Monday, February 20, 2012

Bones, Bones, Bones

Don't worry my house is not burning down.  The smoke detectors will quit sounding soon.  It is  butchering time again.  In my husbands' family, we butcher cattle every other year.  This is the year and now is the time.  It has hardly been cold enough.  I will spare you the lovely details of butchering.  Instead I will talk about stock.  Yes, I make my own. For many reasons:

1. It's cheaper.
2. It's healthier.
3. It tastes better.
4.We have to do something with all the bones left over.

I know you're dying to know.  So I won't make you wait any longer.

There are a couple ways to make stock.  I have chosen a recipe from the  Grassfed Gourmet cookbook.  This a book that my husband and I got as a wedding present.  Some friends of ours from church who raise grassfed animals gave it to use, fittingly.  I would recommend the book.  The pork chop recipe is also good. 

Basically all you have to do is brown the bones, stick them in water, add any veggie scraps you can find and let it simmer.  Simmer it a long time. Oh, and add a little vinegar and salt.   This can also be done with chicken also.  Often times when I buy those nice salty whole rotisserie chickens I'll take the bones and make stock.

Storing the stock. 
The easiest thing to do is use up first.  But then you wont have any for later.  Cannning it is nice because you can store it anywhere forever, but you have to use pressure cooker.  This takes a while and heats up your house (good in the winter, bad in the summer.)  I prefer to freeze my stock if I have the freezer space.  This time I am just making room for it anyway.  As seen in the photo above, spoon the stock in mason jars.  First strain the liquid with a strainer.  (Anything left over makes great dog food and anything after that goes to the compost.)
REMEMBER to leave a good inch or more of head space.  I didn't and four of my jars cracked in the freezer.  When liquids freeze they expand. It's nature.
That's about it for stock.  Now when you need stock for soup or cooking your grains in, you have a healthier alternative to the salty water from the store.

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