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My First Bone Broth

My First Bone Broth

Bone broth is getting super popular. I'll admit, I never really gave it much thought until recently when a Clean Kitchen client, Carly, asked me if I had any good soup recipes. Carly was in the middle of the CK 12 Week Challenge and about to have a procedure where her recovery required her not to eat solid food for 2 weeks! Talk about a doozy right smack in the middle of her 12 Week Challenge. It was just what I needed to to get inspired. Carly, just so you know, you inspired me to think outside my comfort zone and dig a little deeper into making clean eating work, even when faced with a "mush diet."

Why did I use bone broth?

I needed to bulk up the protein of soups, particularly the meat-less soups. You can easily fill the CK plant habit with a soup, but if it's meat-less, and in Carly's case needed to be blended, we needed to think outside the (stock) box. That is why I started down the bone broth path. One cup of bone broth has between 7-10 grams of protein per cup. Not to mention it's like the "elixer of life" with all the nutritional benefits and healing properties it has for your joints, bone, gut health, and immune system. It's like drinking your vitamins and minerals. It's time we all started making stocks like our great grandmothers! With bone broth as my base for my soups, I can go meatless and still pack a good amount of protein. It is a win win for some of you opposed to eating chunks of meat!

Where I get my bone broth.

First, I thought there was no way I was going to take the time to make bone broth. So I started shopping. I bought Epic Bone Broth on Amazon. It was really tasty stuff! But a little pricey for the quantity I needed. So I got in touch with Lisa Phelps, a Hattiesburg local, who sells homemade bone broth. She sells chicken or beef bone broth by the quart! If you are wanting grass-fed, organic bone broth and not have to make it yourself you can call Lisa, 601-270-5250. Most grocery stores are starting to carry bone broths. Corner Market in Hattiesburg does!

How I made my own bone broth

At the urging of other fellow CK clients, I decided to give it a whirl. I tracked down some grass-fed, pasture raised beef bones from a local farmer, Ben Simmons of Nature's Gourmet Farm. He sells his beef bones from his website and delivers to multiple locations around the area. Even to the coast! Super easy AND it's only $25 for 2 massive bundles.

Since I had a lot of bones in one bundle, I bought a 16 quart Oster Self-Basting Roaster oven (a giant cheap crock pot) at Target. You can also use a heavy stock pot or a regular crock pot. I felt safer using a crock pot. Other people swear by using an InstaPot (pressure cooker) to cut the cooking time in half!

What no one told me.

Maybe it was the amount of bones I was cooking and the fact I didn't know that the h#!! I was getting myself into, but my first experience started off kind of rocking. I started with this article, which I found very helpful. It is appropriately named, "Bone Broth: You're doing it wrong." The article list the steps you must do in order to make perfect bone broth.

Step 1: Blanch the bones. I was particularly wary of what they called the "nasty bits" so I was not going to miss this step. So I boiled my bones. First mistake, I left my boiling bones unattended and all the "nasty bits" water boiled over, burning to my stove!

Step 2: Roast the bones. That sounded amazing! Who doesn't love caramelized yummy stuff? I recovered from the boil over and prepared to roast the bones. My house kind of smelled funky because of the boil over, but I thought roasting the bones would just make the house smell like roast. WRONG! My house smelled like I had cooked 10 pounds of ground beef, without any aromatics what-so-ever. Basically like a cooked cow. To say I was mad was an understatement. I had all windows and doors open, fans going. Bishop was spraying Febreeze everywhere (which did not help). The worst thing was I still had to simmer the bones for 24 hours!!!!

But damn it I was finishing this. I moved the crock-pot outside on my back porch. I kept imagining the smell attracting predators to my back door. That is how bad I thought it was.

Step 3: I added in some herbs and seasonings. I didn't care what the article said, I added carrots, onion and garlic, dried thyme and salt. Now things started smelling like roast! Thank God! I was starting to feel better. I had aired out the house and the bones were cooking a way, and no predators at my door.

The start was rocky, but the ending was amazing.

In the end, I made a damn good bone broth. And guess what? I'm making more as I type this. It's on my back porch cooking right now. I loved my bone broth! This time I took precautions from lessons learned:

Step 1: I opened all my windows, and doors, turned on fans before I even started.

Step 2: I blanched the bones and did not leave them unattended.

Step 3: I skipped the roasting. Figured I'd see how it turns out without that step that caused me so much grief. I add 1 tbs apple cider vinegar, all veggies and bones straight to the crock pot.

Step 4: Keep checking the liquid level. I had to add about 2-3 quarts of water during the cooking process. A quart or more at a time, twice.

Step 5: At about 20 hours I put in my thyme and salt.

I am cooking this batch 36 hours just to see what happens.

Why am I making bone broth? I'm getting through flu season unscathed and seeing if it will help my joints. I am going to drink 1 cup everyday for a couple of months to see if my knees stop crackling when I walk up stairs. I'll let you know what happens! So far I am about a month in of my Bone Broth regimen and feeling great!

Below is how I finished up the cooling and jarring of my broth:

Now that you know bone broth is not scary, try it in our Super Soup recipes!