These Lovely Bones

I am not referring to the bones in the 2009 supernatural thriller, those were human, this is porcine. I hope I am not being too gory.
I use bones to make these bottles of liquid gold, bone broth.

You can read about the benefits of bone broth here and here.

I buy these bones online from Sanbanto and my favorite is the marrow bone because I find that it has the highest collagen content. I used to mix it with what they call brisket bone.

Now I use solely marrow bone.

At the rate I am going, you might think that I am running a pork noodle stall hah...hah...hah...
These bones need to be cleaned by boiling. In the past I never bothered but now I take this extra step.

See how dirty it is, all the blood and impurities are released.

Not a pretty sight. I do this for about 20 minutes. After that I remove the bones into a large stainless steel bowl and rinse  each and every bone for the final cleaning.

Sanbanto splits the marrow bones into halves which is good as this facilitates the release of minerals and nutrients into the broth.

These are the brisket bones which I don't buy anymore.

I like to add celery and onions for aroma and flavor.

Just dump the bones into the slow cooker together with the onions and celery.

Then fill up with water, enough to cover the bones. I also add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to facilitate the extraction of minerals.

Then turn on the slow cooker and let it do its thing. This cooker capacity is 6L and I start with high and once it starts to boil, I turn it to auto.

I am so obsessed with bone broth that I recently bought another slow cooker, this time a 5L capacity. I like the round shape though the oval one has its advantages.

At the end of 18-20 hours, everything becomes mushy.

I normally prepare the bones in the morning and in the evening I switch off the slow cooker. Why? To save electricity and prevent over boiling which can cause the broth to turn very dark (due to caramelization). The next morning I turn it on again to run for a few more hours.

When the broth is cool enough, I remove the bones and vegetables.

This batch I used only onions because I ran out of celery. I decided that arranging the bones upright with the cartilage side down is the most effective for maximum space utilization.

Same process, add water till it covers the bones (and add apple cider vinegar though I sometimes forget).

This one boiled a bit too long and the broth became very dark.

I had both cookers going.

Since this cooker is not as efficient as the new one, it did not overboil.

So no excess browning.

Fish out the bones and onions.

Then sieve the broth over a large pot. It would be an advantage if the pot has a spout like this one.

I let the pot stand while I go clean up the slow cookers. This way, the sediments that passed through the sieve (I must go look for cheesecloth for better filtering) can settle to the bottom of the pot.

I have ready these mason jars.

I carefully pour the broth (careful to avoid agitating the sediments) into a measuring jug so that it is easier to pour into the jar.

The last bit of the broth I just pour all into the measuring jug and let is stand so that the sediments settle to the bottom. Then I pour the clear part into a jar. The dirty part? It goes into the flower pot as fertilizer.
All my hard work resulted in 6 jars of bone broth.

I use the bone broth for soups like my favorite macaroni soup and kimchi jigae. 

I find there is a world of difference when soup is made with bone broth. It has more body and flavor.

I store the bone broth in the freezer. I make sure that I don't fill the bottles all the way up to allow room for expansion when the broth freezes. When the broth is frozen, you will notice that it actually juts upwards due to the expansion of the liquid.
Any excess oil that on top of the broth can be easily removed once it solidifies in the fridge or freezer.
If you store the bone broth in the fridge (to be used within say, 5 days) you will note that it solidifies like jelly. That tells you that you have done it right and you now have a good supply of collagen (good for your skin!).

It may be a bit tedious but I find that all the trouble is worth it when I am sipping and enjoying soup cooked using bone broth. I actually find it therapeutic making bone broth. 

So I will definitely keep on making bone broth to ensure that I have a steady supply in the freezer.