Using Elk Hooves in bone broth

Asked October 29, 2019, 9:51 PM EDT

I make a bone broth once a week and have read you should use feet and hooves in the broth for the added collagen. Even though we always buy our animals from local farms the butcher's around here do not save the hooves. I've read in other parts of the world the feet and hooves are used in certain dishes. Recent;y my husband went on an Elk hunt and he brought home 16 Elk hooves from camp for us to use in our broth. Any thoughts on this? I can only find a few websites that promote the use of hooves in broth. I don't want it to taste like glue :( Thank you, Darcy

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Animal hooves and bones contain collagen (a special protein that helps connective tissue to do its job) and other functional proteins. Collagen (and other proteins) can be extracted from bones (and hooves) by boiling in water for extended periods of time. Cutting up the bones or hooves to expose the marrow will improve the extraction and reduce cooking time. As more of the collagen is extracted, it is possible that your broth will gel (especially if you add vinegar or other acid to your stock pot). If this is new to you (hasn’t happened with your other broths), then don’t be alarmed.

In various industries, collagen is further processed to make other functional ingredients. Gelatin is a refined and hydrolyzed (chopped up) form of collagen that is used for various products where gel function is important or desirable. To make traditional animal glue, hooves were boiled to extract the collagen and keratin and reduced. Acid was added to form a gel and cooled and wah-lah, animal glue! (Well, not at all as you are used to seeing it, but a resin form that can be re-melted and used as an adhesive.)

As far as tasting like glue, don’t worry about that! Commercial glues (like the white stuff you used in school) are typically synthetic, often made of polyvinyl acetate. The odor/taste of glue is the polyvinyl acetate or solvents that were used to make it.

Hope this helps! Would like to hear how it turns out! (If you dare to try it!)