Being deliberate and conscientious about the meat I buy, I don't want anything to go to waste so I stockpile meat bones for the making of broth. Since the production of bone broth is no light undertaking, I tend to put it off. Although simple, it takes days and there are various phases to the process.
Preparing a batch this time of year seemed well... untimely since most of the broth will be used for making cold weather fare; but seeing as it was necessary to make room in the freezer, I came to recognize that in some ways, Spring is an ideal time. Many bone broth brewers rave about how wonderful it is to have their homes filled with the broth's aroma, but because it simmers for days the smell gets a little much for us. My way around this is to take it outside and the Spring (and Fall for that matter) is more conducive to out-of-doors crockpotting. In the height of Summer the bugs are too prevalent (a towel over the top helps) and in the depths of winter temperatures are too low.
|Cranked up Crock Pot|
So, I packed the crock with bones, added 1/2 cup of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar along with enough water to submerge the contents, and I set it out on our covered porch. The broth brewed on low all weekend (~48hrs)... water was added as needed. With the wonderful weather, we spent most of our weekend outdoors. There was an aroma, but it came and went with the breeze prompting visitors to remark... "mmm is that barbecue" and ... "someone's cooking beans". The end result was my best bone broth to date... I finally had a batch reach gelatinous status.
After cooling on the counter I removed all the bones with a slotted spoon and prongs. After cooling overnight in the fridge I skimmed the fat layer from the top and fed it to the chickens. I then left the crock out (covered) at room temperature just long enough for the broth to reach a more pourable state. To strain I poured the crock's contents through a strainer set inside a colander that was set inside a large pot. After straining, the broth was then poured into wide mouth mason jars, leaving over one inch of headroom, and I filled 3 ice cube trays. All went into the freezer with wax paper covering the trays. Once the cubes were frozen I loosed them from the trays and tossed them into a freezer baggie to be used when smaller volume broth is called for.
After both the fat and bone feeding frenzies, the hens contentedly wiped their beaks back and forth on the grass, as if to signal they were done and satisfied.
|scotatto repurposer of rawhide|