Hey, hey, hey!
Sometime around early last week, I got wind (pun intended) that a blizzard might be headed our way. Not long after, as the panic began to spread amongst the Mid Atlantic, my social media timelines were flooded with images of empty grocery store isles and plans for colossal junk food weekend binges… and this made me so mad. That same week, the members participating in my signature program had been tasked to focus on self love. I asked these rockstars to begin cultivating an awareness around self love and its relationship to the food they consume. My goal for them was to recognize that when we love ourselves, will fill our bodies with foods that serve us well… and when we fill our bodies with food that serves us well, we show ourselves love. It’s all cyclical in a big wheel of wellness. I suggested they ignore the inclination to pig out on crap throughout this weekend of hibernation, and instead practice some “self-loving activities”. Perhaps they might show their bodies some respect by experimenting with a few healthy new recipes? Or, indulge in a lengthy hot bath? My point being that I wanted them to engage in activities they wouldn’t regret once they plowed themselves out of their igloos.. oops, I mean, homes. I then made my own “to-do” list… because ya gotta practice what ya preach, right? While I actually played chef a number of times this weekend (so many new goodies!), my mother and I decided to celebrate her birthday on Sunday by making our own bone broth. Bone broth has been around for centuries, utilized for both its medicinal and tasty properties, but it only became as trendy as the “green smoothie” or coconut oil over the past few years. I’m a fan, despite having never made my own before Mama Jean’s 66th bday shebang. Making bone broth for your birthday? Well, it’s probably better than Chuck E Cheese… but not exactly dinner at The Four Seasons ; ) Fortunately, Mama Jean enjoys the simplicity of life, including spending time with her daughter in the kitchen! So what is the deal with this bone broth stuff??
Bone broth is a nutrient rich stock, that involves boiling the bones of beef (or chicken, etc) in tandem with a variety of other veggies and spices, and then allowing to simmer over many hours. As the broth simmers, the marrow and ligaments “release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine that have the power to transform your health”. The minerals (phosphorus, silicon, sulpher, magnesium, etc) that are available in bone broth are effortlessly absorbed by our bodies, and reportedly offer similar benefits as those found in glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Additionally, these nutrients aid in reducing inflammation in arthritis and joint pain, leaky-gut syndrome, boosting immunity, strengthening bone health, and even restoring aging skin. Younger skin? Sign this sista up!
While bone broth is certainly an amazing base for a number of soups, it can also be consumed by itself, as a beverage, similar to a tea. If this seems odd to you, sipping on meat flavored broth, I assure you after a couple sips of this divine concoction, you’ll change your mind.
The recipe I used was derived from the Epicurious recipe site . I used “Fire Cider” instead of basic apple cider vinegar, just for an added extra dose of awesomeness and flavor kick. What’s Fire Cider? Hang tight, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post for a different day but in the meantime, you can read about it here.
Ingredients, listed on Epicurious:
- 4 pounds beef bones, preferably a mix of marrow bones and bones with a little meat on them, such as oxtail, short ribs, or knuckle bones (cut in half by a butcher)
- 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 whole leek, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- Special equipment:
- 6-quart (or larger) stockpot or a large slow cooker
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place beef bones, carrots, leek, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Toss the contents of the pan and continue to roast until deeply browned, 10 to 20 minutes more.
- Fill a large (at least 6-quart) stockpot with 12 cups of water (preferably filtered) . Add celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Scrape the roasted bones and vegetables into the pot along with any juices. Add more water if necessary to cover bones and vegetables.
- Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook with lid slightly ajar, skimming foam and excess fat occasionally, for at least 8 but up to 24 hours on the stovetop. The longer you simmer it, the better your stock will be. Add more water if necessary to ensure bone and vegetables are fully submerged. Alternately, you can cook the broth in a slow cooker on low for the same amount of time.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly. Strain broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard bones and vegetables. Let continue to cool until barely warm, then refrigerate in smaller containers overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth.
So there ya have it! Mama Jean didn’t have a birthday cake this year, but did start off 66 with a lil’ bone broth, and a lot of love!
Got an even tastier bone broth recipe? Share away, my friends!