I have something to be victorious about: I think I finally made some really good broth.
Good broth essentially = gel. If you’ve ever made homemade stock and had it gel, good job! The gelling means that you’ve extracted the good stuff (i.e. minerals and such) from the bones you’re cooking. I think I previously would’ve assumed that gel was fat, but, it isn’t. The actual fat separates from the broth and rises to the top of it once it’s cooled. You can skim it off at that point and have good ol’ not-as-fatty stock.
This was my second time attempting homemade stock, and I can pretty much tell you why this one went well and the first one didn’t: 1. The first time, I wanted a completely strained, unclouded broth, plus I didn’t have a mesh strainer, so after cooking the broth, I strained it through a colander with a paper towel. It worked, but it got rid of most of the fat and any little bits (which in reality probably make the broth healthier/tastier). 2. I cooked it longer. The first time I cooked it was just around four or five hours; this time it was at least six, maybe seven. In Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions, she says you can cook it way longer than that, maybe even 24 hours or something… but apparently that’s not totally necessary, unless you’d really like to do so. 3. There were more bones and meat cooking in the liquid, which probably made it a more enriched or intensive broth.
I wish I had pictures… alas, I didn’t take any, and I don’t have Internet at home. Maybe someday. (Or, maybe in about two months, when we move out of our current [lame] apartment.)
Have you ever made broth? It’s very healthy, much tastier in soups and such than canned broth from the store, and much more economical. Try it out! Oh, it’s also really easy, it just requires a little planning, patience and know-how.