Friday, April 27, 2012

Beef Broth

Several weeks ago, we ordered a quarter of a cow... and got about 118 lbs of beef. That's a lot of beef...

One of the first things I did, as the weather was still cool and this would free up a great deal of space, was to make broth from the bones.

Is this a gross picture? I'm not sure...
The broth had lots of fat...
But after refrigeration, fat is easy to lift off. And to show you what really good broth looks like, out of the fridge...

Yes, that is a table knife. standing up. See, what's making it like that is the cold, plus gelatin. And gelatin is protein. That broth is so full of protein it will knock your socks off and taste absolutely delish.

But after one set of bones, I had a gallon and a half of broth, and enough bones to do this two more times. Oh, dear. I'm good with having that much broth, but my freezer just isn't big enough. I remembered that Nourished Kitchen had a post about making bouillon, so I decided to do that.

I pulled out my biggest pot and set the broth to boiling. I figured out that when I had about 4 or 5 cups left (starting with gallon and a half), that I must have started with stronger broth. First, I used more bones than she specifies in her recipe, and at 4 or 5 cups of broth left after boiling down, it was starting to stick and burn to the bottom of the pot.

Nearing the end of the reducing time. Took me about 2 hours to take it from 1.5 gallons to 4 cups.
The blog post directs you to add gelatin at this point, but I, in my stubborn, rebellion and improvising nature, decided not to. It was already very thick and, I didn't think, would need any help solidifying.

bullion cubes
I'm sure my tad-less-than-1 inch-by-1 inch cubes are stronger than what you'd get if you followed the recipe exactly (I haven't had a chance to use any yet) and I'm storing my in the freezer (call me paranoid, please feel free), but they actually look inviting. That is, they look like caramels. but I doubt they are sweet. No, I know they aren't sweet.

I promise to try and use them soon so I can tell how they turned out for their intended purpose.

I got to use the cubes tonight. My cubes are really about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch and perhaps only 1/2 tall. so they are small. I used 5 cubes to flavor 1 1/2 cups of hot-hot water for use in our stir fry. It came out pretty good. I think these cubes came out well and its worth doing if you have broth, but not the freezer space.

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