The benefits of incorporating bone broth into your diet have been discussed many places. It can boost your immune system and contains healing compounds for joints and your intestinal system. One of the biggest concerns is the source of your bones and to what environment the animal has been exposed.
The venison bones and venison trimming available at Broken Arrow Ranch come from only truly wild deer and antelope that have been field-harvested on large ranches in Texas. These are not domesticated or farmed animals on a prescribed diet. These are wild animals subsisting on the natural vegetation available around them. More about our field-harvesting can be read here. If you're seeking pure bones this is it. If you're seeking something for you Paleo Diet this is as Paleo as it gets!
2 pkgs Broken Arrow Ranch Venison Leg Bones or 1 pkg Venison Mixed Bones (4-6 lbs total)
1 pkg Broken Arrow Ranch Venison Trimmings, 1 lb
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
¼ tsp black peppercorns
1 Tbs kosher salt (optional, added after cooking)
Blanch The Bones: Blanching the bones will help to produce a broth that is more clear and clean tasting. Add the Venison Leg Bones to a large pot. Fill pot with cold water until bones are just covered. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. While simmering skim off the foam that will form on top with a large spoon or ladle. Drain water from the pot, transfer bones to a baking sheet for roasting in next step and then rinse pot.
Roast The Bones: Roasting the bones will add a depth of flavor to the broth. Heat oven to 450°F. Arrange bones in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast bones for 45 minutes. When done they should be deep golden brown.
Make The Bone Broth: In a large pot add the roasted bones, Venison Trimmings, onion, garlic and peppercorns. Add 3 quarts of cold water or until bones are just covered with water. Bring water to a gentle simmer. Skim any foam that forms on top with a large spoon or ladle for the next 30 minutes. After that you don't need to skim anymore. Place a lid on the pot and keep the water at a gentle simmer. A gentle simmer means that you will only see a few small bubbles come to the surface every second or two. You may have to play with the heat a bit to get settled on the right temperature. Simmer the bone broth covered for 8 - 24 hours. It's hard to cook it too long. To some extent the longer it cooks the more flavor, nutrients and gelatin will be pulled into the broth. I usually start mine in the evening and let it cook through the night. When ready strain the broth using a large colander. Add salt (optional) and adjust seasonings to your tastes.
Cool The Bone Broth: Cooling the broth quickly is important to prevent bacteria growth and increase shelf life. Unfortunately, putting a large pot of hot broth into the fridge is not a good option because they're not built for that and thermodynamics will spoil all of your other groceries. Science can still be your helper, however. Pour the hot bone broth into wide shallow containers, such as a couple of 9x13 baking dishes. Then toss in a handful of ice into each dish. The increased surface area will help the heat move out of the broth faster. After about an hour the broth should be cool enough to transfer into storage containers then moved into your refrigerator.
Skim Fat: After the bone broth has completely cooled a thin layer of fat may form on the surface. If desired, the fat can easily be pulled off the top and discarded. Venison fat feels a bit waxy when eaten so I recommend discarding.
Play With The Flavors:The instructions above produce a basic, hearty venison bone broth. Different flavors can be produced with the addition of other spices and aromatics. Spices can be added during the initial cook or you can make the basic broth then simmer a portion of it later with extra spices for about 1 hour. Some examples include:
Sweeter Style - Add 2 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
Spicier Style - Add additional 1 tsp of black peppercorn plus 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
Venison Pho Style - Add 1 stick cinnamon, 2 pods star anise, 4 cloves, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 3 inch piece of ginger split in half
Yield: Approximately 3 Quarts
Broken Arrow Ranch