Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recipe: Lamb Bone Broth

I love Easter, and as a Greek tradition, my family always has lamb at our Easter feast. This year was my turn to prepare the lamb - a feat I had never tried before. I cooked the entire meal and gave my mom the day off from cooking. I had such a blast doing all the cooking, and the meal was amazing! After we picked the lamb clean, I was feeling bad about throwing away the lamb bone because there was so much goodness still left on it, even though it was in little pieces. My mom suggested I boil it and make a lamb broth. So that's just what I did.

Recipe: Lamb Bone Broth
The great thing about broths is you can use pretty much anything you have on hand to put in the broth. Any veggies, spices, etc will work to help flavor your broth. I used carrots, celery, and onion and no spices. I wanted the flavor of the lamb to speak for the broth...that and my lamb was already seasoned from the meal. To make this broth, I used filtered water from my refrigerator. Everything I saw online suggested filtered water because any extra minerals in the water can affect the taste of the broth. I've made broths with tap water before and never had a problem, so its entirely up to you.

I choose to make this in a crock pot so that it can simmer as long as I want it to, without the risk of an open flame in my kitchen (we have a gas stove). It's a lengthy process but oh, so worth it!

2 carrots, cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered
1 lamb bone - I used a leg bone, but you can use any bone
Enough water to cover the bone by 2 inches
Crock pot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1. Using a heavy knife, split the lamb bone at the knee (if using a leg). If you have a knife heavy enough to cut the bone into 2 inch pieces, do that. If not, just cutting at the knee will work.

2. Place the bone in the crock pot, and add the veggies. Pour enough water over the top of the bone to cover it by 2-inches. The vegetables will float.

3. Add the apple cider vinegar to the pot and give it a little stir. Cover and allow to sit for an hour - this draws the calcium out of the bone.

4. After an hour, give the broth another stir and then turn the crock pot to low. Let simmer for 48 hours, stirring occasionally. This is why a crock pot is handy. You can literally set it and forget it. You'll notice after about 12 hours, that the broth is darker and may be starting to simmer. This is when it gets good. The longer it simmers, the darker the broth, the more tasty it becomes.

5. After 48 hours, turn off the crock pot. Strain the broth through a sieve using a ladle.

6. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool. This will cause the broth to solidify and all of the fat to rise to the top.

NOTE: If the broth doesn't solidify, that's ok. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. It just means you didn't tap into the marrow in the middle of the bone. Mine didn't solidify.

7. Once cooled, scrape off the congealed fat. Feel free to put the remaining broth back in the refrigerator to allow more fat to come off. I left mine in the fridge for 24 hours.


8.  Spoon the broth into a large saucepan, a little at a time to melt it down. Skip this step if your broth didn't solidify. Mine didn't.

I took cup sized portions, put them into ziplock freezer bags, and placed them on a cookie sheet in my freezer. The broth will last 6 months to a year in the freezer

11.5 cups of broth! Just under 3 quarts!

Oh, and just because I think its really funny, this is what the bone looks like after simmering for 48 hours. The knee literally fell apart as the connective tissue holding it together disintegrated.

So now what? You've got all this broth. What can you use it for? Well, you can substitute this broth in any recipe. Or, you can do what we're doing and make this: Leftover Lamb Curry. Come back tomorrow for my review of this recipe!


CAT said...

Just found your recipe which looks delicious. Is the fat that's being scraped off as it cools, fat or the gelatin from the bones? I want the broth for the gelatin purpose. I wouldn't think there would be fat off or from inside the bone? I'm just getting into bone broth now. Can't wait to try the broth.

Many Thanks,
Cheryl T.

Sara with an H said...

Yes, it is fat that I'm scraping off. We had leg of lamb for Easter dinner and I used the leftover bones after pulling off as much of the meat as possible. That's where the fat came from. In my experience with broth, the gelatin from the bone doesn't separate from the broth itself. I think the reason mine didn't gel is because I put the bones in the crockpot whole. I didn't have a cleaver at the time to cut the bone into pieces. I believe its the marrow inside the bone that causes it to gel. It is indeed very good for you! I've made broth that gels and broth that doesn't, and both still taste great! Another thing I do is I'll put a whole chicken in the crock pot, let it simmer all day, and then use the leftover carcass to make broth. I also do this with my leftover turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. And when I'm prepping vegetables for other meals, I'll save the peelings in a ziplock bag in the freezer(onions, carrots, celery, garlic work best) and when I'm ready to make broth, I pull that out and use that for my veggies.