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Bone Marrow Broth and Vegetable Soup

It was only a matter of time before I caved into the Paleo peer pressure of bone broth consumption!
Bone Marrow Broth and Vegetable Soup with shredded beef, a bundle of seaweed and a side of oven dehydrated sweet potato crisps

For months I have been using Great Lakes gelatin in my Nutribullets but the time has arrived. Throughout my childhood and teenage years and even now, whenever I visit my parents or grandparents, I am always presented with bone broth in some guise - chicken with red dates and goji berries well before they became a fashionable superfood, pork bones with a host of obscure roots, like wai san etc.

I obligingly drank it with moderate amounts of grumbling, knowing it was generally 'good for me' but neither aware nor particularly bothered about the exact details of said goodness.

Recently my mother stayed with me for a fortnight and, in customary fashion, especially in the circumstances of below-par health, set about presenting me daily with a bowl of what I have since learned is 'fish maw broth'.

Fish maw is the swim bladder which helps fish control their buoyancy and is, you guessed it, a super source of collagen. Wikipedia also reliably informs me in days of yore they were also used to make condoms - that I really did not need to know!

Anyhow, I attribute any speedier than average recovery entirely to her daily heartfelt broth and I am eternally grateful for my loving and supportive mum. She will be nothing short of shocked and amazed that I am venturing down the bone broth making route voluntarily.

Once I committed to do this I figured I may as well go the whole way and use the most nutrient dense, multi-benefit supremo bone of bones - bone marrow!

Beyond some unintentional interactions with bone marrow - probably floating in a bowl of childhood broth, I have never actually actively chosen to consume it as a food in its own right. So, two birds killed with one stone: I am making bone broth AND eating bone marrow. Hmmm - excited is not the chosen word; apprehensive is more accurate.

So I acquire some bone marrow bones (neat little bones ready cut lengthways for easy access to the marrow for the marrow-loving elite. And this is what happened!

Bone Marrow Broth and Vegetable Soup

Approx 1kg beef bone marrow bones (i.e. with the bone marrow in)
Approx 500g beef leg with bone in
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, washed and chopped
3 big slices ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 dried scallops
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
big grind of salt

1. Add carrots, leeks, garlic, ginger and scallops to bottom of slow cooker.
2. Lay beef leg and bones over the veg.
3. Pour over the apple cider vinegar which helps draw the nutrients from the bones.
4. Wedge the rosemary and thyme amongst the bones and add a big grind of salt (I don't add excessive salt in case I use the broth for other dishes which will be subsequently seasoned).
5. Add water until everything is just covered (don't overfill the slow cooker!)
6. Set slow cooker to high for 2 hours then lower to medium for 8 hours. Alternatively if you aren't time-pressed, lower to low setting for 12 hours.
7. When cooked it is usual to strain the bones and discard the vegetables but the marrow fell out of the bones into the broth and I didn't want to waste the nutrients by straining it away so I removed the bones and the meat then blended the broth with the veg and marrow to make a broth/stock/soup.
8. Store half in fridge for consumption over the next few days. Freeze the remainder in silicone muffin cases for easy portions for defrosting.
9. Remove from cases when frozen and store in labelled freezer bags.
10. I shred some of the meat to serve with the soup for a deliciously nutritious meal. Don't forget to season the soup with extra salt and pepper if drinking as is.

Verdict? Mum will be proud!

Thank you Mum for going to all that effort to come visit me yesterday. I love you and miss you enormously x