Saturday, September 25, 2010

Preparing for Monday: Beef Broth

I have a lot to do in preparation for Monday. I am making beef broth, coconut sprinkles, sauerkraut and crispy nuts. While the beef broth gets started I will start soaking the nuts and cutting up the cabbage for the sauerkraut. After all those are done I will make the sprinkles.

In Eat Fat, Lose Fat they point out that one of the most important weight loss tools is to have a calcium-rich food three times a day. Raw milk is an obvious choice. And in the book they offer a Coconut Milk Tonic recipe that includes dolomite powder which provides calcium. But another excellent source is bone broth. Between milk in the morning, raw cheese or cream with lunch, and a bone broth included in dinner, I will be getting my three servings of calcium per day.

In bone stocks, minerals and marrow are leached from the bones of healthy, pastured animals (chicken, beef, fish, lamb) over the course of 24 hours of slow cooking. I use my slow cooker plugged in in my garageI have already made chicken stock, but I am in need of some beef stock. I will make fish stock later in the week, as long as I can find bonito flakes or fish carcasses somewhere! I will have to make another trip to LeeLee's Asian Market tomorrow.

First for today, the beef broth. If I start it this afternoon, then it will be done by tomorrow afternoon.

2-3 pounds of beef marrow bones
one calves foot, cut into pieces, optional
2-3 pounds meaty bones (rib or neck)
filtered water
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
3 onions, quartered
3-4 stalks celery, cut in half once or twice
3-4 carrots, cut in half once or twice
sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1 teaspoon peppercorns, whole or crushed
1 bunch of parsley

1. Place marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large stock pot or slow cooker, add the vinegar, and cover completely with water. Let sit for one hour.

2. In the meantime, brown the meaty bones: place in a roasting pan and cook at 350 degrees until browned. After they are browned, add them with the vegetables to the stock pot or slow cooker.

3. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan and discard. Add cold water to the roasting pan, bring to a boil, and loosen the browned bits and coagulated juices from the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add to the stock pot or slow cooker. If needed, add water to slow cooker to cover all the bones and vegetables.

4. Bring to a boil. With a spoon, skim off any foam or scum that rises to the top. After skimming the broth, add thyme and peppercorns, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid.

5. Simmer stock for at least 12 hours, and up to 72. I always aim for 24 or so.

6. Add parsley about 10 minutes before the stock is finished.

7. Remove large pieces with a slotted spoon and throw away. Strain remaining broth through a fine mesh sieve, possibly lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth, into a bowl. Let cool, and then put in the refrigerator to let the congealed fat rise to the top. Remove this with a spoon. Your stock is done! Keep in the fridge for about a week (?), or freeze for longer storage.

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