Sunday, October 14, 2018

Breaking bones for the marrow and stock.


THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE IS A SUGGESTION AND CARRIED OUT AT YOUR OWN RISK. Be careful.

You can crack open the bones you use for stock and render the marrow. A stone hammer will save you from having to saw them with a machine or by hand, or strike them with a steel hammer. The broken bones release the liquid marrow more quickly during the cooking process and can as result be skimmed for preservation with minimal exposure to heat.

Find a hefty stone, preferably rectangular, with one flat face or the hammer will shoot off in odd directions when striking. Round the edges of your hammer stone where the babiche will overlap by striking them with another small stone; this will mitigate abrasion. Wrap with a long strip of moist raw hide securely to a wood handle. The game skin wrapped moist will dry tight and rigid. Wrap too the bundles of the already wrapped babiche, and pull tight; this will put a heavy taught on your rawhide latching and keep the strips together; this also saves you from making the rock to handle wrap ultra tight with the first wraps.

Pre stretching your babiche before wrapping will remove excess water and ensure an extra tight dry.

The critical function of the wood handle is to absorb shock from the stone so its not transferred back to you while mauling. I do a wrap, like the one pictured at the bottom and this holds strong, long, and tight. 



The handle is made to have a top wich will sit the stone snug and ultimately have, only a slightly forward slant when mounted. The slant on the top will reduce the chances of the stone slipping back, reduce wear on the babiche when mauling, and make the handle more comfortable for the wrist when striking

I use a big, strong rock with a flat top for the anvil.

If the bones are whole, one can simply remove the marrow, mush or cut it up and put it in the same vessel as the bones for skimming from the render.

If the tallow or oils are old, they may be used in a lamp. Old oils appear a yellow/brown colour when solidified at the top of gelatin and are detrimental to your mental and physical health.

When an oven with slow cook low is available, I use glass jars with glass or steel lids as my cooking vessels; I began doing this to avoid the metals that would leach from the pots including inorganic iron fron an old cast iron. During the many times I have done this, one large jar failed with hot liquid inside; I was pushing this jar with already many cracks for possible failure; despite that, the use of glass puts a-lot of stress on your mason jars with cleaning, other dings here and there, and so on, and as a result broken, expensive, jars, yet, I still use the method for a number of reasons. Any glass that is completely translucent can be used, such as old food jars. I'd also use artisan clay pots as an alternative with the aim of avoiding off metal tastes in the food and metal leaching.

I recall reading that the women of one native tribe would quickly sew heavy 'mitts' of the raw skins to protect their hands for the task of mauling bones. The mitts would have been used to prevent cuts from the sharp bones, which is a possibility if you are not careful.

Take it slow when striking bones, but not so slow you lose focus on the task and hit your fingers. I suggest striking lightly till the bone sets. You want to do this where you dont mind your bones shooting out all over and getting dirty.

For the hunters - the vertebra of appropriate animals can be mauled in segments; this helps to hold the bones at a safe distance. The neck, spine, and bones of small animals can be heavily pulverized into a raw mash and eaten as a (I find tasty) highly nutritious raw patte. BE SURE if said bones are cooked however, that you dispose of the fine, sharp bones of the ribs and spine responsibility, burning as an example, or small animals like coyote will eat them and cause them harm. If you cant responsibility dispose of these leave these bones raw and whole for the wilds. You may take it a step further, by separating the vertebra so the caron may reach the nutritious spinal brain.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR FINGERS: I am not responsible for broken fingers. Nor am I responsible if you use my bone cooking method described and for any reason drop or crack a jar with hot liquid inside resulting in injury.
Be careful.

Contact me through my  shop page; I may have babiche available for sale.




 About 15 feet of tough moose babiche - overkill.




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