by Helen Legare,
Legare Farms, Inc.
The best way to eat healthy is to prepare our own food instead of buying prepared food. We could take a lot of lessons from our Grandmothers on how to cook and make tasty meals. The base for a lot of meals is meat stocks. Meat stocks can be made from beef, pork, or chicken bones. Meat stocks can be made ahead and frozen or stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Make sure you source your bones from a local farm.
Here's how to make a good beef (or pork) broth:
Simply place a big bunch of bones in a crock-pot or a big stockpot, cover them with cold water and set the temperature on low heat so it doesn’t do much more than simmer.
Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the cold water to help draw the nutrients from the bones.
You can roast your beef bones beforehand for 25-30 minutes at about 375oF and then use them to make your stock. This technique makes a much darker stock with a roasted flavor.
You can easily mix things up and use bones from different animals all in the same pot.
A lot of people will tell you to skim the froth that forms at the surface of a stock as it cooks, but it’s harmless. Skimming the foam, is simply a matter of culinary preference and is done to create a clear broth or stock. If you don’t mind the way it looks, leave it and all the goodness that it might contain.
Allow a minimum of 6 hours for beef bones maybe less for pork. You can easily let it go for much longer if you want to extract more taste and nutrients from the bones, as much as 48 hours. Just make sure you add water as it evaporates and continue drawing out the concentration.
You can add seasoning to the stock also. Fresh herbs or dried herbs make nice additions. Vegetables can be added also for flavoring. Don't add salt. It can be added later when making soup or stews with the stock.