Umami is one of the big themes in Paleo this year. And Roasted Bone Broth is exactly how to make the umami magic happen in your kitchen!
Bone broth is ultra beneficial for our health, particularly for digestion, joints, skin, and nails. It’s a handy way to deliver micronutrients from a whole food source (versus a vitamin supplement). And, well, it tastes really good. So that’s a plus.
One way to make basic bone broth extra awesome is to roast the bones prior to simmering. Lightly season with salt and pepper, then roast the bones for about a half hour to get the juices flowing and to create a toasted exterior. Much like deglazing those brown bits that get stuck to the bottom of the pan when cooking stovetop, browning the bones prior to simmering for broth creates an enriched flavor that will transfer into any dish you prepare. Soup tastes better, sauces taste better, and if you’re really hardcore, your morning cup o’ broth straight from the cup will be even better as well. <– file under #shitpaleopeopledo
Here’s how to do it:
Get 2 to 3 pounds of beef bones, preferably from grass-fed cows in an organic environment and at least one joint, and sprinkle them with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes at 400°F or until the exterior is visibly caramelized and it smells great!
No need to let the bones rest or cool before transferring to a slow cooker. Add 3 to 4 carrots (depending on the size), 2 bay leaves, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 small quartered white or yellow onion, a bit more salt and black pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Then fill the basin with water until the level reaches a good inch above the tallest part of bones.
Set the slow cooker to low and let it go for 24 to 36 hours before the cooling process begins.
I like to let mine go for about 30-ish hours on low and then another 6 hours or so on the “keep warm” setting. Then I’ll let it cool down to nearly room temperature before moving to finishing the broth — but mainly because I have a fear of working with large quantities of really hot liquid and just feel more comfortable once it has stopped steaming. Also, I like to think of it as a slow rendering of all the good things the ingredients have to offer; it shouldn’t be rushed neither by the temperature nor the clock.
To finish, scoop out the larger ingredients from the broth — the bones, in particular. Pour the broth through a sieve or colander, and catch it in a large bowl or pot (whatever can hold all of the liquid), discard the aromatics and bones. They’ve done their job.
To store your broth, choose several glass containers (versus plastic) and portion the warm broth into the jars, and immediately seal with a clean lid. This is where mason jars come in very handy! I also keep glass jars that are leftover from things I buy at the store and repurpose them. Not a new idea by any means, but just want to remind you that if you happen to have a shelf full of random sauerkraut, marinara sauce, ghee, and pickled beet jars collecting dust, considering cleaning them out for storing your broth.
Once the broth is portioned into the jars, seal them immediately and allow to fully cool before transferring to the refrigerator.
Notice that we didn’t mess with the fat; that’s intentional. The silver lining to making your own bone broth from grass-fed beef bones is that you can trust the fat, or tallow, that the process yields. Fat has nutrients, guys! We’ve grown accustomed to avoiding it for various reasons, but by choosing bones from cows that ate their natural diet and weren’t exposed to toxins (which are stored in fat, not the liver), the tallow that comes from our bovine friends has numbered health benefits for us. And it’s a damn fine cooking fat.
When it comes time to use your bone broth, it will have a thick white-ish-yellow layer of solid tallow on top. That means you’ve done a great job! I use a butter knife to pop off the tallow before pouring the gelatinous broth into its final destination. The tallow can be used the same way you’d cook with butter or lard.
How Bone Broth Can Simplify Your Life
Here’s an example from my every day life. It was Friday and I needed to use up the last of the veggies that were on their way out. Soup came to mind since I had my Roasted Bone Broth waiting for me in the fridge from a batch I made months ago (thanks to the tallow seal, broth can be stored for several months in the fridge).
I used the tallow from the top of the broth to brown my ground beef, onion, garlic, and carrots. Then I added the kale, green beans, and mushrooms for a few minutes and seasoned with a heaping teaspoon of marjoram, some sea salt and black pepper.
I poured in my broth (about 3 or 4 cup’s worth, I think), stirred to help deglaze the bottom of the pan, then covered the pot and reduced to a low temperature to simmer for the next 30 minutes.
It was a great way to end the week. The soup took minimal effort on my part and it tasted GREAT thanks to the rich flavor of Roasted Bone Broth!