This week we look again, briefly, at some further benefits of Bone Broth. Then we will discuss in detail the types of bones to use and our method for preparing Bone Broth in a pressure cooker.
In our discussion next week we will detail how to preserve our Broth using a pressure canner to make it shelf stable and avoid the requirement for refrigerated storage (it's easier than you think - trust me).
Our guts are damaged. Period.
If you are an American - your gut is damaged. I can confidently say this as I know most of my readership is from the United States. Ok, sure, some of you have guts that are okay (maybe 3%) but the rest of you are a hot mess - really. Unless you grow everything, don't eat out, never visit a non-organic relative or friend's house, have a completely organic biological lifestyle (down to the toothpaste you use) and there is scarcely a barcode found in your pantry or refrigerator, I can confidently assess that you a have some level of gut leakage.
The chief culprit - glyphosate.
You remember glyphosate, right? The chemical that the USDA and FDA tell us is ok eat. I am sure the USDA and FDA are correct because they are headed by the same guys that formerly worked for Monsanto. Now, these buffoons are running the agencies directly responsible for the oversight, testing and regulation of Monsanto's golden child product called "RoundUp". Care to guess what the chief ingredient in Roundup is?
Scientist are now testing umbilical cord blood from prenatal children and finding glyphosate. Can you believe that? This stuff is everywhere... Thanks Monsanto!
We have now had over three decades of rampant pesticide use. Oh, and not by coincidence, during the same three decades, significantly increasing levels of disease and chronic illness. We have over 900 dead zones in the United States - places where no life exists due to excessive nitrogen use and accompanying pesticides/herbicide use. Our guts, with their three-trillion member society of helpful bacteria are clogged with chemicals.
You see, when chemicals, like glyphosate enter our gut lining, small cracks form and leak microscopic food particulate directly into our bloodstream.
Now, follow me here, what happens when a foreign object (of any sort) enters our blood stream?
That's right - send in the histamines.
Foreign invaders (in this case food), once detected trigger our immune response and are met with the all-powerful histamine. This is normal and usually how we stay healthy. Now, once that histamine response takes place, our headquarters in the immune system catalogs the event and keeps a handy histamine remedy on file for later use. The next time that invader is spotted the response is even faster! Launch the histamines... This is why your eyes water so quickly when you frolic in a wheat fields, at age 40, or why you have a sneezing fit in a next to a cotton tree, but not quite so quickly when you are a kid.
Unfortunately, this is happening with all types of food. I remember in the good'ole days when there was only one kid in my homeroom class that had an allergy to food, maybe two. Today - its everywhere! The BBC just released this piece on the subject.
Allergies are increasing, but why?
I contend - and bear in mind, I am a lunatic Rancher - that we are destroying our guts at an unprecedented rate. That our guts then leak food into our bloodstream, and our immune system reacts just like it should.
So then... the answer?
If I might invoke the Bible - "physician, heal thyself"
Thus we come to the subject at hand, Bone Broth, be it Chicken, Pork or Beef from truly pastured livestock can heal a gut faster than any other remedy. Once your gut heals - don't stop. Gut maintenance is essential. Most nutritionists recommend 8 ounces per day for maintenance.
Bone Broth is the key, however, just as we discussed in part one, you must source bones from the cleanest possible provider.
Ok, now, lets begin cooking...
First, choose bones based upon your desired outcome. Here is a guide to use as a rule of thumb...
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BTW - If you've made high-collagen Broth correctly the consistency at room temperature will be like jello (see the video to the left)
Loaded with collagen, my wife uses this for thick hair, long nails and tight skin. And for the record, she is stunning!
The collagen comes from the "slick" padding between the bones in an animal (we have it too) but because a Beef is such a large animal compared to us, we can harvest a significant amount from just a few joints (A.K.A. Knuckle Bones).
- Beef Soup Bones - if a bone is not marrow or knuckle, we call it a "soup bone". These are generalized bones from the rest of the animal and should make up about 75% of the "1/3 rule" (discussed later). These bones have plenty of meat and fat on them - both of which give a delicious flavor to your Broth.
- Chicken Back and Neck Bones - these form the 1/3 base rule for any chicken Broth.
- Chicken Feet - ok, before you get grossed out, let me explain. As mentioned previously a beef's joints have connective padding between them, just like us, but unlike us, they have very large joints (a Cow can weight 10x as much as we do). So, in order to have high collagen content Broth, you need only a few Beef Knuckle Bones. On a Chicken, however, it's a different story. Their joints are very small, so you need a bunch of them close together. Hence, the need for feet added to your Broth. Chickens have 16 small bones in each foot, this, plus the claws make for outstanding collagen. Trust me, it's worth it. Now. a word of caution - don't use just any feet. Get them from a clean source -we have them, other Ranchers do too.
Always, always, always roast your Beef Bones before making your Broth. This will make your Broth taste like a steak not a soggy beef sandwich. Roast them for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. Use a sheet pan. When you are done, pour off the fat.
I make my Broth in a five gallon batch. This helps keep my labor down to a minimum (a little more work makes a bunch more Broth) and will produce enough Broth for about 3 months.
Confession - I drink a lot of Broth. I take it on trips to back and forth to the Ranch. I have a portable stove in my truck, about the size of a lunch pail that plugs into the 12v. cigarette lighter and can warm up a glass jar of Broth in 15 minutes. I sip and drive. Eve will pack me pre-cooked, cut chicken breast and veggies. I will add this to my jar of broth then cook it in my heater a bit longer (it makes my truck smell like heaven). Now I have a chicken or beef soup. It keeps me away from truck stop food and I arrive feeling rested, full and healthy.
For a five gallon batch use (1) whole cut onion with the skin on, (1) bunch of celery with leaf, (4-6) carrots with skin on but roots cut, (4) cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. I've chopped it and pureed it in a cuisinart or juicer - both methods work well, but the latter will bring through more of the veggie flavor. You can get really creative at this point. I have tried many variations, but I always come back to a basic recipe. One reason for this is that when you take your broth off the shelf to use in a soup, stew or to make rice, you can then add whatever suits your fancy.
Toss everything into the pressure cooker, using the "1/3" rule...
1/3 of the total pot depth is bones (all types inclusive), then add the veggies and spices, next fill with water. Leave about 3"at the top for expansion. Seal the cooker - it will lock down like a canister for a nuclear reactor. Some have little hand wheels that screw down, others, like the one pictured below lock with a quarter-turn, cockwise of the top.
Heat your pressure cooker on high until you get about 10 psi, then reduce to a simmer to maintain 10 psi. Let the pressure cooker run all day, or about 6 to 10 hours (the longer the better). Then simply shut off the heat. It will depressurize after about an hour. You can tell it is ready to open when the gauge reads zero and the top can detach (they have a safety that will prevent the top from opening under pressure - so don't worry)
Strain out all the broth and fill all the Jars you have collected for the project. I strain twice, once, to get the big stuff and again using a finer mesh strainer for the smaller particulate. You want the broth clean, and you'll want to strain it before it chills too much. Remember the collagen? Can you imagine staining that at room temperature - not fun, trust me.
Be sure to compost or recycle the bones and veggies - but don't feed them to a pet. They will splinter and kill the animal.
Now, after the batch reaches room temperature, place the bone broth in the fridge for the night. Tomorrow we will pressure can it for the shelf (this will be covered in part 3 of 3)
Until then, your house will be filled with a sweet aroma - that of healing Bone Broth.