Home Made Beef Stock

Beef Stock

Beef Stock

Here is another one of my food obsessions.
I’m a zealot admittedly for wholly pastured animals and maybe wholly grass-fed beef is my ultimate passion when it comes to food.
This may sound strange coming from an ex vegan who used to think that saving the earth meant leaving animals out of the food chain altogether. I no longer believe that. I now see us in a delicate partnership with animals, which has taken me down the path of looking deeply at our historical relationship with animals and traditional foods. There’s a long tale behind my journey back to health that I attribute back to grass fed beef and a different understanding of the evolutionary partnership between man and animal that used to be respectful before we put them in factories and treated them like products.
That is the reason I am so passionate today about humanely reared animals on pasture. That is perhaps a story for another day and a long one at that, so back to why I advocate homemade beef stock so avidly. Whenever I look into the topic of deep nutrition and traditional nutrition, I find homemade stock of some description.
There was a time when we knew almost intuitively, before factories, marketing and corporations decided to make refined factory food an attractive norm, how to extract maximum nutrition from what we had. Traditional societies knew how to extract maximum nutrition from the land and animals around them. Bone broths and stock have been a part of life for centuries. Before factories started giving us convenient powdered cubes of additives and we sacrificed nutrition and flavor for convenience, sugar, chemicals and machine food. The chronicles of Dr Weston Price of the superior dentistry, bone formation and lack of disease amongst traditional societies who were eating protein and fat from well nourished, wholly pastured animals is also telling and makes for interesting reading (www.westonaprice.org).
The inclusion of bone broths which is just another term for home made beef stock really and the most potent home made protein and calcium supplement you can take, is one that I’m really keen to tell. It has become a staple food in my household.
There is an ‘x’ factor about stock that children respond to. When you give them soup or stew with a home made beef stock base, something makes them go moggy for it, as if there is a 6th sense in their bodies that yells for more of that condensed source of minerals and trace elements that growing bodies need.
They are full of protein, calcium, phosphorous, gelatin, amino acids (arginine, glycine and proline), collagen, sulfur and sodium. There is an overwhelming abundance of literature on the benefits of beef stock on the web, just type ‘bone broth’ into your search engine and read, read, read.
It is one of the single most ingredients of a nutrient dense diet in my opinion and a great start on your real food journey. Rather make your own beef stock (bone broth) with clean bones from grass-fed animals than have a food corporate or pharmaceutical ground and dry up the bones from feedlot animals and sell it back to you as a calcium supplement. It won’t come anywhere as close in clean nutrition to that you’d get from making it yourself. And that is what they do.
I’m actually in a bit of a panic this morning because we usually have beef and chicken stock going permanently in my slow cooker – and we’ve had a lapse and have gone through all the stock in the freezer for soups of late and only have a new beef stock on now that will only be ready in another 2 days time. Panic!
I can’t keep anything made with home made stock in the house for very long, children especially will mow through bowls of soup, it is deeply flavorful and so nutritious.
If you’ve got a slow cooker, it is no trouble at all, it doesn’t draw much energy and it’s a cheap way to get great nutrition from bones.
The best bones to use are ones with cartilage because that yields stock with high, high collagen – you see it because as soon as your stock chills it literally turns to jelly – that’s the gelatin – start including bone broth as a regular part of your diet and watch what happens to your nails, skin and hair – they grow like wild fire and are super strong….try it and call me!
Never mind all the above, if you’re just a junky for deep flavor in your food, let that alone be a reason for keeping home made beef and chicken stock permanently going in your slow cooker – store stocks cannot compete with home-made stock for flavor and will be full of genetically modified soy, corn starch, additives, sugar and preservatives to boot.

  • Blow the dust off your slow cooker. It is not an 80’s relic, it is now your new best friend. It is a vital part of your real and slow food journey. Your slow cooker is what will help you make nutritious food, conveniently. Used correctly, you can put half an hour into a meal before work, head off to work while your slow cooker does the rest.
  • Get your hands on good beef stock and marrow bones. Preferably choose these from healthy animals that have been reared on their natural diet, which is grass! You don’t want to defeat the whole purpose here and buy from animals that have been growth hormones and antibiotics and an unnatural feedlot diet. I do not believe that the bones of animals raised that way can be as nutritious.
  • Place them in roasting tin, drizzle over some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them for about 20 minutes in a hot oven – 200 degrees.
  • Remove from the roasting pan and throw them into your slow cooker. The pre-roasting imparts a caramelized tone to your broth and really makes it more flavorful. It’s just not the same if you don’t.
  • Throw in a couple of whole carrots (greens on if you’ve got), a leek, a whole onion and a couple of sticks of celery, a few whole peppercorns and NB – 1 TB of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps leach out the calcium and minerals from the bones into the broth.
  • Then fill the slow cooker with filtered water. Put it on low and leave it for 3 days!!

Whenever the water gets low, just top it up and keep it going. When you eventually move the stock, the bones should almost disintegrate into your hand, so soft because all their substance is in the minerals now in your broth.
You can take out a cup or 2 of broth while it’s going when you need it, just keep topping it up. I’ve been known to let it go for a full 4 days before using it, the longer you leave it, the more flavorful and nutrient dense it is.
When it’s over, pour it into a broad glass bowl, allow to cool and then refrigerate until the fat has hardened to a crust at the top of the bowl. The fat will be a solid layer on the top, remove it – bottle it to use for cooking – this is tallow. Your stock will either be liquid or gelatinous depending on how much collagen was in the bones.
Store it in 500ml containers and freeze for use in all your stews and soups.
Then start your chicken stock! And when you need to move your weekly manicure a week earlier because your nails are growing so quickly, think of me and tell me, I promise I won’t sing that tired old ‘I told you so’ song your grandmother used to. But it is true, ‘I told you so’!
Read More On Benefits of Bone Broth:

Youtube Clips Of Interest:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MeCx53Ag-w
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lReu6PaTVEo
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmxvWwYHma0


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