Sunday, October 14, 2018

Breaking bones for the marrow and stock.


If you have a bunch of whole bones and you like making bone broths, cooking, and rendering all the marrow - crack them open. A stone hammer will save you from having to saw them with a machine or by hand, or smack them with a steel hammer. The broken bones release the liquid marrow quickly during the cooking process and can thus be skimmed for preservation with minimal exposure to heat.

Get 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 thong will pass and overlap by striking them with another small stone"; this will mitigate abrasion. Wrap with the wet raw hide thong securely to the wood handle. A long strip of game skin wrapped wet will dry tight and rigid.

The critical function of the wood handle is to absorb shoch from the stone so its not transferred back to you while mauling. The handle does not need a hole; it helped originally as I had thread the hide through it. I now do a complex tight wrap, like the one pictured. The handle is made to have a top wich slighly forward slanting and sharply fatter than the held handel section. The slant in handle reduces the chance of the stone slipping off and also makes the handle more comfortable for the wrist when striking. Where the handle shown may be at 40 degrees, I may try a less aggressive agle like 20 in the future. Moreover, unlike with the handle shown, one which is of simmilar length in total, but is able to sit the stone closer to where your hand can grab - as in no hole space - may provide better leverage advantage and hand options for striking and mauling tasks. Be creative.

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

The wood dowels shown in the example below prevent the anvil from sinking into the ground while striking. Note however that the method with the dowles will tend to be unstable for the anvil stone.

If the bones are whole one can simply remove the marrow, mush or cut it up and put it in the same vessle 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, stainless steel pots primarily, but excessive, inorganic iron fron a old cast iron as well. 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, 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 leaching.

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

One can do a good job cracking all the big knuckle bones the first time, though they may be slippery and shoot out, or you can crack the chuncks up a little more after they have been cooked once to extract a little more marrow and gelatin.

Take it slow when striking bones, but not so slow you loose focus on the task and hit your fingers.

For the hunters - the vertebra can be separated by severing the intervertebral discs with a knife; when  breaking these bone for a broth, begin by cracking away the surrounding finer bones before working on the bigger bone. The neck, spine, and most of the other bones of deer and other small animals can be pulverized into almost a mash. BE SURE you dispose of the cooked sharp bone, typically found on the ribs and spine, responsibility (burning as an example) or small animals like dogs and wild kanid may eat them. If you cant responsibility dispose of these leave them raw and whole for the wilds.

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.

for breaking bones with a rock hammer

The bone shown in the picture is old and has yellow rancid fats (for clarification). This particular thong has lasted me years/many striking jobs, and is still tight.

Yet another effective approach. You may want a bigger anvil stone.

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