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Newbie Needs Bone Broth Help

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 25, 2012 at 12:36 AM

Ok So I'm about 6 weeks in to eating Paleo and finally decided to give Bone Broth a shot. I keep reading how good it is etc. I kept things simple cause it's my first time. I read that adding veggies can make the broth "bitter" so all I made it with were marrow bones. (These were cheaper than the oxtails to be honest and I didn't want to spend too much in case I messed up.) I know I could have also put bones in the oven first but didn't this time. ...So I bought a bag of marrow bones, brought them home, threw them in my crock pot, filled it to cover them with filtered water, added a splash of apple cider vinegar and left it over night. Occasionally I opened the lid and skimmed off the foam from the top. After 24 hours, I let it cool, removed the bones. (They still had soft marrow in their centers which fell out when removing bones from the pot.) I strained the broth into a glass container, skimming some fat off the top which has formed while it was cooling. Then I took my first taste, spooning off the top...ICK! It tastes like watered down, fatty, greasy.... kitchen sponge lol I thought maybe I was just getting the taste of the fat which would separate eventually. So I grabbed a straw and went deep, hoping for a better flavor. NOPE! EWW. I keep reading how people can't wait to get their hands on a bowl of this stuff, what did I do wrong? I know it could be fancier but shouldn't it least have a good flavor? Will cooling it in the fridge over night improve it at all? I'm so sad lol Paleo Hacks People, please help the newbie if you would...

312537f2ecb216c830c3fd351efcfbbc

(110)

on June 02, 2013
at 09:36 PM

great question! I am currently waiting and reading as much as I can before I start my 1st official bone broth. I want to heal my gut and get rid of heavy metals/mercury so I want to make sure I do it right.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on October 25, 2012
at 04:26 AM

(I know you aren't doing that, but I know some non-cooks might not make the distinction.)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on October 25, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Can I add a warning, though? A lot of folks won't care for the flavor of cabbage, broccoli and other crucifers in their broth. Maybe as added in a soup, but they can be a bit pungent for broth. I suggest that the OP adds those goodies at the end to taste, not like she might add carrots and onions.

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10 Answers

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2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 25, 2012
at 01:37 AM

We have to start by admitting you may not particuarly enjoy "pure bone broth." I never have it as a pure item myself, but use it in stews and sauces and it improves the flavor of everything to which I add it--according to MY taste buds.

I start with beef bones--ideally, a mix of marrow bones with meat scraps and plenty of both marrow and cartiledge. My favorites are shank cross-sections and sliced beef foot bones. I usually don't bother with vinegar although it's fine if I happen to think of it. I also like to have stew beef or beef shank meat or any other cheap cut. I never skim or remove anything but the clean bones.

If I make a pork broth I skim the fat that rises to the top but keep the fat that stays somewhat solid on the meat. I do that because the fat that boils out doesn't really agree with me; to my taste buds it even has a sour aftertaste while the fat that stays solid is sweet.

With enough water to cover, I slow-cook (low) the mix for 3-4 hours and then add root veggies such as rutabaga, carrots, white/sweet potatoes, etc. I then continue cooking until the bones are completely clean and I can scoop them out without losing any marrow or cartiledge. At that point I add "tender" veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, yellow squash. When those are done it's ready to eat and it's usually a thick stew rather than a broth or soup.

Note: Sometimes I stop at the point I would've added the tender veggies. I cool the pot and freeze in large portions, which then serve as bases for stews that are finished with different tender veggies to minimize the boredom factor.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on October 25, 2012
at 04:26 AM

(I know you aren't doing that, but I know some non-cooks might not make the distinction.)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on October 25, 2012
at 04:26 AM

Can I add a warning, though? A lot of folks won't care for the flavor of cabbage, broccoli and other crucifers in their broth. Maybe as added in a soup, but they can be a bit pungent for broth. I suggest that the OP adds those goodies at the end to taste, not like she might add carrots and onions.

best answer

3
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 25, 2012
at 02:55 AM

Part of the reason for making and drinking bone broth is for the gelatin. So, you need gelatinous bones as well as marrow bones. This plus Nance's answer should enable you to make a good bone broth.

2
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on October 25, 2012
at 04:30 AM

I think roasting beef bones really makes a big difference. I recently found some poorly cut beef ribs and used those for stock - they were lovely. I threw them on a sheet pan and browned the heck out of them in a very hot oven, then tossed them (interiors still underdone) with some water for stock. I then browned the heck out of carrot and onion and a little celery, and threw those in too, a bit later on. The caramelization really does add oomph and you just need a very hot oven. Nothing about it needs to be exact.

And try doing chicken broth in the slow cooker overnight. I'm always super pleased with those batches.

Edited to add: I don't drink this stuff straight either. It goes into sauces and soups and gratins and everything else. Freeze it in small portions and it's easy to be creative with.

2
34997c76c8ce232f28942f233e180f18

on October 25, 2012
at 12:58 AM

I find that adding in some sea salt makes its delicious. no matter how much fat is in there :p

1
Cdaf7199895ec3943b2b43f78693c9ef

(45)

on November 26, 2012
at 11:01 AM

Everyone says that the most nutritious broth is from fish, but doesn't boiling fish for so long denature the Omega3s?

312537f2ecb216c830c3fd351efcfbbc

(110)

on June 02, 2013
at 09:36 PM

great question! I am currently waiting and reading as much as I can before I start my 1st official bone broth. I want to heal my gut and get rid of heavy metals/mercury so I want to make sure I do it right.

1
52e1f9bc31c78d0e2e792302dd86dbc2

on October 25, 2012
at 02:51 PM

Thank you SO much everyone for all the awesome advice!! I think I have some good ideas on how to do things differently next time (need to buy better ingredients, add some veggies) and invest more effort (roast meat, add and subtract items over time). I am also thinking that my initial action was to put the crock pot on "high" for a bit since I put the bones in frozen at first and I wanted to get things going. Big Mistake. Huge. :P Overheating may be a good part of the problem here. Clearly my broth needs more love than I gave it! Not giving up. Again, thanks for your time and awesome help, much appreciated! <3

1
886860d450138ddbe8d462880d16d90e

on October 25, 2012
at 03:27 AM

I have found a huge taste difference between bone broth made with bones from grass fed cows and bones from "normal" cows - the grass fed bone broth tastes good to me, the other does not.

Also the crock pot needs to have a real low setting - the boil should be very slight. And I always add some salt to the portion I am drinking, this ups the palatability a lot.

Lately I have been combining shin bones and marrow bones, and enjoying the meat I get off the shin bones and the overall flavor of the broth.

1
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on October 25, 2012
at 03:26 AM

I always add "aromatic" veggies-- celery, carrot, and onion. These are discarded if the broth simmers 24 hours, but DH likes them in a 3-4 hour broth. IMHO they enhance flavor and don't add bitterness.

I cool the broth and skim the fat (the little that remains is sufficient to flavor the broth). And salt is a MUST but I only add it to reheated broth so I don't have to worry about concentrating the salt if I concentrate the broth.

1
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on October 25, 2012
at 01:18 AM

Hey Pam it's possible it was too hot, if you let the stock boil too long it can cause off flavors. It's good to have just a gentle simmer like shown here. Like you said browning the bones adds flavor, and also if you throw in some meaty bones that would help as well. Ideally oxtail would work the best but any old meat on the bone will do. I like Sarah's site for stocks and soup that lady knows her stuff. Sean had a good video with Dr. Cate that I liked as well. Hope this helps you some, good luck!

0
2436f4e6d010656b346629a77e9599dd

on October 25, 2012
at 02:20 AM

I always stick my broth in the fridge overnight. Much of the fat rises to the top and congeals. I take it off (easiest way is to lay down a paper towel on it and peel them both back up) and then make soup out of it by adding veggies (sauteed onion, celery, carrot) and chunks of meat (beef if beef bones, chicken with chicken) and SALT (as Yes said above).

The one time I skipped the fridge/fat removal step, my soup turned out totally gross. I like to have wholesome fat in my diet, but I get it elsewhere!

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