Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chilled to the Bone

Last week we were in the midst of extremely cold days, so much so the kids were out of school both Thursday and Friday.  So what does one do when you can not be outside, and whatever light there is on grey days you do not appreciate because you have all of the curtains pulled shut to help stave off the cold that is radiating from the windows?  Well, I fill the house with flickering light from oil lamps that have not been brought out since we moved 14 years ago, and tried my hand at making a warming bone broth.

We are no strangers to making our own stock from leftover bones, but I have been intrigued by all of the chatter about the health benefits of bone broth.  After our little bout of illnesses over the holidays, and since we were relatively home bound, it seemed as good a time as any to try it out so that I can master my own recipe.  The first thing that I did was purchase about 3 lbs of soup bones from the grocery store.  I think for my next round, I will get them from our local butcher, but I was limiting the number of trips and times to be outside last week.  I then tossed them on a rimmed cookie sheet in a little olive oil with roughly chopped carrots and a large onion.  I then put them in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes turning them part way through.  This created all of those lovely brown bits that we so love in cooking adding another dimension of flavor.

Then comes the easy part.  Toss the contents of the cookie sheet in your crockpot with two ribs of celery, also roughly chopped, and 4 whole cloves of garlic (I smashed mine).  Then just cover with water and let the whole thing cook on low for 24-48 hours.  Check it periodically and skim off any foam that rises to the top.  I just went 24 hours.

Finally, strain the broth, let cool, skim the fat, and refrigerate.  It is ready to go.  You can simply use it for health benefits and sip a small cup daily or add it in as a rich base in recipes.

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