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Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
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By Stanley A. Fishman

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DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER

I am an attorney and an author, not a doctor. This website is intended to provide information about grassfed meat, what it is, its benefits, and how to cook it. I will also describe my own experiences from time to time. The information on this website is being provided for educational purposes. Any statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I do receive some compensation each time a copy of my book is purchased.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

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Forbidden Breakfast, Delicious and Energizing Steak and Eggs

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Delicious grass fed steak and pastured eggs.

Delicious grassfed steak and pastured eggs.

After a long night, I woke up to start my daily duties at six am, feeling tired and listless. As usual, my solution was based on food. It occurred to me that the original purpose of breakfast was to provide the nutrition needed to start the day.

But what would give me the energy I needed? I focused on it, and four different foods came into my mind. All these foods are forbidden by conventional food beliefs, as they are all high in animal fat. Yet this was exactly what I wanted, and I trust my body more than profit-based nutrition standards.

The Forbidden Foods

Grassfed Beef

Red meat, maybe the most demonized of all foods. Yet grassfed beef has always given me strength, and our ancestors used meat for this purpose. I had some rare leftover roast beef.

 

Whole Pastured Eggs

We are not supposed to eat egg yolks, but I always do. The yolks contain many nutrients, some of which are hard to get elsewhere, in a very delicious and digestible form. I got hungry just thinking of how good they would go with the meat.

 

Butter

Another forbidden food, real pastured butter is a nutritional powerhouse. The real sacred food of Europe, and I love it. I decided to heat the beef and eggs in butter, and put additional butter on the meat when served.

 

Full-Fat Cheese

We are told to eat low-fat cheese, but our ancestors never did, and neither do I. Cheese is fermented, which adds additional nutrients, and the Gouda cheese I decided to eat is very rich in Vitamin K.

 

The Meal

In no more than five minutes, I quickly fried the meat and eggs in butter, cooking the eggs just until the yolks set. I added more butter at the table, sliced some Gouda cheese, and happily ate this delicious, satisfying meal. I had so much energy that I got right to work, and was very productive. And I wrote this blog.

This forbidden breakfast was just what I needed.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

Traditional Cheese, the Best Protein Bar

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Traditional Gouda cheese is a good source of Vitamin K.

Traditional Gouda cheese is a good source of Vitamin K.

I have often been puzzled by the popularity of various protein bars. Usually they contain one the cheapest, most processed, and least desirable of proteins—soy protein. They also include a variety of nuts, various sweeteners, perhaps some dried fruit, a variety of chemicals, and are usually low-fat or no fat. There are some more natural varieties, but even these do not come close to the ultimate protein bar—a slice of traditional cheese.

Traditional cheese, made from good, truly natural milk, with all of its natural fat, is fermented, which creates additional nutrients. Dry cheeses can be carried around in a wrapping, providing wonderful nutrition when opened and eaten. Such cheeses are rich in easily digestible protein, and have the natural fat that should always be eaten with protein. In addition to this, these cheeses are rich in many minerals such as calcium, and have a rich vitamin content, some varieties being especially rich in Vitamin K, a nutrient that is hard to get in our modern world.

Traditional cheese is often extremely tasty and satisfying, while providing a full range of vital nutrients. There are a huge variety of these traditional cheeses, so it is impossible to be bored, and some are so good that it is impossible for me to tire of their taste.

Many armies, from the ancient Greeks and Romans, up to the French Foreign Legion in the early twentieth century, would provide hard, dry traditional cheeses to their soldiers as part of their field rations. Shepherds and travelers in ancient, medieval, and even early modern times would often carry cheese with them so they would have something really good to eat while watching the sheep, or on their journey. Using cheese as a protein bar is a very old tradition.

If I am going somewhere and need instant nutrition available, I always pack some hard, dry cheese, never a protein bar.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

What We Can Learn from a Traditional Dish that No One Will Make

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Free Sheep Grazing for Wool in New ZealandI have spent a lot of time reading old descriptions of traditional food. Some of these recipes are so different from how we cook today that they may never be made again. Yet we can learn from them.

One such recipe was a Mongol dish that was described by Medieval Chinese food writers, who called it “Grab Your Own Lamb.”

 

How to Cook Grab Your Own Lamb

The ingredients could not be simpler. A single young lamb, gutted, with the head, wool, hooves, everything, left on.

Some large rocks that would not crack from heat were heated in a hot fire. That is, the rocks were placed in the fire, and kept there until they were literally red hot, glowing with their own heat.

Then the rocks were removed from the fire with tongs, and placed in the cavity of the gutted lamb. The cavity was sewn closed with sturdy twine, and the cooks and guests waited for it to be done.

First, the wool would burn off. I think the smell of burning wool might have been very bad. When all the wool had burned off, from the interior heat, the skin would start to crisp. At some point after this, the lamb would be considered ready.

The meat was so tender that the diners would serve themselves by literally pulling the lamb apart with their hands, and grabbing the pieces they wanted. The Chinese food writers wrote that this lamb was one of the most delicious things you could possibly eat.

 

A Warning

I would never try this myself. Heating rocks until they are red hot could be very dangerous, leading to serious injury or worse, or fires if something goes wrong. Even heating the wrong rock could result in an explosion that would send red hot pieces of rock flying in all directions. The Mongol cooks were experts in using this method. I believe those skills have long been lost.

 

Why Was It So Good?

At the time of the writing, Chinese food was heavily seasoned and spiced, meat was eaten in small quantities, and was often cut into small pieces and stir-fried, lamb was almost never eaten, and the center of most meals was the featured grain, either rice or wheat. The prevailing attitude in China was that only Chinese cooking was worth eating, and all other cuisines were inferior. In other words, “Grab Your Own Lamb” was as un-Chinese a dish as you could possibly find.

So why did the Chinese writers love it so much?

I think it was the bones and the fat, cooked right into the meat.

I am just guessing here, but it is based on my experience in cooking much smaller pieces of meat on the bone, with the fat.

Cooking the lamb whole, with all its bones and fat, meant that substances from the bones and fat would cook right into the meat, helping it become more tender, adding incredible flavor, and greatly increasing the nutritional value of the meat. This provided so much flavor that no spices were needed.

 

What We Can Learn

I recently made a small roast from a very fatty piece of grassfed meat, which I was able to get with all the fat left on. I barbecued it with no seasoning other than the smoke of the fire. Unbelievably tender and delicious, and we felt so good after eating it. I have had even better results when I could get the fat and the bone.

Cooking meat on the bone, with the fat, provides incredible flavor, tenderness, and nutrition.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

Photo credit epSos .de

The Healing Qualities of Organ Meats

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

This delicious meatloaf contains grassfed beef, heart, kidney, and liver. (Recipe on page 181 Tender Grassfed Meat.)

This delicious meatloaf contains grassfed beef, heart, kidney, and liver. (Recipe on page 181 Tender Grassfed Meat.)

Our ancestors used food to prevent and heal disease, and to maintain their natural functions. They did not have the benefits of scientific studies, but they did have the benefits of experience, knowledge that was passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, master to apprentice.

Organs As Medicine

Cultures as diverse as the ancient Chinese, ancient Greeks, many African tribes, and Native Americans connected the eating of a certain animal, and body part of a certain animal, to heal and benefit various organs and parts of the body and mind. This practice continued into the twentieth century, with some medical doctors using some of these traditions to help their patients.

There is a logic to this practice, as the nutrients the animals needed to maintain and nourish their organs were likely to be found in that particular organ. Scientific research has confirmed that organ meats are very rich in vital nutrients. I do not know of research that has supported the idea that eating the particular organ of an animal would prevent or heal disease in the same organ of the person who ate it. Of course, modern medicine does not use these methods, relying mainly on drugs, surgery, and radiation.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Eating the heart of a strong, healthy animal was believed to help maintain the health and strength of the human heart. The Native Americans placed special value on the heart of a young stag, for this purpose. In the early twentieth century, some doctors in the U.S., used to advise patients with heart problems to eat beef heart as a way to strengthen their own heart.
  • Many peoples believed it was beneficial to eat the brains of an animal, and that this would make them more intelligent and sharpen their minds.
  • The liver was particularly prized, all over the world. Hunters would often eat the raw liver of their kill on the spot, as it was felt to be the most beneficial at that time. The hunters would divide the raw liver among themselves, so all could get the benefits. It has even been documented that the first part of the prey eaten by a predator, such as a lion, is the liver. Eating the liver was believed to make the liver of the eater stronger, and to purify and cleanse the body. Science has confirmed that cleansing and detoxifying the body is the function of the liver. In fact, the custom of eating liver regularly, at least once a week, was common in Europe and the United States up to the middle of the twentieth century.
  • Many peoples believed that eating the eyes of an animal, particularly an animal known to have keen vision, would help their own eyesight.

There are many other examples, but the general idea was that eating a particular organ of a healthy animal would help the same organ in the human who ate it. Every traditional society who did this was careful to only eat healthy organs, from healthy animals. If the organ appeared diseased, or even discolored, no one would eat it.

My Experience

I make it a point to regularly eat liver, kidney, and heart from grassfed cows. I should mention that all of these organs seem to be functioning perfectly, and give me no discomfort or trouble. You can do this without much work, if you get the magnificent liverwurst from US Wellness Meats, which contains high-quality liver, heart, and kidney from grassfed cattle, in the form of a sausage that is very easy to eat.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

 

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Feast Without Fear

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Classic roast turkey with it's delicious skin.

Classic roast turkey with its delicious skin. Credit

When a holiday approached, our ancestors, all over the world, anticipated the feast with great joy, happiness, and anticipation. The feast would be prepared by skilled cooks, from the best traditional foods available, and would provide a happy time where everyone would enjoy the fun, happiness, satisfaction and joy of sharing a special great meal.

Yet in modern America, the approach of the holiday feasts is cluttered with a blizzard of cautionary articles, posts, and warnings that could ruin the joy of any meal. Avoid fat, avoid eating too much, avoid gaining weight, avoid eggs in the stuffing, avoid the skin on the turkey, avoid cooking the stuffing in the bird, avoid calories, avoid, avoid AVOID!

In other words, avoid the traditional joy of the feast and worry about what you eat, even on the holidays.

Most of the people who have lived on this earth would be puzzled by this kill-joy attitude.

I advocate enjoying the holiday feasts, and the traditional dishes that have been used to celebrate them.

 

The Claim that Animal Fat Is Bad for Us Has Been Debunked

Most of the fear of the feast is based on fear of fat. This fear is based on the debunked belief that animal fat is always bad for us. This is just not true, as documented in the book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, and many other credible sources, including articles in the New York Times and Time magazine.

 

My Thanksgiving Plans

I have seen ads for Thanksgiving which featured mounds of different kinds of steamed vegetables. I have seen vegetarian “roasts” made mostly of soy, in the shape of a turkey. I have read articles advocating roasting a turkey breast instead of a turkey, with the skin to be trimmed off and discarded before serving. None of these things are traditional, and none of them are for me.

Instead, we will have a traditional Thanksgiving feast, including:

  • Roast whole pastured turkey, brined in my secret apple brine, and basted repeatedly with pastured butter while roasting
  • Stuffing made from homemade cornbread; roasted chestnuts; onion and celery which have been cooked golden in plenty of pastured butter; as many whole eggs as it takes to moisten the stuffing; various herbs; and the minced heart and liver of the turkey; roasted inside the turkey in the traditional way
  • Sweet potatoes, roasted whole until meltingly soft, and served with plenty of pastured butter
  • Fresh cranberry sauce
  • Sliced onions, cabbage, and apple, sautéed in plenty of melted bacon fat, with the bacon
  • Gravy, made from lots of fatty turkey drippings, and homemade turkey broth, and the flavor-rich scrapings from the pan the turkey is roasted in
  • And finally, a homemade pumpkin pie

And we will most definitely eat every last bit of the crisp, buttery, wonderful turkey skin.

Now, that is a feast to look forward to!

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part o Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

What Is Good to Eat? I Trust Traditional Cooking

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

One of the oldest traditional Chinese food combinations: ginger, garlic, and green onion.

One of the oldest traditional Chinese food combinations: ginger, garlic, and green onion.

If you read enough of the conclusions of studies reported in the news, you might decide that every single food you can eat is unhealthy in some way. It does not matter if the food is meat, poultry, seafood, fish, nuts, vegetables, or fruits, somewhere there is a study claiming it is unhealthy.

Obviously, if all the foods humanity has eaten, or can eat are unhealthy, we would not have survived as a species.

But how do we know what is good to eat? I found my answer through the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, who found that traditional peoples who ate their traditional diets were free from modern diseases, birth defects, and mental illness, even though many of the foods they ate were condemned by modern beliefs about food.

I base my diet on traditional food combinations, and the results have been fantastic.

It is better to look at all the foods eaten together, rather than just one food in isolation.

As a lawyer who specialized in legal research and analysis, I know a thing or two about researching an issue. What has always bothered me about most current food research is that they almost always seem to focus on a single food ingredient, or class of ingredients, and ignore the rest. An example would be studies that claim that red meat is unhealthy, yet ignore the other foods eaten, and many other factors.

But we do not eat foods in isolation. Usually, we eat many different kinds of food in a single day, and the substances in these foods interact with each other and our bodies. People do not normally eat just one food, or one class of food. To really know how food affects our health, I believe it is necessary to consider everything that is eaten, as it is the combination that effects our bodies.

Some studies have shown that the substances in one food will counteract the negative effects of the substances in another food, if the foods are eaten together. For example, studies have shown that the harmful glycemic effects of potatoes are greatly reduced or avoided if fat is eaten at the same time.

There is little current research on this, but Dr. Price looked at everything eaten by the peoples he studied, and the effect it had.

So I use as my guide the food traditions of many healthy peoples, making sure to use many of the same ingredients together that they did. For example:

  • Nearly all cultures that ate potatoes never ate them without plenty of animal fat.
  • The Chinese combined ginger, green onions, and garlic together in a huge number of dishes.
  • Our ancestors never ate red meat without fat, usually animal fat, and usually plenty of it.

There are countless other examples, preserved in the traditional cooking and food traditions of nearly every nation, and I believe I have received great benefit by combining food according to these traditions.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

In Defense of the Mighty Onion

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Onions—Earth's favorite vegetable.

Onions—Earth’s favorite vegetable.

Usually I write about meat. But today I am going to rise up in defense of one of our most important vegetables, the mighty onion.

A recent article on the Internet claimed that onions should not be eaten, claiming that onions have little nutritional value.

The overwhelming majority of our ancestors valued onions as one of their most important foods, using them for all kinds of culinary and healing purposes. I side with our ancestors on this one.

 

Onions Are Nutritious

The claim that onions are not nutritious is apparently based on the content of detectable vitamins and minerals. There are two problems with this claim.

The first problem is that researchers are constantly discovering new nutrients and substances in plants. Many of the nutrients we recognize today were unknown twenty years ago, or even five years ago. The discovery process continues.

Second, onions contain unique substances whose effect has not been fully researched. Some research has shown that onions have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These substances may have additional beneficial effects. Our ancestors certainly thought so.

 

Onions Are Traditional Food

If you research the world’s cuisines, as I have done for many years, you will find that onions may be the most used and most popular vegetable in history.

Onions were a vital part of the cooking of the ancient Egyptians, ancient Romans, ancient Greeks, ancient Chinese, ancient Celts, and just about every other significant ancient people we know of. Most of these peoples believed that onions were vital for their health and well being. Onions were used in marinades, stews, stir-fries, roasts, braises, and soups, and most meat dishes contained their share of onions.

Onions were also used for the following purposes:

  • Issued as rations to soldiers, to make them strong, and keep them healthy
  • As a medicine against a whole variety of ailments, especially colds and the flu
  • To improve the taste of organ meats
  • To tenderize meat, often being juiced for his purpose
  • To purify and preserve food

 

Onions Are Widely Used By Traditional Cooks

Every modern cuisine I have studied, from Europe to Asia, to Africa, to South America, the Caribbean, and just about everywhere else, makes extensive use of onions in their traditional cuisines. Onions are widely used in meat dishes, vegetable dishes, soups, broths, curries—wherever you have traditional cooking, onions appear.

 

Onions Make Grassfed Meat Taste Better

I have found onions, whether yellow, red, or green, to be invaluable for tenderizing and flavoring grassfed meat. Nearly all of my stews, pot roasts, meatloaves, stir-fries, and most of my roasts contain onions in one form or another. My favorite vegetable to eat with grassfed meat is onions fried in plenty of butter, which I love.

I could go on and on about onions, but this will do for now.

I love onions!

 

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and  Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

No Hockey Pucks, Just Good, Fatty, Grassfed Beef

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Irish Whiskey Steak, page 69, Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat

Here is a picture of a grassfed steak with good fat.

I thought that I would be overjoyed when grassfed meat finally made it to mainstream supermarkets. It has happened, yet I feel no joy. Because most of the grassfed beef is in the form of “Hockey Puck” steaks, completely without the wonderful grassfed fat that is so good for us.

The falsity of the claim that animal fat is bad for us has finally been recognized in the mainstream media, as shown by recent articles in Time Magazine and the New York Times. The falsity of this modern claim, which goes against all food traditions, was superbly documented in the book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,by Nina Teicholz.

Yet most of our nation blindly continues along in the false belief that animal fat is bad for us.

This mistake has resulted in the emergence of the “Hockey Puck” steak, something which was never seen by our ancestors. These steaks are made from some of the leanest and toughest cuts of meat, and trimmed of every scrap of fat. This combination just about guarantees a tough, fatless, relatively tasteless piece of beef.

This is a tragedy, and contrary to the wisdom of our ancestors. Our ancestors knew that meat should always be eaten with fat, as it comes in nature, and that is how they ate it. If the meat they had was from a relatively lean cut, they would cook it with fat from other parts of the animal.

Grassfed meat is at its very best, in terms of nutrition, taste, tenderness, and satisfaction, when it contains some marbling of fat in the meat, and is cooked with a fat cap of its own glorious fat. Most of the nutritional benefits of grassfed meat are in the fat, as is most of the flavor. Our ancestors knew that the fattier cuts were best, and prized them.

I have cooked all kinds of grassfed beef, as detailed in my cookbooks Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. I have had great success in producing tender, satisfying, utterly delicious grassfed beef, bison, and lamb, in literally hundreds of ways.

Yet I cannot even bring myself to buy a “Hockey Puck” steak, let alone try to cook it.

It is time for markets that carry grassfed beef to carry traditional cuts, with some marbling, and a nice fat cap, just like butchers used to do, before the huge fat mistake ruined the way meat is cut and butchered. I call upon suppliers, meat producers, and markets to bring back the traditional cuts, which are so much better and healthier than the “Hockey Puck.”

Related Post

Finding Grassfed Fat, and How to Add Good Fat to Lean Meat

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

Our Ancestors Did Not Eat Spoiled Meat—Traditional Meat Preservation

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Sausages and sauerkraut.

Sausages and sauerkraut.

Our modern culture is very arrogant. We are taught that our culture is much more advanced, scientific, and knowledgeable in every area of life than our ancestors. This arrogance often leads to misinformation being taught as truth.

We are told that our ancestors ate spoiled meat, and wanted spices to hide the foul taste. Not true. Our ancestors had many effective ways of preserving meat, which did not use toxic chemicals and preservatives, and which preserved the nutritional value of the food, and sometimes increased it.

 

The Myth

When I was in school, even college, we were taught that our ancestors ate spoiled meat, because they did not have refrigerators or freezers. Furthermore, we were told that our ancestors craved spices to hide the taste of spoiled meat.

This is simply not true. While our ancestors might eat spoiled meat under extreme circumstances (such as being on a ship, far out to sea, when the salted meat started to spoil), this was very unusual. You also cannot hide the taste of truly spoiled meat with spices, though many spices can help preserve meat, and keep insects away.

 

The Truth

Our ancestors had traditional ways of preserving meat, going back to ancient times and beyond. When they killed an animal for food, some or all of it would be eaten fresh, but that which was not eaten was preserved, with methods that could last for months or even years. The most common methods included:

  • Salting
  • Drying
  • Smoking
  • Fermenting

Often, several of these methods were used to preserve a particular piece of meat. Hams, for instance, were often salted, smoked, and dried. Bacon was salted and smoked. Sausages were often smoked, salted, and fermented.

There were many other methods used as well. The ancient Romans and Greeks often preserved meat and fish by submerging them in olive oil. Meat was often preserved by cooking it in a large amount of fat, than covering it with fat and sealing it in a container. Traditional French confit uses this method. In cold climates, ice was cut into blocks and placed in cellars or caves to preserve meat. In some cold areas, meat was wrapped in hides and placed in the very cold soil, which would completely freeze during the winter. The meat was dug up and eaten when the soil had thawed.

Another method was to dry meat in the sun, then pound it into a paste with fat and some kind of fruit. The famous Pemmican of the Native Americans was preserved in this manner.

These methods required skill and knowledge to be done effectively. They did not keep the food preserved indefinitely, but they did preserve the food for a while. And many would consider them to be preferable to modern methods, such as chemical preservatives and irradiation.

Our ancestors did not eat spoiled meat. They knew how to preserve it.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday blog carnivals.

The Way of Broth

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef.

Once a week, I awake early in the morning. I will need the extra time. I am going to perform a task that will nourish my body with an almost magical concoction full of natural minerals, gelatin, marrow, and other nutrients, using what may be one of the oldest cooking methods. I have been doing this for over ten years, and my technique has evolved over time, becoming simpler and easier. Today I make bone broth.

 

The Tradition

Bone broth is one of the oldest human foods, and one of the simplest. Basically, bones and meat scraps are placed in a large pot with plenty of water, and simmered slowly until the bones and meat have released their priceless nutrients into the broth. Vegetables are usually added, as is salt. As the water comes to a boil, the scum that rises to the top is skimmed off and discarded. The broth is served hot, and slowly sipped, or used as the base for all kinds of traditional soups.

 

Why I Make It

Traditional bone broth, simmered slowly for at least twelve hours, is much richer in minerals, gelatin, and other nutrients than any broth you can buy at a market. It is now possible to purchase traditionally made broth, usually by Internet order, but this broth is so expensive that it makes much more sense to make my own.

 

The Ingredients

I have found that all kinds of meat, poultry, and bones will make great broth. At this point, I usually use leftovers, often with some raw scraps and bones left over from trimming various cuts of meat, and find that the broth is every bit as good as when I used only fresh ingredients.

I use only the bones and meat of grassfed/pastured animals or poultry. Our ancestors did not use feedlot animals, or meat containing artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and other chemicals, and neither do I.

I use only organic or the equivalent vegetables. I do not want pesticide residue to be released into my broth.

I use only filtered water. My filter uses the reverse osmosis process, which is the only way I know to get rid of the fluoride. Fluoride, chlorine, and aluminum are usually added to tap water, along with other chemicals. I do not want them in my broth. Our ancestors did not have these chemicals in their broth.

Using reverse osmosis water is controversial, because the conventional belief is that you could suffer a mineral deficiency, because minerals are also removed by the filtering process. Since the mineral content of water differs greatly from location to location, I do not find this to be a good enough reason to have human-made chemicals in my broth. What I do know is that a great deal of minerals are released into the broth during the long simmering process, far more than any tap water would contain. I also add a fair amount of unrefined sea salt. This salt comes with all the natural minerals that are stripped out of factory salt, and these minerals also become part of the broth.

My bones and teeth are very strong, dense, and hard, so I know I have no mineral deficiency. On the contrary, I credit my daily mug of broth with helping to maintain my strong bones and teeth.

Many people add vinegar to bone broth, the idea being that the acid will cause more of the minerals to dissolve. I used to use vinegar for this purpose, but I have not used it for years. I like the taste much better without the vinegar.

 

The Cooking

This is so simple. You place a large amount of bones, sinew, meat scraps, etc. in a large stockpot (which is not aluminum). You bring it to a simmer, skim the scum off the top, add the vegetables of your choice, cover, and let simmer for at least twelve hours. Why twelve hours? An old French cookbook explained that scientists had tested the mineral content of broth, and found that twelve hours of simmering was needed to release a significant amount of minerals and nutrients from the bones into the broth. I usually simmer my broth for a bit more than 12 hours, but there are people who simmer it much longer. Their broth is probably more nutrient-dense, but I am happy with mine. After the broth is ready, it is strained and placed in containers. There are several ways to store and preserve it.

 

The Benefits

We each drink a big mug of hot broth every day, sipping it slowly, usually just before dinner. It is so refreshing and renewing, and helps prepare our bodies for digestion. The high gelatin content soothes the stomach, and aids digestion. We are also taking what I consider the best mineral supplement on earth, as natural as it could possibly be, in the way of our ancestors. The proof of these benefits is in our strong, dense teeth and bones, and the complete absence of any problems with our joints and bones. Many people have used such broths to fight off sickness and help the body recover from illness. In fact, there are too many benefits to list them all. These benefits may be why I get a happy feeling as I make broth.

And it makes the absolute best gravies and sauces.

Any way you look at it, traditional homemade broth is the best!

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday blog carnivals.

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