Monday, February 2, 2015

Fagan Eats Paleo Recipe: How to Make Healing, Healthy Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker

Crock Pot Bone Broth

Every Paleo food blogger's got their own bone broth recipe. It's kind of a must. This is the recipe I've finally settled on after having made it oh-so many times. I not only love the flavor of it, but the recipe is super easy to make. But before I give you a recipe, here are a few tips on making bone broth:

Bone Broth Tip No. 1: Strain It Before You Serve It

I remember the first time I made bone broth. I was so excited to try it that I ladled it right out of the crock pot and into my cup. Big mistake! I'm not ashamed to admit it. Unknowingly, I had just served myself a big old serving of chicken fat and probably very little broth. It made me sick. It almost turned me off of bone broth entirely, until I did a little bit of research and figured out the grave error I had made. Looking back, it's really a pretty funny story. But believe me, it was no laughing matter at the time. The fat rises to the top when the broth is simmering. While there is nothing wrong with eating fat, it's not advisable to serve yourself broth straight from the crock pot (before its been strained) for this reason.

Bone Broth Tip No. 2: It's Easy, Just Try it

When I first started on my Paleo journey, all of the cooking felt pretty overwhelming. The last thing I wanted to do was add another thing to my plate (haha!). Seriously, can't you just buy broth?! Well, the answer is no. The health benefits derived from cooking and consuming your own bone broth are numerous. Here's a post from Paleo Mom on the virtues of bone broth: The Health Benefits of Bone Broth.

If there's one thing you do for yourself on a Paleo diet, make and drink bone broth.

Bone Broth Tip No. 3: You Probably Aren't Adding Enough Bones

Lots of people are talking about the amazing health benefits of gelatin these days. But if your bone broth isn't gelling, you might not be adding enough bones. One chicken carcass in a 5-quart slow cooker is not going yield a gelled broth. It just won't. Many bloggers suggest saving up your bones and when you have enough, make a batch. But even if I relied solely on bones I'd saved, it still probably wouldn't gel. Besides, I do on occasion give one of my kitty cats a bone or two after I'm done eating because he goes crazy for them.

I get bones from my butcher. They are cheap, and usually include backs and feet and joints and even some meat. I recommend supplementing your used bones with some butcher bought bones, making sure you have about 3 pounds of chicken bones and about 4-5 pounds of beef bones.

Bone Broth Tip No. 4: Cozy Up to Chicken Feet

When I read blog posts and articles recommending chicken feet and weird things like that to add to my bone broth, my first thought was: yea--I won't be doing that. They look gross. But you'll learn that they do produce a lovely, gelatinous broth. And then you'll do a little happy dance.

Listen to the sage advice of those who have gone before you. Suck it up and add animal feet, backs, joints and all those things that might make you cringe when making broth.

Do you see the chicken feet? Do you? Do you?!

Bone Broth Tip No. 5: Don't Add Too Much Water

Adding too much water can dash your gelatin-filled dreams. Fill to just above the bones and don't keep adding water through the cooking process or your broth probably won't gel.

Bone Broth Tip No. 6: You Can Reuse the Bones to Make More Broth

I like the reuse the bones after I do a batch of broth. I remove the veggies and put the bones back in the pot and go again. The second batch doesn't usually gel, but it most certainly still has nutrients in it. The second batch is the one I usually freeze for cooking, while the first, gelatinous batch is the one I use for drinking everyday.

We've finally reached the part of the post where I share my recipe with you. Hope you all enjoy!

Healing Bone Broth

by Jamie Miller
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 16 to 48 hours
Keywords: slow-cooker breakfast snack ancestral gluten-free nut-free paleo primal soy-free Chicken Bones beef bones comfort food American winter summer spring fall
Ingredients (5 quarts of broth)
  • 3 pounds of chicken bones (4-5 pounds of beef bones, or other bones of your choice)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
Add bones to slow cooker (5 quart is what I use), carrot, onion, salt, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaves.
Then fill the slow cooker with water until the bones are covered. The slow cooker should be just about full.
Cook on low for about 16 hours for chicken bones or 24 to 48 hours for beef bones. A note for longer cooking times: add the vegetables later if you plan on cooking for longer than 16 hours.
Strain with a fine mesh strainer. There will be quite a bit of fat on the top. After it cools in the refrigerator, you can easily spoon the fat off and use for cooking.
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