How to Make Oxtail Bone Broth to Build Bone Health
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©2013 Shanna Lea (formerly Shanna Ohmes)
I’ve made bone broth from scratch for years, using beef, chicken and turkey bones leftover from meals and holidays. The method I used was boiling down the bones in a big pot of water all day, then adding it to soup or freezing it. The way I did it was to skim off the foam from the surface and just simmered it all day until evening.
Recently, my Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioner explained to me another way to make this broth to strengthen the brain and bones, which is a function of the kidneys in TCM, as well as strengthening the spleen and overall health. The recipe he gave me was by Dr Wu (Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China), and I combined it with a recipe I’ve used before. It turned out to make the most delicious broth!
Although the method takes longer (6+ days), I was won over by the soul satisfying taste and how I felt after eating it: a complete sense of well-being. I added it to soups, meat dishes and also drank it by the cup.
What You’ll Need:
1 package oxtail bones
2-3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Put the oxtail bones in the stockpot and add water to fill it halfway. Bring to a boil, and boil for about 15-20 minutes until a lot of scummy foam appears on the surface of the water. Don’t worry, this is just the impurities boiling off.
Dump all the water off and add fresh water, and now the vinegar, to refill the stockpot to within a few inches from the top. Bring back to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Keep filling the stockpot with hot water throughout the day and keep it simmering.
At the end of the day, refrigerate the broth and bones in a pitcher and start again the next morning.
Here’s the secret I learned to making the broth rich and brimming with nutrition: it needs to boil until the bones are soft enough to crumble. Then you crumble the bones into the broth.
For me, this process took 6 days and the bones were just beginning to crumble in my fingers. As my schedule changed, I was not able to experiment further, but I savored every drop of that broth.
I’ve never tasted anything like it before. It was rich, smooth and had that soul satisfaction that literally went straight to my bones!