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how to make bone broth

Post-Thanksgiving is a great time to make bone broth using the turkey bones and carcass. Really, any time you have roasted a chicken or turkey, or have grassfed beef bones on hand, you can save the bones to make bone broth. Plus, you can freeze the bones to use for later if you don’t feel inspired to make bone broth right away.

What’s the deal with bone broth? It’s chock-full of all the good minerals and proteins and nutrients and healthy fats to keep your body well. And with a little time and TLC, it is super cost-effective to make from scratch versus store-bought broths that are often high in sodium. To read up more on the benefits, check out this great article from Sally Fallon Morell at The Weston A. Price Foundation. There is also a great post about bone broth at Nourished Kitchen.

So, after last week’s Thanksgiving at Craig’s sister’s house, we were fortunate to get to bring home the turkey bones and carcass. The easiest way to make bone broth is to disassemble the turkey and get all the bones to fit in your crock pot. Then you want to cover all the bones (fine if there is still some meat left on them) with cold filtered water. I use enough water to nearly fill the crockpot. Then add about a cup of organic apple cider vinegar to the mixture.
organic apple cider vinegar

Let the bones and water and organic apple cider vinegar “soak” for an hour. The organic apple cider vinegar helps to leach all the good stuff out of the bones before you start cooking. After an hour, turn your crockpot on to high for a few hours to get your concoction bubbling nicely.

Then turn the crockpot to low and let it go. Really let it go—24 hours is a good amount of time to get the bone broth humming along slowly and gently.
crockpot bone broth

You can stir the mixture around occasionally to make sure the bones aren’t burning or getting stuck to the bottom of the crockpot. After 24 hours, (less is okay too if you are in a time crunch) turn off the crockpot and use tongs to discard the major bones. Strain the bone broth into a large bowl or bowls, and allow the broth time to cool at room temperature.

Cover and put in the fridge to give the naturally occurring fats in the broth time to rise to the top. After a day in the fridge, skim off the fat. Then you can re-strain the broth using a frying pan splatter shield into mason jars for easy storing.
bone broth in mason jars

Leave room at the top of the mason jars if you plan to freeze them. Bone broth keeps in the fridge for at least a week if you want to use right away to make soup or for adding to rice or a stir-fry. It keeps in the freezer for several months.

We try to keep bone broth on hand at all times so we have some nourishing goodness ready to go for making Sunday soups. I just take a mason jar or two out of the freezer on Saturday and give it time to defrost in the fridge. Then I use part bone broth and part water to make a soup base.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 4th, 2010 at 7:37 pm and is filed under Cooking Adventures, Reduce Reuse Recycle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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