Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dem Bones

How well does your stock stand up?

With winter getting ready to smack me in the face with temperatures dipping into single digits, the worst flu season in years and a mildly irritating sprain, it's time to break out the heaven guns...BONE STOCK!  My latest batch was a combination of veal and beef marrow bones out of which I made a delicious roasted winter vegetable soup with squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, preserved fresh ginger and pear.

After a knee injury a few years ago, I began drinking bone stock daily like I would a good, hot cup of tea and discovered a few things. First, I stayed warm when working outside in the bitter cold. I like to think of a good cup of broth as fuel for my furnace. Secondly, I noticed that even when everyone around me was coming down with the sniffles, I managed to avoid them. Similarly, when my orthopedist suggested taking a chondroitin-glucosamine supplement, I thought to myself, "Gee...if chondroitin sulfate is found in  synovial fluid and cartilage, why should I take a pill when I've got all these great bones made up of joints and capsules from my own animals?" I started making bone broth from calves, beeves, goats, lambs and poultry...including awesome rich stock from turkey and chicken feet.  And I healed very well. Call me an optimist, but I like to believe healthy immune and skeletal-muscular systems are built on good nutrition which is built on clean meat from healthy livestock.

Sandra's Simple Basic Rich Bone Stock
3-5 lbs bones
2 fresh carrots
2 stalks celery (I like to use fennel instead)
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt & Whole peppercorns
Assorted herbs (bay leaves, tarragon, thyme, etc.)

Lay bones on shallow baking sheet. Chop carrots, celery and onion in 1-2 inch chunks (no need to peel). Add garlic and sprinkle with salt and peppercorns. Roast at 350 for one hour. Transfer to stock pot. Add herbs and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 hours at minimum. I let mine simmer on low in a crock pot for 2-3 days. Strain through sieve & chill.