• by Arielle Illia

Pressure Cooking Bone Broth



Two words. Bone broth.


Your life may never be the same again. You've most likely heard of it before and all of the wondrous benefits it boasts:


- Supports joint health


- Relieves osteoarthritis pain


- Improves gut health


- Reduces inflammation


- Promotes better sleep


But in all honesty, none of those are the real reason behind why we make bone broth.


It all started with two pigs we raised in Oregon. Prior to them being processed we researched what parts of the animals would be usable and came across bone broth. Could it be? Something as simple as water and bones simmered down for a ridiculous amount of time to make the most incredible broth you've ever tasted!


Yes it really is a thing and has gained popularity in recent years primarily because of the nutritional properties but today I'd like to convince you to try a batch for a reason beyond the health benefits. We make this divine stuff for...


You guessed it, flavor.


We have banished commercially prepared stock from our shopping list because it just simply doesn't compare. We call this home-cooked goodness "liquid gold" in our house.


I must admit our first batch ever went to our pooches. It took two batches of stockpots filled with pork skulls, feet and other various bones simmering for 48 hours on our kitchen stove. By the end I was amazed, the golden broth contained meaty bits and easily crumbled bones that we later ladled into mason jars and froze for our spoiled dogs.


We have come a long way since then, we've made caribou broth outdoors over a campfire (which also withstood the 7.0 earthquake we had in late November of 2018), chicken broth, beef broth and finally, moose broth. Although we share with the critters, this nutrient packed broth is now a staple in our household. We routinely use it for cooking beans, grains, gravy, and soups. It truly is an all purpose food, and as always, we love making use of underused animal parts.


The classic bone image that comes to mind depicts that bones are hollow and serve only as support for the human body, but quite contrary to this portrayal bones are in fact living tissue and classified as an organ. Living bone is filled with blood vessels, cells, and nerves. This tissue also contains vitamins, amino acids, fat, collagen, and of course, minerals.



To get started, the first thing you will need to get your hands on is bones. Whether it is a turkey carcass you have leftover from a Thanksgiving meal, scrap bones purchased from your local butcher, or an animal you've processed by the means of hunting or farming. Bigger bones are traditionally valued due to their size and what they offer inside the dense joints but that doesn't mean you have to only use weight bearing bones, all bones offer a variety of nutrients. The primary difference between what you will be using is the cooking time. Denser bones need close to 48 hours to breakdown, whereas chicken bones typically breakdown in 6 to 8 hours.


Now you may be thinking that's a long time, it is indeed. I am here to say there is a secret to this magic. The process can be condensed by the means of a pressure cooker or in our case a pressure canner (used as a pressure cooker). And for the folks with the instapots, this may be another recipe for you to try.


We love the pressure cooking method and will most likely never go back to our previous ways which are overly time consuming and create a very notable odor in your house. Not the biggest deal honestly but most people do not appreciate the smell of cooking bones. If you're not up to it or don't have a pressure cooker or canner on hand, the old fashioned method of boiling bones in a stockpot works just fine too.


If you'd like to learn the expedited method to make broth, let's jump right in!



You will need:

  • animal bones of your choice


We used approximately 5 lbs of moose bones for this recipe in two separate batches.


Instructions


1. Breakdown your bones of choice into pieces that will fit into your pressure canner. Rinse bones with cool water (optional) and then place in pressure canner.


We are using a Presto 23 quart pressure canner that can also be used to cook food under pressure (referred to as pressure cooking). Please follow guidelines for your specific pressure canner, ours cannot be filled beyond the two thirds mark to allow for bubbling inside the canner while it is cooking under pressure.


*If using a stock pot and the longer simmer method, bones can fill the pot almost entirely, just leave enough room for bubbling.



2. Fill pressure canner with clean water, just enough to cover bones.


We generally fill above the bones several inches because we like to get the most volume of broth from the bones, however if you are looking for a more concentrated bone broth and are using smaller bones it is best to use a smaller ratio of water. This dilution can also have an effect on the finished product (see in notes below).


3. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar to the water.


The vinegar won't be detected once the broth is complete and is helpful to jump start the process of dissolving the nutrients from the bones.


4. Secure lid on pressure canner and heat on high, once the vent lock has popped up and steam vents for 10 minutes from the vent pipe, place weight on vent pipe and allow pressure to rise to 14 lbs, then adjust heat as necessary to keep pressure constant.


This may take some fiddling with the heat and should be loosely supervised for the next two hours. Since we are not pressure canning it is okay if the pressure varies a tad, just try to keep around the 14 lbs mark.


5. After 120 minutes, turn of heat and allow pressure canner to lose pressure on its own before attempting to open.


6. Once broth has cooled enough to pour, strain the liquid from the bones. We use a metal strainer lined with a double layer of cheese cloth.



The remaining bones should be crumbly in texture and work great as a garden amendment. We gifted them to the chickens who enjoyed the leftover meat and marrow inside the bones.


The finished product once chilled will be a thicker consistency like jello, it can be slightly cloudy or translucent.


7. Bone broth can be used immediately, stored in a refrigerator to be used shortly or frozen in containers for extended periods. Pressure canning is also an option for long term storage or if you are limited on freezer space.


If you proceed with canning, you will need to allow the bone broth to sit overnight undisturbed or in a refrigerator until the fat separates from the broth.



There may be a thin or thick layer of fat present (depending on the animal bones used) that will range from a white to yellow color. Moose, pictured above, is lean and has a small amount of fat when compared to chicken, pork or beef.


Try to skim this fat layer off as best you can, it can be repurposed for cooking but it is advised to be removed prior to canning. Some fat remaining is inevitable and okay for pressure canning.


At this point we reheat the broth, pre-sterilize canning jars and pressure can our broth in quarts for 20 minutes at 11 lbs leaving 1 inch headspace per our canner's instructions, this way we can enjoy our efforts for many months to come.


Even if you aren't making a large batch of broth, my hope is that you will be overly pleased with the result that you will feel compelled to never reach for the stuff on the grocery store shelf again.


Enjoy!



Notes:


- It is common place to add herbs to the liquid prior to cooking, we have never done this since the bones hold so much flavor themselves but I am a huge herb fan and think it's a great idea.


- If your bone broth does not set up thick once chilled, don't worry it is still delicious and beneficial, next time try reducing the water volume used and increase cook time.


- If you are using the long simmer method rather than pressure cooking, small bones can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours while larger bones can be closer to 48 hours cook time.


Bone Broth Recipe


Ingredients

Animal bones of your choice


This recipe uses approximately 5 lbs of moose bones for two separate batches.


Instructions

  1. Breakdown your bones of choice into pieces that will fit into your pressure canner. Rinse bones with cool water (optional) and then place in pressure canner.

* Check your pressure canner's or pressure cooker's manual.

2. Fill pressure canner with clean water, just enough to cover bones.

3. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar to the water.

4. Secure lid on pressure canner and heat on high, once the vent lock has popped up and steam vents for 10 minutes from the vent pipe, place weight on vent pipe and allow pressure to rise to 14 lbs, then adjust heat as necessary to keep pressure constant.

5. After 120 minutes, turn of heat and allow pressure canner to lose pressure on its own before attempting to open.

6. Once broth has cooled enough to pour, strain the liquid from the bones. We use a metal strainer lined with a double layer of cheese cloth.

7. Bone broth can be used immediately, stored in a refrigerator to be used shortly or frozen in containers for extended periods.

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