Bone broth is an incredibly nourishing food that has been lost in the modern American diet. When Matt began hunting 3 years ago, we made bone broth in an attempt to use as much of the animal as possible. We were sold from the very first pot of divine broth that no bouillon cube could ever match. It has since become an indispensable part of our cooking, going into stews, soups, stir-fries, and sauces. We pressure can it in pint jars and freeze it in ice-cube trays for throwing into dishes for a burst of flavor. We use all of the bones from Matt’s caribou plus some from my parent’s caribou, and sometimes we even get more bones from the butcher to make additional stock.
Not only is bone broth delicious, but it’s extremely good for you as well. It gives you strong bones, teeth, tendons, and connective tissue, it protects the integrity of your digestive track, and it helps digest meats and other food. Bone broth is rich is the amino acid glycine, which balances methionine, another amino acid found in meat and eggs. Methionine can disrupt cellular communication leading to a number of issues such as mental disorders or cancer. (Source: The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell) This is why it is always good to use bone broth in a sauce when you are cooking meat. Bone broth is especially good to use when you are pregnant or trying to heal tooth decay.
Caribou (or moose, beef, or bison) Stock
- 6 pounds caribou bones cut into 2-4 inch pieces. Include some that have marrow such as leg bones and some that are meaty such as ribs or neck vertebrae.
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 1 pound carrots roughly chopped
- 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped, including some leaves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 small tomatoes, chopped, or ½ cup canned tomatoes
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 4 parsley stalks
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs tarragon, optional
- 2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 450º. Put the bones and the vegetables into a roasting pan (or two) and roast 30-40 minutes until they are medium brown. Use tongs to put vegetables and bones into a large stainless steel stockpot (do NOT use an aluminum pan!). Pour off accumulated fat and deglaze pan with 1 cup of water on stovetop. Scrape up tidbits on the pan and then pour it into stockpot.
Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover bones by a few inches and bring to a boil. Simmer slowly for 6-12 hours, skimming off any scum that floats to the top. Add more water as necessary to keep bones submerged. Strain the stock, pressing all the liquid out of the ingredients. Let cool and skim off the fat that congeals on the surface or use a degreasing pitcher. You may also return the stock to the stovetop and boil gently to reduce it further.
To can your bone broth, reheat it to boiling and pour into glass jars. Put on lids and process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes for pints, or 25 minutes for quarts.