One of the most viewed posts on my blog has been about bone broths, which is a great thing, because bone broth is SO nourishing and good for us. Believe it or not though, sometimes making it isn’t quite as simple as you might think.
Remember Goldilocks and the 3 Bears? It was really hard for her to find the right porridge, the right chair, and the right bed. So frustrating! Well, maybe broth is the same…. you need to find the right balance between heat and time….not cooking it at too high a heat, too low, too long or too short. You need to cook it just right.
So if you’ve had some problems getting your bone broths to gel (you know, kind of like jello), or if you have other questions about making a healthy broth, read on. And if you want to read up on why bone broths are a lost art and why they are such an important part of a healthy diet, I’ve included a couple of links to past blog posts of mine at the bottom of this post about why you should make your own broth and how to do it.
I recently ran across a post from The Nourished Kitchen and I copied a few of Jenny’s answers below, but you can read the whole Q&A if you click on the link to her PDF file at the bottom of this post.
My only comments are that you want to figure out a way to cook your broth for as long as possible in order to insure that you’ve gotten all of the marrow as well as the minerals out of the bones, cartilage, and skin. As for using pan juices after roasting the meat first…basically, Jenny does what I do…. let the juices get cold and then remove the hard, white fat that rises to the top. I’ve been discarding it, but Jenny puts it to use cooking vegetables, making sauces, etc… The clear juice underneath that does gel when it gets cold is good stuff as far as I’m concerned…looks like amber jello and I put it in the broth or soup!
So here are the questions and answers from The Nourished Kitchen. I included a link at the very end to her pdf file on all the questions & answers regarding bone broth.
Questions on Gelling
Question: Why can’t I get my broth to gel?
My broth doesn’t always gel like everyone says it should. I know the bones and good and fresh etc (we raise our own animals!)… it still tastes great and the marrow is definitely gone – but why won’t it gel? – Dana
What can I do to successfully get my broth to have more gelatin. – Amanda
Answer: Gel in a broth is a quirky thing and gelatin breaks comes together and breaks down almost on a whim! Too much water, to long a simmer, too rapid a boil will all break down gelatin (this is why bone broth in a slow cooker rarely gels, but is still good for you). Using minimal amounts of water, reducing cooking time and bringing the liquid to a quick boil (followed by turning it down to a slow simmer) usually helps gelling. Even if your broth isn’t gelling, you’re still getting loads of goodies – amino acids and minerals.
Question: Is stock that hasn’t gelled less nutritious?
I simmer my stock for 24 hours and it only slightly gels. Does this mean it’s less nutritious than a stock that does gel? – Lauri
Answer: Even if your stock doesn’t gel it is still extraordinarily rich in minerals and amino acids. It still offers powerful nutrition. It doesn’t have congealed gelatin (which breaks down easily), but it has loads of glycine, proline and other goodies. If you really want to make sure to add gelatin into your diet, you can always purchase gelatin from a good source.
Question: Can I use the liquid leftover from cooking a roast?
When you cook a roast or similar “hunk” of meat, either in the slowcooker or a dutch oven, do you keep the pan juices and fat that get left behind in the pot? – Monika
Answer: Yes. I often strain the residual liquid leftover from cooking a roast and add it to the stock pot or make a soup or sauce out of it. I usually let the fat solidify, pick it off and use it for cooking vegetables. Waste not, want not!
The Nourished Kitchen pdf file:
The links to my blog posts on why you should make your own broth and also a couple of recipes on how to do it…..