A local butcher allowed me to take all his cow bones from a local cow butchering several years back. Nothing prepared me for the difference between store bought and packaged bones to what awaited me when I went to pick them up. I’ve shared the pic in another post, but here it is again:
Bones: several cows’ worth filling up the back of my minivan! He graciously provided me with the looooong cow leg bones (2-3 feet long in length) and all the ball joints. He recommended we buy a reciprocating saw blade attachment to chop them up so that they would fit in the soup pot. He wasn’t kidding; our neighbors were probably pretty curious!
These things were massive. We dutifully chopped them up and stored them in a huge black trash bag in our deep chest freezer.
Since then, we have moved and upgraded to a newer door freezer. You should have seen the look on the appliance installer’s face when I asked him to help left out a huge black trash bag from the bottom of the deep freezer so they could replace it and haul it away! I assured them they were cow bones.
In hindsight, I should have used more of the ball joint bones instead of the easy and marrow-filled leg bones. I recently took stock of my bones and counted 15 huge joint bones still available and none of the leg bones. Is this a problem for a good bone broth?
My hubby had been commenting that the bone broth I had been making just wasn’t hitting the spot and filling him/satiating him like in our “original” broth making days. He questioned my methods…grrr.
That made me stop and think about how I was preparing the broth, what bones I was using, and how I had “changed” (hubby) or “improved” (me) the bone broth making process. I was happy with my french reduction step so that I wasn’t left with gallons of frozen broth bags taking up freezer space. My hubby said, “Something changed.”
I “felt” the same satiated tummy after having bone broth…but I needed to get him back on board so I had to figure out what was different.
Fortunately, as I was doing more research on the benefits of bone broth for the book, Reset Your Weight, I came across the one tiny difference: boiling vs. a slow simmer of the bones throughout the process.
I had been putting my bones in the pot and turning it up high to get the bones to thaw in the pot quicker and then again after I’d strain it and do the reduction. The high heat was breaking down something essential that required a slow simmer!
I resolved to make the “old” bone broth and bag it for him instead of reduce it to save space in the freezer. End result?
“I have good news and bad news,” he called to tell me. “The good news is that the bone broth is just like it used to be. The bad news is that it is just like it used to be!” (Our “old” broth was very oily tasting.) Success? LOL.
The good news for me is that the old bones are still good. We had been wondering if they were the problem. My “success” meant that our old bones were still good, despite being four years old and kept in the deep freezer. This at least is giving me more time to track down a new source for bones. Four years ago, no one was asking butchers for bones to make broth; since then, it is all the rave.