Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor but it is also a powerful health tonic which can be used in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables.
In times of illness (which doesn’t happen often with Kirby) just let your dog drink a small bowl of bone broth, or pour over kibble, until he starts feeling better as it supports the body but is very easy to digest so the body’s energy can focus on healing. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
Homemade broth is always richer and more flavorful than the store varieties which almost always contain ingredients deemed dangerous for dogs. Luckily it’s really easy to make. A long cooking time provides ample opportunity for the wholesome nutrients present in the beef soup bones to leach out into the water. The resulting broth is rich in nutrients and minerals like calcium. It is also a rich source of gelatin and glucosamine chondroitin.
The Bones Do Matter
Try to use several types of bones. These can be bought from your butcher pretty cheaply. Grass-fed beef is best but don’t worry if you can’t find any. If you don’t have a local butcher, you can use meaty neck bones from the grocery store. The important steps are roasting the meaty bones to caramelize the flavors and adding the vinegar which draws the minerals out of the bones. You can also roast the vegetables too.
When Is It Done?
If the meat and vegetables from the broth are not mushy and tasteless, then you didn’t cook it long enough. When making broth, you want every ingredient to give up 100% of it’s essence to the water. Meat should be tasteless fiber. Vegetables should be flavorless mush. If you don’t like the flavor of your broth, just simmer it longer, maybe leaving the lid off if it’s too pale. Once it reduces, you can see what the flavor is really like. Adding the seasonings will bring out the flavors.
Cook Time: 12-72 hours
Nutrition facts: 91 calories, 22 from fat
- 2 lbs of beef marrow bones
- 1 knuckle bone
- 1 lb meaty rib or neck bones
- 3 quarts cold filtered water
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 carrots (optional)
- 3-4 celery stalks (optional)
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Place the bones that have meaty bits on them in a roasting pan and brown in the oven at 350 degrees until well-browned (60 minutes). Turn over after 30 minutes.
- Place all of your non-meaty marrow bones and knuckle bone into a large stockpot, add the water, vinegar and optional vegetables. Let sit while the other bones are browning.
- Add the browned bones to the stock pot, deglaze the roasting pan with hot water and get up all of the brown bits, pour this liquid into the pot. Add additional water if needed to cover the bones.
- Bring the stockpot to a boil and remove the scum/foam that rises to the top. You don’t need to remove any floating fat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more rich and flavorful it will be. Add more filtered water when needed to keep the bones covered as the water does evaporate.
- After several hours use tongs to remove’ any of the marrow you want for other recipes. Pop out the marrow with a small knife and return the bone to the pot.
- During the last 30 minutes, add the parsley, sea salt and garlic.
- Remove the bones with a slotted spoon or tongs and strain the stock.
Crock Pot Instructions:
- Make sure to use both roasted meaty and non meaty bones.
- Use the biggest crock pot you have. Don’t overfill with water since it won’t evaporate as quickly as with a stockpot. Make sure the lid is weighted down and that simmering can’t move the lid around or you will have water everywhere.
- Put on high until it starts to boil then turn down to low.
- Skim the scum/foam that rises to the top as needed.
- Cook for 24 to 48 hours.
- During the last hour, add the parsley, sea salt and garlic.
- Remove the bones and strain into your container of choice.
You can store the broth in wide mouth mason jars leaving an inch head room from the top of the stock to the top of the jar so as it freezes and expands, it doesn't break the glass. Let the jars cool, then freeze or refrigerate. You can remove the congealed fat after refrigerating or even freezing.
I also like to freeze the broth in small molds or ice cube trays. This way I can use what I need when I need it. Pour the strained broth into a container and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours to cool. Pour into the ice cube tray or molds, freeze, and place in ziplock bags. Each cube contains 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce. 12 ice cubes equal roughly 1 cup.
- Label large zip lock bags and over time just throw leftover bones and vegetable scraps in the freezer. Do one bag for chicken stock bones and one bag for bone broth bones.
- Don't use a pressure cooker because it destroys essential vitamins that are heat sensitive.
- It is never a good idea to leave a stove on overnight so I turn mine off at bedtime and then turn it on high in the morning until it starts boiling vigorously and then turn it down to a simmer. Then I turn it off when I go to work. When I get home I make it boil again and then turn it down to a simmer until bedtime. A crock pot can stay on 24/7.
- Every so often take one or two spoonfuls out and place in a tiny bowl in the refrigerator. When it gels, it's done. You are trying to get out the collagen and gelatin and when you have these you also have the minerals and amino acids too.
- Some people like to keep an everlasting pot of broth cooking. If you do this then after 2-3 days, drain off the stock (strain it), throw in a few more roasted bones (for color) water, and reuseable ‘hard’ bones.