably knuckles with marrow, and connective tissue)
- Spring or Filtered Water (quantity depends on size of slow cooker)
- 3-5 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Put the bones on an oven pan and roast at 350C for 30-45mins
- While the bones are roasting chop up all your washed veggies into chunks
- Remove the covering of the garlic cloves and give them a whack with the side of the blade
- Put the veggies in your slow cooker (but not the rosemary or parsley)
- Once the bones are done put them in the slow cooker on top of the veggies
- Pour spring water into the crockpot until almost full
- Cover and turn on high heat to bring to a boil (takes an hour or so)
- Turn crockpot down to low
- Simmer covered for 24-48 hours placing the rosemary in with 2 hours left or parsley with 30 mins left
- Turn off and let sit for a 1/2 hour uncovered
- Once it has cooled slightly use tongs to pick up the bones making sure the marrow is in the broth. If not – hit the bone gently to release the marrow
- Put a large pot beside the slow cooker with a strainer on top.
- Use the tongs to remove pieces of vegetables and mash them against the strainer to extract the remaining fluid
- Discard the vegetable mash
- Strain the remainder of the broth so you are left with only liquid in the second pot
Now you can pour your broth into mason jars. As it cools you will see a white layer on top forming. Spoon this layer out and keep it in a separate container. This is beef tallow. You could discard it, use it for cooking (like fried potatoes), or try and make soap or candles out of it. If you want to freeze some broth only fill the mason jar 1/3 or 1/2 because it will expand.
To utilize the benefits of your hard work – heat it up like a beverage and drink it (just tell your brain you are having soup :-). I have been drinking a cup for breakfast and it is very satiating. I had 2 eggs and a cup of bone broth at 8am and didn’t even feel hungry until 3pm. If you aren’t brave enough to drink it you can also use it as a base for soup, stew, or many other savory dishes.
Special thanks to my friend Dr. Stefan for introducing me the world of bone broth. More info and recipes for fish, beef or chicken bone broth.
This post is also featured on The GoodLife Blog.