Hello everyone, Jess here. I wanted to share about a lovely item at the farm that we don’t usually see in the CSAs, they’re often underrated and overlooked. I’m talking about the Springdell Beef Bones.
With the rise of the Paleo lifestyle, more folks have been turned on to using these nutrient-packed bones in cooking. The gelatin in bone broth is believed by some to make nutrient absorption easier, with and with a list of nutrients like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus (just to name a few), you can understand the appeal. According to this post from Whole 9 Life (which I recommend reading if you are interested in further exploring the subject) the bones are high in glucosamine and chondroitin, which you may see on the supplement shelves as a way to help joint pain.
Some folks swear bone broth it’s a magical elixir of life, restaurants are even popping up that sell bone broth in coffee shop fashion. Some folks recommend it for nursing mothers, or even for babies in lieu of breastmilk! There is definitely some debate over the medicinal qualities and immune boosts (I’ll leave that to the experts) but regardless, it can be a tasty addition to the culinary arsenal.
In terms of cooking, the thing I’ve learned in my recent bone broth research is slow and low is the way to go. Technically, I believe it should be called bone stock, as my understanding is that the difference between stock and broth is stock cooks so long that it extracts gelatin from the bone. (Thanks to Sarah for that nugget of info!) For this extraction to happen with our bone broth, we want to slow cook it anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. From the different articles I’ve read, the longer you can cook it (within that window), the better.
You’ll find that this recipe has a basic formula with a few minor tweaks. Here are a few variations:
The first thing you do is roast the bones. Basic recipes seem to vary from 350 for 30 minutes to 450 for almost an hour. Mine went at 450 for about 30 minutes, until the color was “roasty” and brown. I tossed some veggies on the sheet while the bones were roasting during the last 15 minutes. Next, everything went into the pot with some onion, root cellar carrots, leek greens (frozen from the summer CSA), peppercorns, garlic, cider vinegar and enough water to cover the bones.
I let this go for about 36 hours, lifting the lid about every 12 to poke at it skimming any untoward scum off the top as it cooked. Over time, you could see the bones releasing the collagen/gelatin. Amazing!
The part that amazed me was that though the smell was not incredibly appetizing when the bones were still involved in the process, the final product was quite tasty and flavorful! After a good strain through a fine mesh sieve, I refrigerated the broth overnight. In the morning was left with gelatin (totally normal and the desired consistency for stock) and a layer of fat on top that was easily removable. Warm this stuff up and you have quite the treat, also a nutritious ingredient for many recipes calling for broth or stock.
As beef bones are a gift that keeps on giving, you are also able to keep the bones (refrigerated or frozen) and re-use them to make another batch of bone broth! As it is the time of year where the chest freezer is already brimming, I’ll have to wait and make more bone broth another time. The used bones did not go to waste, though! My dog enjoys licking the bones for a short spell (but not too long, as bones that have been cooking for 36 hours are not quite as structurally sound as they once were).
I hope you’ll give this a try, drinking this stuff if nothing else has a psyhosomatic effect. I feel like I’m drinking super juice, like it’s just fueling my body. I saved a couple of the bones for another scrumptious dish we’ll talk about tomorrow. Until then, sweet and savory dreams!