We are finally starting to get a chill in the air in Brisbane (happy dance, happy dance!), so the slow cooker came out of the pantry last week. First cab off the rank was a bone broth.1.5kg of beef bones at the organic butchers cost around $12. (In case you’re a local, TMP – formally The Meat-Ting Place – in the shopping centre on Flockton Street in McDowall has certified organic meat and terrific service).
Roast the bones in the oven for an hour – about 200-220 degrees C. Take straight out of the oven and into the slow cooker along with any vege offcuts you’ve kept aside. I used one brown onion, a couple of carrots, about 3 stalks of celery, 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 3 bay leaves. Some people add ginger and garlic – but I leave that for when I use the broth instead.
Cover the entire lot with filtered water and put the slow cooker on low. To get a gelatinous broth, let it simmer for 24-30 hours. It took about 6 hours to even start to simmer and the smell was really quite light – not like how a pea and ham soup stinks out the place!
I lost very little liquid through the simmer – and also didn’t have much fat scum to scoop off the top. I suppose it depends on the bones. I took out the large bones and veges and allowed it to cool a little in the cooker bowl before pouring out through a strainer to remove the solids.
At this stage, I wanted to get it cooled down and into the fridge as quickly as possible – it’s a meat product after all. So I filled the sink with ice and put the large bowl of strained liquid on top to get the temp down and get it into the fridge. Overnight the fat floats to the surface and solidifies. It’s then really easy to cut the fat around the edges of the bowl and lift out – leaving the wobbly broth. ** Don’t throw out the fat! Put it in a spare jar and keep it in the fridge to use for bbq-ing meat and veges.
I kept some broth in the fridge for dinners over the next few days, but froze the rest for future use. I don’t really have any ‘specialist’ equipment – so I used silicon cupcake patties and a small banana loaf tray. These both worked really well. I bagged up the frozen broth to stop freezer burn and they are all ready to go!
I will use it as a stock for soup or any liquid absorbing grain – cous cous, rice or quinoa etc. It’s awesome for adding to spag bol or making sauces and gravies for meat dishes, but it’s terrifically tasty and satisfying as a meal on its own. That’s how I like it – heat it up and add an egg or spinach or any vege really. Voila!