Last time we talked about bone broth. Specifically, we talked about using marrow bones to get a nice beefy broth good to drink or to use in smoothies or soups. But there are more bones out there than just marrow bones. Chicken, venison, pork, and goat are some of the ones available. All of these can be cooked together or by species in the crockpot for 36-48 hours and will produce a nice broth.
I tend to make my broths on the stove top and I do it for a shorter time period. Earlier this week we had chicken in milk. After we ate the chicken, I took all the bones, the carcass, the meat that was still on the bones and any skin and put it in a 4 quart pot. I filled it up with water to within 1 1/2 in. from the top. (If I can’t cover my bones with water, then I will use the 8 qt. stockpan.)
Then I put the lid on and brought it to a boil. Once it started to boil I turned it down to low and let it simmer for 3-4 hours. (I cook over gas and tend to have a hot stove top. If low doesn’t let you simmer the broth, then you need to turn the heat up a little so that it simmers.)
Then I turned it off to cool, so that I could handle it. And this time since I didn’t have time to handle it, I put it in the refrigerator so that it wouldn’t spoil.
When I pulled it out several days later, the broth had become soupy solid, a gelatin. As I wanted to use it and it is easier to get out of the container when it is a liquid, I heated it up again until it was not longer a solid. Then I added it to the soup pot, thinned it with some water and set my soup to boiling. I picked the bones over to get the rest of the meat off and set the meat aside for another meal for another day.
This method is a touch faster than the crockpot method. However, it doesn’t pull as many nutrients out as it could. But if the broth gets to the gelatinous stage, I consider it adequate. And the only way to tell if it is a gelatin is to cool it. In my experience 3 hours tends to be sufficient. Even if it doesn’t get gelatinous, I will still use it and won’t try to cook it down longer.
Once I make a broth I like to use it or freeze it. All broths can be used for all things. Chicken broth has the mildest flavor and is the most versatile. Beef broth or venison broth is good for vegetable soups. Pork broth or goat broth is good for bean soups. Smoked ham broth is good for bean soup or for split pea soup. All broths can be used for soups or as the liquid to cook rice or as liquid with veggies that you would put over rice.
If you purchase meat, look at it as being several meals, especially if it has bones. The meat proper is one meal, leftovers are for a second (or more) meal, and the broth is part of a third meal.