Instant Pot Lamb Bone Broth

I had good success making Instant Pot bone broth. In my freezer, I had lamb bones from a previous lamb stew that had been cooked on the stove for several hours and still had a bit of meat on them, beef marrow bones that had been roasted in the oven, and chicken bones from an Instant Pot chicken soup.

I threw it all into the Instant Pot for 120 minutes on “Manual” with a carrot, some celery, some salt, and some garlic (I was out of onions). There was also a forgotten cinnamon stick among the bones. I would have added apple cider vinegar to help draw out minerals, but I forgot.

The broth smelled quite strongly of lamb while cooking and cooling, but when I removed the bones and vegetables and refrigerated it, it gelatinized nicely with a layer of fat that was easy to skim off. I skimmed off all the fat because it smelled very gamey and seemed like it would overpower other flavors. The broth itself was much milder and tastier without the fat.

I used the gelatinized broth for a carrot peanut soup and a black bean soup with tomatoes and peanut butter. In both cases, it contributed good flavor and mouthfeel without being overpowering or recognizable as lamb. I diluted it with approximately an equal amount of water both times.

Instant Pot Black Bean Stew

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from recipe posting because Nora was sick a few weeks ago and not eating much of anything.

At the same time, she made some big developmental leaps. Language is now a big part of the feeding equation. She points at things she’s interested in, wants to eat what I’m eating (including coffee and ice cream), and cries when she doesn’t get her way. She can make a few signs such as “yogurt,” “more,” and “all done,” though not consistently. When a desirable item is within her field of view (egg or yogurt), she will often refuse everything else. So mealtimes require a lot more strategizing than they used to.

That said, she did enjoy this black bean stew, with peanut butter starring as the secret ingredient to make it smooth and creamy. All quantities are extremely approximate. This is a garbage soup; just throw in however much you want to use up and adjust the seasoning of the puree at the end. The peanut butter is somewhat disguised by the other strong flavors and colors, but you can always add more or less depending on whether you want it to be a star.

I used cooked black beans in this recipe because that’s what I had on hand, but if I were starting from scratch, I’d probably use the “Beans/Chili” function for 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 32 oz can of tomatoes
  • 1 bunch carrot tops
  • 2 cups bone broth (omit for vegetarian version)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • salt, pepper, savory

Saute the onion at the bottom of the Instant Pot until they begin to brown. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and saute until they just begin to soften.

Add the other ingredients. Add enough broth or water to approximate the desired consistency (about 1 cup the time I did it). Add salt, pepper, and spices. Cook using the “Soup” function for 12 minutes.

When the soup is done (either natural or quick release), use an immersion blender to puree. Add peanut butter and puree some more. Adjust seasoning, adding more peanut butter if desired.

The Limitations of Nutritional Studies

This article does a decent job summing up why it’s difficult to conduct good nutritional research.

http://www.vox.com/2016/1/14/10760622/nutrition-science-complicated

  1. It’s not practical to run randomized trials for most big nutrition questions.
  2. Instead, nutrition researchers have to rely on observational studies — which are rife with uncertainty.
  3. Another difficulty: Many nutrition studies rely on (wildly imprecise) food surveys.
  4. More complications: People and food are diverse.
  5. Conflict of interest is a huge problem in nutrition research.
  6. Even with all those faults, nutrition science isn’t futile.

When it comes to deciding what to feed Nora, I want to take an evidence-based approach, but focusing solely on randomized trials completely misses the forest for the trees. So there’s good reason to look to food culture and food traditions instead.