Beef broth soothes the digestion and produces easy-to-absorb minerals including calcium. Made with bones, it is a low-cost way of sustaining your health. Bones cost a few pounds.
(Apologies to vegetarians and vegans and please let us know your best tonics.)
“A good broth will resurrect the dead,”
– South American proverb.
Read more about broth’s healing powers at the Weston Price Foundation and the way broth also delivers easy-to-absorb broken-down material from cartilage and tendons that might help arthritis and joint pain.
I bought the beef rib bones from Sheepdrove Organic Farm for £2.50 per kg.
Why organic? Because I want to eat meat from an animal which has not been given routine antibiotics, which has chewed fresh grass in the fields as nature intended (not convenience-food grain that gives the beast a belly-ache), and can follow its natural animal behaviour.
I used a recipe from Gut Gastronomy by nutritional therapist Vicky Edgson and Grayshott spa chef Adam Palmer based on the spa’s health regime. Published by Jacqui Small, this fine book with beautiful images by Lisa Linder is filled with highly nutritious recipes to help increase digestive health, and repair and nourish the body.
The Gut Gastronomy recipe uses beef marrow bones.
Here is the recipe (for four) slightly adapted.
3 kg (6lb 10 oz) beef marrow bones – ask the butcher to chop them into manageable chunks, about 3-5 cms (1-2 inches) pieces
4 carrots, 3 large onions, 4 celery sticks (optional), roughly chopped
5 litres (8 3/4 pints/20 cups) of cold water
(I used my biggest pan, about 5 pints, and this made a lovely, concentrated broth)
2 bay leaves, 10 whole peppercorns
If you have some, add half bunch of thyme.
I also added dried chilli for extra hotness.
Roast the cut bones in a large roasting dish for 30 – 40 minutes at Gas Mark 7.
Drain 2 teaspoons of the fat from the bones into a large saucepan and sauté the veg.
(There was no fat from my rib bones so I omitted this stage and added the carrots and onions at the next stage, without frying them.)
Add the bay leaves, peppercorns (and dried chilli), sprigs of thyme and roasted bones and cover with 5 litres (8 3/4 pints/ 20 cups) of cold water. Skim any fat as you bring it to a simmer. Gently cook for 5 – 6 hours.
Broth is served clear, strained of meat and vegetables. Strain to make consommé, and cool before freezing. I shredded the plentiful meat from the bones and made several servings of delicious broth with meat (see top pic).
I swear I cured my poor inflamed gums thanks to this healing soup.
Fellow blogger, Annie Levy at Kitchen Counter Culture, suggested I used some of the broth for borscht, which I did, using my grandmother’s recipe.
And that is for the next blog post.
Update (January 2016): This recipe cured another bout of gum infection after two days of drinking 5 pints of the above broth (this time made with non-organic bones). It worked its magic.