So I’m super excited about this post!! And I know it’s definitely not for everyone but read it anyways- you’ll learn something!!
For a few months now I’ve been taking a powdered collagen supplement- one where you dissolve it in water, add some vitamin c (for absorption) and drink on an empty stomach 30 minutes before meals- to strengthen my hair and nails. It has a slew of other health benefits as well- good for joints, skin elasticity, etc, but I was intentionally taking it for my hair and nails. I’ve seen a huge difference- my hair is growing much faster, my nails are tougher- definitely pleased. But I started wondering how I could actually take this in with food, rather than by supplementation. I’m a firm believer in going for natural sources of vitamins and minerals rather than supplements. (I.e. real fish instead of fish oil, real egg whites instead of egg white powder, etc) so I began researching collagen. And I’m so happy I did!
Much to my surprise, Korea has an awesome selection of actual cow collagen that you can buy nicely packaged, without bones or fat. I’ve found a few suppliers on Gmarket- here is the link to the one I used.
So if you aren’t sure what collagen is, it is a type of protein that connects and supports other bodily tissues and can be found in bones, tendons, skin, muscle, cartilage and other places. Often times when you make bone broth, and you get a gelatinous product when cooled- that is gelatin from the denatured collagen. If you’re wondering about the difference between collagen and gelatin, check this site. Anyways, I’m not really sure where in the animal this collagen comes from that I bought- but tails, hooves, tendons and knuckles are good sources. And of course, cows aren’t the only source- you’re going to find collagen in every animal, but cow is what I used with delicious results.
I actually didn’t know what this product was called, but after googling various words like cartilage, gristle, tendon, knuckle, joint.. I think “tendon” is the right one for what I bought. And I discovered that it is actually something that other people eat too! I got some great ideas here and here!
The first time I made it, I hacked up the tendon (not easy!) and just boiled it in water with a splash of vinegar. Then I threw in some veggies and had a simple yet really delicious soup. This time I made an even better version, and didn’t bother cutting the tendon until after it was cooked (wayyyy easier!!). I added beef bones to my broth this time, to add more nutrition, however you don’t have to. The broth made from the tendon has a wonderful umami quality- a bit slippery and creamy. The tendon is deliciously chewy- its not hard like gristle, you can definitely chew it. Also, as the soup sits in your fridge, the tendon continues to break down, making your broth more gelatinous.
Tendon is super high in protein- I’m not sure the exact calories, but on FatSecret it gives the following stats for a 100g serving: 150 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, and 36.7g protein. However, some say that because it is not a pure protein, you should make sure to include other sources of protein in your diet. Which I’m sure is a given anyways- how many people out there only eat beef tendon as their main protein source? Right.
Anyways, I highly recommend you try this! It has a real beefy flavour, so you definitely get a beef fix from it. Plus, who doesn’t want stronger joints and healthier hair? :)
Chilli Rubbed Beef Tendon
1 kg collagen or tendon
1 kg bones (optional)
3 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp ginger
water to cover
1. Soak bones, rinse.
2. Rub spices on collagen
3. In a large soup pot, boil bones, discard water, rinse. Add collagen, cover with water. Return to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1-2 hours. Scoop off any foam that occurs.
4. At this point you can remove the tendon and continue simmering your bones for as long as you want- I did 6-8 hours. Strain broth and cool. When cold you can discard the fat that collects, or use it as some people do (not me).
5. When the tendon is cool, slice into bite sized pieces. You can either eat the tendon as is, or return it to the broth, add some veggies and enjoy it as soup.
Will you try it? Please do!