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Beef Jell-o

 Michael and I bought a bunch of meat last month (and by a bunch I mean like 200 lbs, or so much it won't come even close to fitting in our freezer so we have to go get it from his mom's house every week) and the butcher gave us some bones for our dog.  We boiled one and gave it to her, but the rest have been sitting in our freezer.

The first time I boiled them I did make a stock, but it ended up sitting on my counter and getting rotten, so we never used it, but I knew it was a good stock.  How did I know?  Because it was gelatinous.  Yup.  It had the consistency of Jell-o.

Yesterday I was cleaning out the freezer, because I needed room for the 4 loaves of Dave's Killer Bread that I had bought on sale at WinCo (half off!  How could I resist stocking up?).  Well, the problem with freezer food is that it doesn't go bad (or maybe that is the best thing about freezer food?) so the only way I could make myself any space was by boiling up those bones.  So I took out the stock pot (Michael's mom's because those things are expensive, and until this year I have had no need for one), put the bones in, filled it up about 2/3 with water, added some spices and veggies, and let it simmer for about 8 hours.  I didn't follow a recipe, and I honestly have no idea how it tastes, but it sure smelled amazing.  At least it did until I added a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to draw out the marrow, after that it smelled good, but not amazing.  But the marrow got drawn out pretty good, there were holes in it, but there was still some left for the dog to try and get.  Also I guess I more boiled than simmered, because my stove needs to be replaced and half the burners don't work on low heat, only medium or above.  When the liquid was half gone I removed it from the stove-top.

Doesn't it look repulsive?
After I took it off the stove, I pulled the bones out, put it through a pasta strainer, and then I ran it through a sink strainer, because I don't have a mesh strainer, and I don't have cheesecloth.  It didn't get at clear as I would have liked, but I always just use it for cooking, so no one will notice.  I was going to put it in mason jars, but then I remembered that after the fat solidified I would need to take it off the top, and that would be hard to do in a jar, so I put it in some cheap IKEA plastic containers, and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

When I woke up this morning I went and got it out of the fridge, anxious to see if it had gelatinized.  As soon as I took the first scoop of fat off the top I knew it had turned out great!  Very much like Jell-o, which seems disgusting, but when it warms back up it will be liquid again.

Next time I would use fresh herbs, because the dried ones are to small and don't come out of the stock, leaving it kinda icky looking. 

I will add some pictures of after I warm it up and put it in mason jars, so it looks less terrifying.

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  1. Wow, great job! I have only ever made chicken broth never beef stock. Where did you buy your beef?

    1. Thanks! I made chicken stock once, but once again I forgot to do anything with it and threw it all away. We bought the meat at Gene's Meat Market up in Lyons/Mehama. I don't very often buy meat of any kind with bones in it, making it pretty hard to make stock, which is why I've only tried recently.


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