Well isn’t this a pretty picture!!! Above you see bones that I bought at my local Mexican Ranch Market. Along with everything you would ever need to make great Latino foods they have unusual things you don’t normally see in American Markets–such as CHICKEN FEET! When was the last time you bought Chicken Feet? However, they are SO valuable for this recipe, as you make Bone Broth and consume it for it’s restorative components. Another great place to find unusual bones would be an Asian market, such as Mee Kong Plaza in Mesa, Az. So get a plan ticket and come on out! I’ll take you shopping.
While this might seem to be a difficult recipe to make, it really isn’t. It just takes time. You want to simmer this for AT LEAST 24 hours. (I usually do mine about 30 hours). A crock pot is perfect for this, but most of them only go 8 hours, so you will have to re-set it. Don’t forget! This picture shows them after 30 minutes of roasting.
3-6 lbs. beef bones, concentrating on the ones with just a little meat but lots of marrow and soft stuff. Obviously, I have used more than 3 lbs. (approximately 8 lbs) My thought is that if you are going to make something that takes this long, make a lot of it! And do your best to find chicken feet. I have made this before without the feet, so of course you can do it. But it is so worth it if you can find them, as it adds so much nutritional value!
2 or 3 carrots, 1 large onion, 2 or 3 stalks of celery (tops are great for this) DO NOT PEEL!!! You are going to end up straining this, so you want all the nutrition that is in the peelings. (I was shocked when I saw some of the recipes that said to peel the veggies. Everybody knows the most nutrition is in the peelings, don’t they?)
Rinse the bones, pat dry, and place on a cookie sheet. Salt and pepper them lightly and Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly and add to a huge pot, along with the vegetables. Cover with water. Add about 1/4 cup vinegar. (I don’t know why, but every recipe I researched had vinegar in it). Bring to a boil, turn down to a steady simmer, and start cooking! Try to avoid adding water, because you will dilute the health benefits, but the finished product should be reduced to at least about 1/2 of what you started with. If it cooks down too much it means you are boiling too hard. It should also have a brown color when it’s done. I usually add just some salt and pepper and just a little bit of beef flavored soup base, because we drink it like a cup of soup, and therefore we like to have some flavor! If you don’t care about flavor, that’s ok. Suit yourself!! COOKING NOTE: If you are worried about continuous cooking overnight, and you have not used a crockpot, put your big pot into the oven overnight at 250 degrees. It will keep a gentle simmer going, and then put it back on the stove when you get up in the morning!
NOW WHAT DO I DO? In batches, strain the broth through a fine sieve or wire strainer. I like to freeze the broth in ice cube trays. When frozen, empty the cubes into zip lock baggies and keep them handy in the freezer. They last for months in the freezer. When you aren’t feeling well, thaw out some cubes and drink a cup which should be about 4 or 5 cubes. Heat in microwave. I also freeze some in Mason Jars –be sure to fill them about an inch below the top, because freezing liquids makes them expand. The jar can actually break if its too full…ask me how I know!!