From intestines to hooves, our ancestors used all parts of the animal, particularly the bones, which were originally burnt in fires in order to obtain the marrow within, prior to being used in broths. Thousands of years later, many cultures still cherish bone-based stock, and for good reason: not only is bone stock rich in flavor, but also in glycine, which makes up a third of the amino acids required for collagen production.
I use four separate types of bones to make this stock rich flavored, gelatinous, and nutrient dense.
- 2 lbs marrow bones
- 2 lbs knuckle bones
- 3 lbs meaty bones (either rib or neck)
- 1 hoof, cut into pieces (optional; this will make your stock very gelatinous)
- 2 large onions, cut into chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
- 4 carrots, cut into large pieces
- 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Red wine
Place marrow and meaty bones along with chopped vegetables in a roasting pan. Roast in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place knuckle bones and hoof into a large stock pot and cover with ice cold water and vinegar, allowing to stand at room temperature until the other bones are finished roasting.
Transfer the roasted bones and vegetables to the stock pot and add more water if necessary to cover. Deglaze the roasting pan with red wine and add the caramelized bits to the stock pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a very low simmer. Add thyme at this point.
Simmer stock anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to extract the valuable nutrients. Watch the stock for a bit in the beginning to make sure that it never boils. Remember, we are looking for a very low simmer – just a few bubbles at a time. Use a flame tamer to keep things safe and the temperature consistent.
Add parsley to the pot just before you’re ready to turn it off. Allow to cool and then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. You will want to remove the delicious marrow from the bones and add it to the stock or save it to spread on toast. There will also be a fair amount of meat from the rib and neck bones that is suitable for use in tacos, barbecue beef burgers, soup, etc. So much goodness in one pot!
Store the stock in glass jars in the refrigerator for several days. After the first night, there will be a thick layer of fat capping the jar. You can remove it or leave it on top until you’re ready to use the stock, as it seals in the goodness. Some cooks save the fat for frying, and this is fine. I choose not to, as I simmer my stock for at least 48 hours, which means the fat has undergone an especially long exposure to heat. I personally think it’s better to use tallow that has been rendered by a short, very low heat method for frying.
Don’t be alarmed if your stock “gels” to the point of losing all liquidity; this is what one hopes for, as it indicates a good amount of nutrient-dense gelatin. If all goes as planned, you should be able to turn your jar completely upside down without losing a drop!
If you need to store it much longer than five days, freeze it in ice cube trays and store in freezer bags well labeled as to type of stock (chicken, beef, and fish look amazingly similar when they’re frozen). Stock “cubes” are easy to grab and defrost at a moment’s notice, which increases the likelihood that you will use them often.
Recipe by: Annie Dru, CCE
Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health & Healing
Winter 2011 – 2012 | Volume 39, Number 5
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