Bone stock is a big deal lately. Drinking broth is the newest health craze; there are many good nutrients found in the bones/connective tissue of animals that leech out into the broth when simmered for a long time, releasing healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine.
My dogs’ homeopathic vet agrees about the healthfulness of bones and recommends first a raw diet (bones ground up with meat) then cooked meat with bone broth. So all of us have the bone broth—I’ll drink some for the health benefits—but I really love how homemade stock elevates any dish you use it in to fine cuisine.
Bone broths are staples in the traditional diets of every culture and are the foundation of all fine food. That’s because bone broths are nutrient-dense, easy to digest, rich in umami taste and they boost healing.
The health benefits of bone soup are numerous; consuming bone broth, including beef, lamb, chicken fish and more, can:
- Treat leaky gut syndrome
- Overcome food intolerances and allergies
- Improve and protect joint health
- Improve elasticity and make you look younger
- Boost immune system
- Aids in detoxification
Bone broth contains:
- 19 essential and non-essential amino acids
- Collagen/gelatin, which help form connective tissue
- Nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health
You will want to use grass fed meat. I buy mine in Northern Westchester, at a Hemlock Hill Farm and was there last weekend, buying meaty beef bones.
Roast beef bones before simmering them make the stock richer.
I make a big batch of beef stock once a year or so and it’s enough to make French Onion soup, stews and other dishes that require beef stock; about 16 servings total. It is perfect to make on a rainy day or whenever you plan to spend the day at home. It doesn’t require much hands-on work, just a long cooking time. You can buy either meaty bones or bones and connective tissue with little meat; the meat will be so cooked that there is little flavor left and you probably won’t want to eat it. If you have dogs or cats, however, they would enjoy it.
The first meal I make with the stock is always French Onion soup. Made up of only a few ingredients, the soup is loaded with umami flavor from the stock and it is superb.
Beef Bone Stock
Preheat oven to 450
3 pounds meaty bones or 5 pounds bones.
2 onions, unpeeled and quartered
1 large carrot, quartered
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar (helps leach out even more nutrients)
Put meat, onion and carrot into an oven proof container and bake one hour, turning occasionally.
Put meat and vegetables in a stock pot and deglaze roasting pan with 2 cups of water, then add to stock pot. Add 3 1/2 quarts of water, the celery, apple cider and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 hours. Remove bones and vegetables and discard. Allow stock to cool. To hasten cooling, put pot in sink with drain plugged and add cold water and ice in sink. Freeze in containers or freezer Ziplocs; I freeze in quart-sized Ziplocs and partially defrost if I need less than 4 cups.
I’ll post French Onion soup recipe soon!
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