I was thinking about this earlier while thinking about menudo as I was munching on a piece of oxtail. When I tried to make bone broth, it pretty much failed, even though I used cartilage-y pieces of bone. The broth wasn't gelatinous at all. But everytime I've had menudo and refrigerated it, the broth has become rich and jiggly. This got me wondering about the nutritional benefits of bone broth versus just eating cartilage.
Of course, the advantage of menudo is that you get the long- and slow-cooked broth AND you can eat the cartilage from ankle bones and such--or, at least, I do, as does everyone else in my family who enjoys menudo.
But tonight, my mom and I made cocido (vegetable & meat soup) with oxtail, and the bones were only simmered for an hour or two--a little below what's usually recommended in recipes for bone broth. Barring the extraction of calcium and other minerals from bones that require longer simmering, couldn't I just eat faster-cooked cartilage to receive its benefits (e.g. from its collagen) instead of allowing pieces of cartilage-y bone to simmer for hours and then throwing them out?
Okay, I do hope this made sense. Defer to the title of this post if any confusion ensues. (: