One of my favorites, bone broth is an ancient recipe, and a healthy addition to your pet's bowl.
Bone broth contains two important amino acids. Proline tightens and restores cell structure, and Glycine supports the production of collagen, which helps prevent intestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut).
Following, you have an idea of how I prepare Dora’s bone broth. It doesn’t mean you will need to use the same technique or ingredients to enrich your broth. Please, follow your heart and I am sure yours will be as nutritious as hers.
I like to use organic fresh food whenever it’s possible.
For approximately two liters of broth, you will need:
* you can add or switch the beef marrow bones to: chicken, turkey, rabbit bones, etc. Chicken feet is also great; this stock produces a solid gel.
At the butchery: Ask your butcher to cut the marrow bones in small pieces to
better fit in the saucepan or stockpot.
I choose basil because of its digestible properties, and carrot because it’s rich in Vitamin A, which helps with collagen synthesis. Want a perfect combination?
I’ve learned that turmeric and ginger roots, traditional ingredients in Ayurvedic Cooking (a rational way to prepare food to nourish body and spirit), are natural anti-inflammatory foods. Both roots also improve digestion and help the immune system.
In my kitchen, I never run out of turmeric paste (a mixture of turmeric powder, black pepper and coconut oil). The recipe above has the right proportion of basic turmeric paste ingredients to provide the same nutritional value.
Wow! But, can dogs eat pepper?
Yes. With moderation, it’s totally safe. In this case, the black pepper is used to potentiate the turmeric nutrients. A little bit of pepper is enough to increase the bioavailability of saffron by 2000%. You read it right: two thousand percent.
1. First things first
Soak the bones in water with apple cider vinegar for one hour. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, add pure fresh lemon juice. The vinegar or lemon acidity is important; it helps to transfer to the broth the minerals contained in the bones.
2. Bring to boil
This is not an obligatory step. If you are going to use the broth as the basis for many other recipes like I do, I strongly recommend it. Before setting the bones for final cooking, add cold water to the saucepan, set it over a high flame and bring to boil.
A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove it, with a spoon or using a sieve.
3. Cooking for 24 hours
After you have skimmed the initial boiled broth, transfer it with the bones to the stockpot, or if you are going to cook in the saucepan, reduce heat and add other ingredients, except for the coconut oil.
Add water, if necessary, to cover the bones; the liquid level should be at or below, one inch down from the rim of the pot, as the volume may expand slightly during cooking.
Set the timer for 24h. If using the stove, make sure to keep the fire with a very low flame, watching the cooking from time to time to make sure it won’t come to boil anymore.
People ask me if 24 hours are really necessary…
Cooking time is determinant for mineral detachment from the bones. In this case, “cooking” means enriching the broth with nutrients. That's the goal.
Please, remember: we are talking about slow cooking. Only the long, slow-cooking of meats and bones dissolves collagens and gelatins, which enrich the liquid with flavor and a bounty of nutrients.
It is hard to measure the water temperature while cooking at the stove. The fact is, water boils and evaporates quietly, which does not happen in the stockpot. If you are going to prepare at the stove, you will need to be more attentive to the stew, just to ensure that it will not dry and stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Make sure you fill with water whenever necessary. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that the lower the broth, the more gelatinous and firm.
4. Taking the bones off
After 24 hours, everything will be very soft. Scrape the spoon into the bones to loosen marrow as well as any meat and cartilage. Let's enjoy it all!
Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon.
5. Final steps
Now that you have a very rich broth, use the blender to mix solid ingredients other than the bones. Pass the thick liquid through a sieve.
The coconut oil is added at the very end, while the broth is still warm. When finished, let it cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer it to smaller containers.
You can freeze them or, even better, you can set the broth into ice molds for exact measures. It will last for months!
I am a Portuguese writer with certifications on Small Animal Nutrition.