The countdown to Coptic Christmas started.
On January 6, at midnight, my family among millions of Coptic Egyptian Christians will break a 43 day fasting and celebrate Orthodox Christmas.
In other words, January 7th is officially Egyptians Christians and my Christmas.
For more than four weeks, I have been fasting and abstaining from eating meat and dairy products, which explains why my blog has been only featuring vegan recipes, while I am full-fledged carnivore.
To start prepping our traditional and elaborate feast dishes, I begin with making a big batch of Bone Beef broth.
Beef Bone Broth is a super food that I call ” Triple B Formula” that takes my holiday Egyptian dishes to the next level.
Why Bone Broth in particular and not meat or chicken?
Bone broth is my go-to broth to amp up the flavors in my typical Egyptian dishes because:
- it has a cleaner taste
- contains less fat than its meat and chicken counterparts.
- it is known for slowing down aging and boosting our immune system.
According to Ale Zozos, the registered dietician and the founder of the Mediterranean Nutrition School @mediterraneannutritionist, “Bone Broth contains contains powerful amino acids including glycine and arginine which have strong-inflammatory effects. Arginine specifically, has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation that may lead to heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.”
In addition to its health benefits, Beef Bone Broth is my most reliable cooking assets, which infuses my dishes with a large array of aromas and flavors.
What goes into a quality Beef Bone Broth?
A good quality of bones is the quintessential base of the broth. I prefer to invest in organic/grass fed beef bones that lends the broth its richness and wholsomeness. (see notes)
Beef Bone Broth is also a creative way to use all the leftovers of vegetables, aromatic herbs such as parsley stalks, celery stalks, ends of zucchini, peels of carrots, tails of green onions, shredded leeks, just to name a few.
I collect the leftovers in a big ziplock that is kept in the freezer. When the ziplock becomes full, I go ahead and make my broth.
I tend to make big batches of the broth and freeze them in small ziplocks labeled and dated, to use them individual meals.
How can I use Beef Bone Broth?
I use beef Bone Broth as the liquid agent (instead of water) in cooking hearty soups, exquisite rolled grape leaves, meat stews, jeweled rice, just to name a few.
How to make Bone Beef Broth?
In a slow cooker or a large heavy bottom pot, add the bones, uncooked veggies leftovers, aromatic herbs, spices such cardamom, whole peppercorn and whole all spice berries. I only salt the broth towards the end and not at the beginning. (see notes)
If you cook the broth in a slow cooker, covered it tightly, and let it simmer for at least 5 hours.
In case you cook in a heavy bottom pan over the stove top, cover slightly, leaving an outlet for the robust steam. to escape.
The broth should cook for no less than 4 hours on low heat or until the vegetable collapse and easy to smash with back of a spoon or a fork. Let the broth boils down so you can end up with a pronounced flavored liquid. You can always add water to it later to enliven the flavor when you use it in cooking.
How to store Beef Bone Broth?
Store the broth in air thought glass container in the fridge for not more than 3 days or freeze in labeled and dates ziplocks. Defrost them in hot water bath, and add water if they are too concentrated.
Beef Bone Broth
Makes 1 liter of broth
Cooking time: 5- 6 hours
- 1 kilo of beef bones, coarsely chopped
- 3 liters of water
- stalks of parsley
- stalks of celery
- one whole onions
- one carrot, coarsely chopped
- one leek, coarsely chopped
- one tomato, halved and seeded
- 3 gloves of garlic, whole
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 10 whole peppercorn
- 5 allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon of kosher or Himalayan salt
- Add all the ingredients except the salt to a slow cooker or a heavy bottom pan and set it on low heat and let the soup simmer for at least 5 hours or until all the veggies looks mushy, collapsed and easy to smash them with a back of a spoon.
- Remove with a spoon the impurities that floats to the surface during the first two hours of cooking.
- When the broth is all ready, let it cook completely to room temperature.
- Strain the broth using a fine mesh sieve fitted over a deep jar or bowl.
- Store the broth in tightly covered glass containers in the fridge for no longer than 3 days OR freeze in labeled and dates ziplocks in the freezer.
- Invest in the best quality of bones you can get your hands on. I do recommend organic and grass fed.
- Avoid the knuckles bones as they will infuse the broth with a fairly strong aroma and flavor that will dominate any dish they are added to.
- The best way to defrost a broth is in a hot water bath. If the broth is too concentrated, added to it some hot water.