Do you cook your wild game bones? If not, you should. I’m not talking about making dog food or just throwing bones in a huge pot of water. I’m talking about bone broth. It’s really delicious and nutrient packed. The broth that most people use comes from a carton or can. However, the old school (and better) broth is made from the carcasses of animals. Many of us reach for chicken noodle soup when we are sick. If you’re eating Campbell’s or Progresso you’re most likely missing out on all of the good stuff that is supposed to make you feel better. When people used to make homemade soup, it was made from homemade broth, which has completely different nutrients than the broth found in most canned soups. When making bone broth, you will cook chicken, beef, pork, or wild game bones for hours on a low simmer; after letting the bones soak with a little apple cider vinegar. This process pulls all of the nutrients and minerals out of the bones and into the broth. The amino acids extracted from the boiled cartilage during the cooking process have anti-inflammatory and calming qualities. These same amino acids can be found in expensive supplements to help with arthritis and joint pain. The gelatin in bone broth also helps with joint pain, along with digestive health. It can also help those who have a leaky gut. The calcium and magnesium found in bone broth can help with strong bones and teeth. Bone broth also helps to boost a person’s immune system and can help treat allergies. I started making bone broth from chicken bones. After cooking a chicken in the crock pot it’s pretty easy to pull all of the meat off of the bones and then throw the bones back in the pot. After processing one of my white tails this year I figured why not keep some of the bones and make venison bone broth. The process is pretty simple. You can start with fresh bones after processing or freeze the bones for later use.
- Roast bones in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour. (It’s okay if there is some meat left on your bones, it’s actually even better.)
- Place the bones in your crock pot and add 1/3 to 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar. Optional: add salt and pepper.
- Fill the crock pot with water, enough to cover the bones, and let soak for an hour. (This helps pull all of the good stuff out of the bones)
- Cut up a few carrots, one onion and some celery and throw in the crockpot. (You can also add fresh herbs like parsley and rosemary. This step helps with the flavor of the broth.)
- Turn the crock pot on low and let it cook over night. You can let it cook for up to 48 hours.
- Remove the bones with tongs and set aside. You can freeze the bones and reuse them to make another broth. Discard the vegetables.
- Use a ladle or large cup with a handle to scoop out the broth and pour through a mesh strainer into a glass jar. (I use a mesh strainer that fits perfectly into my funnel)
Only allow the broth to be at a low simmer, not a roaring boil. The broth will stay good in the freezer for up to a year and 4-7 days in the refrigerator. If you’re starting to feel sick you can pop a mug of it in the microwave and drink up. If you’re not quite ready to drink it straight try adding it to roasts, vegetables, sauces, soups and salad dressings.