This weekend I made another batch of broth, something I do every 2-3 weeks. I was out of leftover chicken/turkey carcasses and only had a ham bone from a relic of a spiral sliced ham we had around Christmas. So, I was faced with buying some bones. My local market regularly has these. Imagine my surprise to find that they are no longer cheap or free! After paying $1.90/lb for 4 lbs of bones (most of which appeared to be upper femurs and pelvises from young cows) I trundled home along with the rest of my groceries.
To get the best flavor, you need to roast the bones. I splashed mine with some olive oil and salt and stuck them in the oven at 350 for about an hour. They did smell delicious and rendered off a nice bit of fat (that I gave to the chickens).
Then, they and my old ham bone went into the stock pot with the usual suspects: onion, garlic (fresh and some leftover roasted garlic), fennel root, celery, and carrots. I have a huge 8 quart pot, and I added just enough water to cover everything, probably about 6 quarts of water (24 cups). After 8 hours simmering, I added fennel seeds, star anise, allspice berries, cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaves, a quarter of a lemon, and pepper corns. I cooked it for another hour with the spices. Then it was ready to be strained and filtered. After that I gave it another hour to reduce, tasted it and added some salt. It was a pretty brown, but I wanted it darker and sweeter, so I added a tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet (shhh. . . don’t tell anyone!) and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Owing to the all the marrow, the broth was/is really rich.
It yielded 20 cups of shimmery and gelatinous, mahogany broth. But I forgot to take a picture!
But, have no fear; I have pictures of many other broth adventures. You know, some people take pictures of sunsets or cats, but I take pictures of broth . . . well, at least some of the time.
p.s. I gave the leftover meat/cartilage bits, carrots, celery and garlic to the dogs. No wonder they hang around the kitchen! (Sorry, no cooked bones or onions for dogs!)