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Unique Cuts : Bone Broth

If you use meat in your kitchen, how often do you use the bones? First off, if you’re never encountering bones because you only eat ground meat or chicken breasts, it might be a good time to consider why, and what happens to the rest of the animal you don’t buy. When you buy local meat with bones, you’re typically getting quality meat at a lower price, because fewer people are familiar with these cuts. Save the bones (we like to keep a stash in our freezer!) and put these bone broth tips to use, so you can benefit from more nutrients and waste less. 

What Is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is essentially a stock, though there are some subtle differences. Different types of bones can be used including pork, chicken, beef or fish. If you include knuckles, pig and chicken feet work well to  create a more viscous broth. For best flavor, make sure the bones have not been stripped clean and have some actual meat on them. All of this adds to the mouthfeel of the bone broth as well as the minerals and nutrients. Bone broth can be enjoyed on its own or as a base to create other culinary delights. One of our favorite ways to use it is as a base for Pho or Ramen.

Why Bone Broth?

Bone broth is both delicious and good for you. It’s a versatile kitchen staple and a good source of easy to absorb minerals and nutrients, like gelatin. The gelatin in bone broth aids with digestion and glutamine, an amino acid in gelatin, has been shown to support gut and immune health. Other amino acids (protein building blocks) found in bone broth may also help calm inflammation, a root cause of many chronic illnesses.

Photo Credit: Danu Hof

Bone Broth Recipe:

• 4-5 pounds of bones, preferably a mix of marrow bones and bones with a little meat on them, such as, short ribs, or knuckle bones.
• 2 medium carrots unpeeled
• 1 medium onion quartered
• 2 Celery Stalks
• 1 garlic head halved

 Optional: 

• 1-2 Pigs Feet or 1 pound of Chicken Feet
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 TBSP black peppercorns
• 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (helps to draw out more the nutrients and minerals from the bones)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and roast the carrots, onions, garlic and celery.

Add the bones to a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and let the bones boil for 10 minutes skimming film and fat from the top.

After 10 minutes remove the bones from the heat drain and rinse the bones. Wash the pot and return to the stove, add the bones and all of the roasted vegetables as well as the bay leaves and any other herbs or spices. Add 12 cups of water or enough to cover the bones and bring to a slow simmer.

Simmer for 4-8 hours depending on what types of bones you are using. If using a slow cooker 12-24 hours. You do not want the liquid to greatly reduce so if it is reducing quickly turn down the heat and you can always add a little water.

Skim foam from the top and as it cooks and strains through a strainer with a coffee filter or cheesecloth when done.

Caitlin McSweeney-Steffes, co-owner of Danu Hof, located in Mancelona with her husband Larry. They are committed to offering diverse products and opportunities. Their onsite farm store features products produced and raised at Danu Hof including eggs and pork, as well as many other items locally sourced from neighboring farms and artisans. They focus on land and environmental stewardship, ethical practices and strive to add value and growth to the local economy. Learn more about their business by visiting their website: www.danuhof.com 

Find our last article in the Unique Cuts series on Chicken Liver here.

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  in DIY, Eat Local, Food Waste, Guest Post, Local Ingredients, Proteins, Recipes