Bone broth has become rather fashionable of late through the paleo movement. I am not paleo – not because I think there is anything wrong with it. In fact, of all the diets, I think it is probably one of the few that has real merit. I just am not paleo. But I LOVE bone broth.
For me bone broth has always been a soothing tradition. My mother always used to make a bone broth. She would just use bones and boil them for hours on end. When all of the bubbling away had been done, she added noodles, or sago (she called them frog eggs) or even shredded leftover pancakes or whisked egg. There were dozens of variations, all of them good.
Sometimes she would make my ultimate favourite – oxtail soup. My husband is grossed out by the idea of oxtail soup (even though he occasionally has it without realising and really likes it). But my son, well, it’s a homecoming treat. We sit there gnawing on the gelatinous meat that just falls off the bone, straight from the pot… if it lasts that long. I have to keep vigil in the kitchen because as soon as my back is turned, stuff goes missing…
Bone broth is accredited with bundles of nutritional benefits. A great article I found here lists all the nutritional and health benefits in great detail – not that I needed convincing. It has been my ‘go to’ remedy for pretty much any ‘under the weather’ or ‘ache and pain’ condition for as long as I can remember.
I was quite excited to discover Paleo Beef Direct. While they cater for all of the beef cuts, they specialise in paleo sausages and beef bones specifically for making bone broth. This means that you can buy a whole 20kg of just bones… that was why I was a little bit excited.
It is hard to know where meat is coming from when you buy from a butcher. I know this is not the case with all butchers and there are a lot of butchers out there that care about the provenance of their meat, by generally this is the case.
With Paleo Beef Direct (and there are other Sunshine Coast and Mary Valley beef producers that offer direct services), they are the farm. They pasture raise and pasture finish their beef – this is the important bit – the ‘pasture finish’ – this means that it does not go through the ‘feedlot’ process. If you want to know why this is so important click here.
Paleo Beef Direct have the meat processed locally and then package and deliver it direct from them to you – there are various pick up points throughout the Sunshine Coast and Mary Valley. Their point of difference is they specialise in beef bones, sausages and mince.
Once you get your whole box of bones you can make bone broth to your heart’s content.
The bones from Paleo Beef Direct are actually cut across the length of the bone, which means that the marrow is exposed, which I love – it is the best part – extra flavour!
So for 48 hours after my delivery I had a pot of bones bubbling away until it was a dense flavoursome broth.
Making beef broth isn’t rocket science, and I am pretty loose with my recipe…
In a large pot…
Beef bones to fill the pot
Fresh chicken frame or leftover roast chicken frames
2 sticks celery
1 – 2 onions depending on size of pot
Splash of cider vinegar
I start by roasting the beef bones for 30 minutes in the oven.
I then put the bones into a large pot, fill with water and add the cider vinegar, pepper, bouquet garni and veggies. I barely even chop up the vegies. I bring to the boil and simmer for 48 hours. It is a simple as that. After about 24 hours I add the chicken bones.
While it is simmering away, I often scoop the fat off the top, as there is a substantial amount of fat released during the cooking process.
When the broth is done, I allow it to cool slightly, discard all of the bones and then filter the broth to remove any bits and pieces. Then I either portion it up and freeze or use straight away. I do this before it cools because it sets pretty solid, so I ladle it while it is still warm and liquid.
I drink it as straight broth, use it in sauces and stews, and have it a soup base. But my favourite way of preparing my broth is as follows:
I finely slice 1/2 cup of sugarloaf cabbage and a handful of sugarsnap peas. I place it, along with some bean shoots, and ‘noodled’ zucchini, into a bowl. Add a mix of chopped herbs – Vietnamese mint, mint, Thai basil, coriander – mash up half an avocado, stir in some chopped chives and dollop on top of the veggies and then pour hot broth over the top of the whole lot and eat! I love it. Such a simple and nourishing meal – prepared in minutes (after the initial 48 hour cook up). Delicious!
If you would like to know more about Paleo Beef Direct, visit their Facebook page where they post upcoming pick up days and where you can place your order.
You don’t need to be paleo to enjoy bone broth, but thank you to paleo for bringing this divine nourishing food staple back to the forefront where it deserves to be.
This story was written by Petra Frieser – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds