4

votes

Can I just eat cartilage to get some of the nutritional benefits I would out of bone broth?

Answered on April 04, 2018
Created May 05, 2012 at 7:00 AM

I was thinking about this earlier while thinking about menudo as I was munching on a piece of oxtail. When I tried to make bone broth, it pretty much failed, even though I used cartilage-y pieces of bone. The broth wasn't gelatinous at all. But everytime I've had menudo and refrigerated it, the broth has become rich and jiggly. This got me wondering about the nutritional benefits of bone broth versus just eating cartilage.

Of course, the advantage of menudo is that you get the long- and slow-cooked broth AND you can eat the cartilage from ankle bones and such--or, at least, I do, as does everyone else in my family who enjoys menudo.

But tonight, my mom and I made cocido (vegetable & meat soup) with oxtail, and the bones were only simmered for an hour or two--a little below what's usually recommended in recipes for bone broth. Barring the extraction of calcium and other minerals from bones that require longer simmering, couldn't I just eat faster-cooked cartilage to receive its benefits (e.g. from its collagen) instead of allowing pieces of cartilage-y bone to simmer for hours and then throwing them out?

Okay, I do hope this made sense. Defer to the title of this post if any confusion ensues. (:

9c4ba98a3b480408bcf207f558fe659b

(355)

on May 06, 2012
at 08:03 AM

How do you prepare/cook the tendon?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 05, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Bone broth doesn't have to be gelatinous.

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:53 PM

hip hip hooray! lol.

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3 Answers

4
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I don't drink bone broth anymore. Instead, I eat tendon pho.

Why? Laziness! I'm too lazy to make batches regularly, and it smells funky to me, even laced with cooking veggie smells.

Tendon, along with meat on the bone, seems like it would provide a more concentrated source of nutrients than bone broth. You can freeze tendon in the cooked or uncooked state. Tendon has a smooth texture that is reminiscent of fat. Three cheers for tendon. Hip hip...hooray!!

E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

(1507)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:53 PM

hip hip hooray! lol.

9c4ba98a3b480408bcf207f558fe659b

(355)

on May 06, 2012
at 08:03 AM

How do you prepare/cook the tendon?

2
03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on May 05, 2012
at 02:21 PM

If you look at things in the "Nose to Tail" perspective, there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating the cartilage. Western Culture, and especially the industrial-minded American food culture, spurns many bits of the animal that other places in the world enjoy. A friend of mine that visited Japan on a study abroad used to make fun of me for not eating all the meat on the chicken wing, and talked about how you could order just the chicken "knuckles" as an appetizer. My wife, on the other hand, gets grossed out that I eat all the meat off the bone while she leaves several bites of meat on there. The french prize the tip of a poultry tail and the "oyster" (equivalent of a loin) on the spine of the bird, where in some dishes they eat the entire animal whole (Ortolan)!

Point being is: eat the cartilage for whatever reason you want. Yes, the nutrition is there.

0
44b0440f2c1176ed9650a8adbec2af6b

on April 04, 2018
at 02:18 AM

Pure cartilage is a better source of collagen than bones, but it's more expensive.  I own a pho resrautant.  We pay $0.75 per pound for nice, cartilagenous beef bone knuckles, but we pay almost $4.00 per pound for tendons.  And oxtails are even pricier than that.  If tendons were as cheap as bones, we'd use way more of them, but as things stand we only add just a few tendons to the broth, in order to slice them for customers.  And yeah they taste great (in moderation).  Once I made a tendon sandwich and couldn't finish it.  Too gooey.

 

The point of bone broth is that it's supposed to be healthy AND economical; in other words, it's a way to get the flavor and nutrition out of something normally discarded (bones).  If you can get your hands on better stuff like tendons, etc., then by all means go for it.  But if bones are what you have, then you just need to use a lot.

 

A rule of thumb is that your pot should be completely full of bones; in other words, when you add the water, it should cover the bones and no more (unless some of the water is going to cook off in the process).  It requires around two pounds of bones and other meats to produce a quart of broth (enough for a large serving of pho) in our restaurant.  This means that the food cost of a bowl of pho is more than half broth; the broth costs us more to produce than the noodles, meats, vegetables, garnishes, and sauces combined.  If your broth is not gelling when cooled, you may not be using enough bones, or you may not be cooking it long enough.  12 hours is pretty reasonable.

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