Gavin and Candice Stone from Authentic Human are back for another Functional Food Friday. Following on from last weeks’ post with the benefits of bone-in meats for joints and connective tissue structures, this week we take that a little further with a way to maximize the bone and joint building nutrients.
â€œLast week we cooked up some delicious Oxtail and looked at how a meal of a bone-in roast or stew provides a wide range of bio-available (readily assimilated and used by the body) nutrient raw materials for the body and particularly the joints and structural tissues like ligaments and tendons. Bone Broth/Stock is probably the most functional food of all; loaded with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, collagen and trace minerals -as well. It also contains amino acids to make strong hair and nails. Gelatin in stock has been shown to help heal digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome and to be beneficial in treating others disorders including anemia, diabetes, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient China.
With Bone Broth/Stock, as with all foods, the quality of the ingredients determines the quality of the final product. Bones from grass fed beef and pastured chickens will produce a rich, nutrient dense, gelatinous stock â€“ bones from feed-lot cows and caged hens often do not produce much gelatin for a stock. You can also make stock from fish and in this case wild caught will be best.
To make our beef bone broth we kept the bones from the Oxtail stew and the marrow bones we cooked in last weeksâ€™ video. Oxtail yields perfect bone that has a bit of everything â€“ gel, connective tissue, meat and marrow. A good mix of bones is best â€“ marrow, knuckle, short rib or neck bones work but really whatever bones you can find or have handy are good.
A â€˜byproductâ€™ of the stock making process is fat or tallow. Beef tallow is perfect for frying so you will want to save it and not throw it away. To learn more about tallow and the benefits of using it read our post at Authentic-Human.com.
We also reserve a portion of our broth for homemade bouillon. Bouillon is dehydrated broth or stock that is highly concentrated and can then be reconstituted to make stock by adding water or can be spooned directly into soups, stews or stir frys. Typically it is sold in cubes or powdered form. The easiest way to add delicious flavor to whatever beef dish you are cooking its to add a beef stock cube or two or some bouillon but there really is no bouillon or stock cube available in stores which doesnâ€™t have at least one undesirable ingredient so we just make our own. It is so easy to make your own and it packs more of a flavor punch than any store-bought version we have tried anyway.
We eat a bone-in slow cooked roast at least once a week so we always freeze the bones if we are not going to make stock immediately and then dig them out when we need them â€“ that way we can always have a supply of stock, tallow and bouillon.
The video is a step-by-step how to but hereâ€™s the quick rundown:
- If you donâ€™t have bones left over from a roast you can buy some soup bones and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes or so at around 450 degrees until browned.
- Place the bones into a stock pot, add some bay leaves, some salt and vinegar (white, balsamic, red wine) to draw the nutrients out of the bone.
- Bring the pot to a boil. You can scoop out any scum that rises to the top and then turn down to a simmer (the surface of the water should be still with rolling under). It should not be too hot or the collagen will be denatured.
- Leave the pot on simmer for a minimum of 24 hours (chicken bones) to 72 hours (beef bones).
- Ensure the bones are covered with water throughout the simmering period.
- When the simmering period is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pot to cool before placing in the refrigerator to set the fat for easy removal.
- Once the fat has formed a solid layer you can remove it and place into a glass container to store and use over the next week â€“ frying with beef tallow adds a wonderful flavor.
- The liquid in the pot will be thick and gelatinous. You can pour your stock into bottles to place in the refrigerator for use in soups, stews and sauces.
- Reserve a portion of the liquid to reduce to make a bouillon.