I swear this post is about two things, the taste and health benefits of beef broth. There will be diversions along the way. Hang in there with me. It will all simmer (see?) down to these two focal points.
I’ve been making beef broth all day with bones from the ½ cow I have outside in my freezer. It tastes like butter. No bullshit, it’s the best I’ve ever sampled. I put more water over the bones and have two more pots simmering as we speak just to see if I could squeeze out some additional mind blowing flavor. I got the simple recipe and instructions from our know-it-all editor and my partner at Kaplifestyle, Stephanie. Here they are:
- Turn your oven on to 450
- Oil a roasting pan or baking sheet with olive oil
- Season your beef bones with salt (rosemary is good here too)
- Roast them in the oven for an hour, then check. They should be very browned, stuff should be on the bottom of your pan, and they should smell good. If those three things aren’t true, they need more time.
- Pull them out of the oven and dump everything into a pot – bones, oil, juices, all of it. Then dump a cup full of water onto the sizzling hot pan and scrape up everything that stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour the water and the bits from the bottom of the pan into the pot.
- Fill the pot with water, making sure all the bones are covered.
- Put the pot on the stove at a very low temperature. You should see an occasional bubble break through the surface, but not much more than that. I usually toss in a handful of salt, a bay leaf or two, maybe some dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano).
- Wait. 12 hours is good. 24 is better. 48 is better than that. If you want to get fancy, in the last hour of cook time, add an onion (quartered), maybe a couple carrots, leek greens, garlic.
- Strain it, let it cool, and refrigerate or freeze it.
If this jargon feels familiar, it’s because she walked me through a version of beef vegetable soup the other day when I was in Mammoth. That soup came out good. This is in another world. Granted, I have, as Steph puts it, “a high quality product to work with now.”
I’m not afraid to boast. Here it is:
ALL Novy Ranch cattle are born and raised entirely on our ranch. We raise our herd in large, open pastures with room to roam and places to hide from inclement weather or when a mother cow feels the need for privacy to give birth. They are never confined in feedlots, ever. In the winter months when grass is dormant, they are fed high quality hay (high protein) of mixed grasses and alfalfa and are provided straw to bed in. The ranch terrain itself provides areas of shelter from wind and weather with trees and hilly, lee-side areas, but in addition, we provide bunkers of large straw bales for the cows and calves to nestle in and behind. The cows love this. We know that caring for them well and reducing their stress enables them to produce a better product for you.
The better product unquestionably made for superior palatability. What about that health thing? I’m a believer in eating the bones of humanely raised and slaughtered or hunted animals. The broth made from those bones is nutritionally dense as well. From draxe.com:
Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel of the Weston A. Price Foundation explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. They contain chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
Maybe you want to skip the step of making the broth, go to Vons and grab a carton of broth, you sneaky devil. You want the short cut, don’t ‘cha? Go ahead, but be warned, it ain’t the same, partner.
Sally Fallon explains that most store bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “REAL”. Instead, they use lab-produced meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup and sauce mixes. Also, manufacturers began using monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor but in reality is a neurotoxin.
The MSG thing is a debate for another day, but most broths are heavily processed and filled with artificial ingredients. Even if you remove the science and just think logically, you want the collagen to ooze into your soups. This connective tissue is bountiful in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. When we eat a steak or a burger, we don’t get that deliciousness. When an animal in the wild devours another, they don’t pause at the fleshy parts. Rather, they hunt the bones and crush the whole number. They love the taste for a reason. They have no clue that they are protecting themselves from disease, they simply know that shit is delectable. Nature knows what she’s doing. That woman is not only stunningly beautiful, she’s brilliant.
Here we are, back where we started. Taste, health, bones, broth.