Breaking bones for the marrow and stock.


 Bones do not provide much collagen or minerals when boiled to a broth. If you are looking for a thick collegian broth that can harden to jello, you should use tendons, the knuckles with ligaments, hoofs, and scraped-clean hides. If you want the calcium, eat the soft bones like rib ends, and cartilage or pulverized mash raw bone. Alternatively, burn a bone and easly crush to dust. The point being, if you put a bunch of knuckles into a pot and hope you get nourishing broth after eight hours of cooking (or more), you will also end up with rapidly worn out appliances and a big energy bill, and neither are good for the environment; hense an efficent and funtional advantage to using rocks and wood as your only bulding and fire making materials. 

Bone broths were a common thing of the past because people had a fire going anyway, they would have spare bones from animals and wanted flavour for bland hot water which today people get mainly from coffee beans instead. 

So dont let a farmer gouge you, by weight, for heavy chunks of calcium mineral; insead, demand clean hide and tendons or clean tripe (not collagen). 

If you have bones, cook bones until visually, the ligaments are melting and pickable and cartilage mostly peeling and gone and that’s it - maybe six hours max - total - and only with ligament heavy knucles.

Marrow heavy knuckles and spine bones should now be soft and can be more easily pulverized in a mortar and pestle.

The purpose of this article however, is to introduce you to the stone hammer; this will save you from having to saw bones with a machine or by hand, or striking them with a steel hammer. The broken bones release liquid marrow fat quickly during the cooking process and as a result can 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 (raw hide, soaked and cut to a ribbon) 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 wrapping babiche, and pull tight to twist; this will make 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. Use an awl or another pointy poky instrument to move the end of the rawhide through tight spots.

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

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

The wood handle is shaped 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 flatfish top for the anvil. The more stationary the anvil, the more energy will be transmitted to the bone. This is important for bison or moose bones that can absorb a lot of energy.

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.

I use an oven with glass jars with glass or steel lids as my cooking vessels; this is done to avoid metals that leach from the pots including iron fron an old cast iron. I bring to a visual boil at 325 then drop to maybe 280. Two rounds about three hours each, skimming the oil during the first three hours. 

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, but I still use the method. Any glass that is completely translucent can be used which includes old food jars. I would also use non glazed clay pots as an alternative. Titanium is what I use in the bush and also at the house.

I read that the women of a native tribe would quickly sew heavy 'mitts' of the raw skins to protect their hands from 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 do not do it 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.

The vertebra can be mauled in segments; this helps to hold the bones at a safe distance. 

The neck, spine, and knuckles can be heavily pulverized (first with the stone hammer, and after, in a large stone morter and pestle) into a raw mash and eaten as a highly nutritious and tasty raw patte with an abundace of minerals for your own bones. 

BE SURE if these 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 CNS.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR FINGERS: I am not responsible for broken fingers. Nore 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.

 About 15 feet of tough moose babiche - overkill. This laching has and will last many years of frequent mauling sessions; just keep it generally dry.


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