I started a post soliciting ideas for commercial beef bone broths since my apartment family had issues with the odor of cooking my own. I tried a few, but they didn't do the trick and were unrealistically pricey. I was after the medicinal, not the culinary: knee pain that could potentially be alleviated by the bone broth.
Anyway, I gave up the search and convinced my household to allow another try, and cooked up a new batch yesterday. I thought I'd share what I did since it came out really good. I started with 5 lbs of bones from my Amish farmer connection, so it was grass fed, organic, biodiverse, really clean healthy cows. I laid them on a tray and roasted them at 400 for about 45 minutes, the meat was well roasted and a lot of fat rendered in the pan. Last time i did only 30 minutes (and maybe that's why this time they were less odorous?).
To end up with about 8 qts of broth, i used two pots, an 8 qt and a 4 qt, since that's the biggest I had. a 16 qt would have been ideal... between the two pots, i added a generous 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher coarse salt and brought it to boil with the bones in, lowered it to simmer, then went to Whole Foods for "flavorings." an hour later i came back and added a lot of vegetables: 5 garlic cloves, several bay leaves, a monster carrot, a parsnip, more than half a bunch of parsley, about 6 good sized kale leaves, a softball sized onion, and two stalks of celery. everything was left in big chunks to make it easier to remove at the end. once it returned to boil, i lowered it to barely simmering -- just to see a few little bubbles popping up to the surface - covered it, and let it cook for 24 hours.
When it was done, i let it cool for a couple of hours covered, then used a slotted spoon to remove, first, all the vegetable pieces into a colander to let the liquid run off and return it to the pot. then i took out the bones and used my fingers to pull out whatever meat was there for saving: it was a little fatty but it tasted pretty good and should go well with applesauce later. the cooked vegetables, mainly the carrot and parsnip, were soft but pretty flavorful and good eating while i was working on the rest.
i combined the liquid into the bigger pot, then using a mesh strainer i dipped it into the big pot to pull out the remaining random solids, then ladled it all into qt mason jars about 3/4 full, and put all but one in the freezer.
this morning they were capped with only a thin layer of fat, less than i expected. it was easily removed with a fork, and i'm drinking the broth now. it tastes sort of like a beef vegetable soup. not bad. Surprisingly, though, the texture is not gelatinous. Last time, the refrigerated broth was solidly gelatinous and had to be spooned out; it didn't pour. this batch remains liquid when cold. I don't really get that.
one comment about the fat: it's a much "tougher" variety than the usual fat: it won't soften up at room temp, nor melt or dissolve under normal hot water, it has to be so hot that my hands burn a little to clean everything. sort of like wax, in a way. usually fat gets melty and soft even at room temperature, and a little heat washes it away easily with soap. but not this. i found that strange.
anyway, i posted this to give thanks to the chowhound community, since you were so helpful with my previous bone broth post, linked here if you're interested.
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