Suddenly, bone broth is all the rage.
Bone broth is a very old-fashioned food tradition, cooked in a profoundly old way: over time. It is a culinary gem from our grandparent’s generation meant as a thrifty way of extracting every last bit of goodness from every morsel. It comes from a distinctly old world sensibility of “nothing wasted”. Long before it was trendy, bone broth was economical, easy to prepare, and delicious. Grandmothers knew it was good for us long before science told us so.
WHAT IS BONE BROTH
Essentially, it is a stock made from bones, vegetables, meat scraps, as well as aromatics simmered in water for hours and hours.
WHY IS BONE BROTH SO GOOD FOR YOU
Bone broth is not only a comforting bowl of warmth, it is also a bowl of goodness. This once humble staple is now recognized as a superfood with impressive health and beauty benefits. Eat or drink it daily and you’ll see and feel the difference almost immediately.
- Digestive Issues
Bone broth is an excellent source of nutrients in an easy-to-digest form.
Staves off sickness and helps with the healing process after illness or injury.
- Weight Loss, Detox & Cleanses
Bone broth is satisfying and filling, but low in calories.
One of the protein components contained in bone broth is glycine. This amino acid has many functions including detoxifying the liver and is also necessary for the synthesis of glutathione and uric acid—two important antioxidants.
Revitalizes and energizes. Revives tired muscles and makes joints stronger.
An veritable elixir for glowing skin; it’s full of protein, good fats, collagen, and keratin, all of which are the building blocks for strong hair and nails and smooth, clear skin. Some even claim it prevents wrinkles.
WHY SHOULD YOU MAKE IT YOURSELF
Nothing can compare to homemade. It tastes vastly superior to anything boxed, cubed, powdered, packaged, or canned from the supermarket.
The ingredients used for commercial broth may include a concoction of hydrolyzed protein and emulsifiers and usually a high percentage of salt. It may not even be made from actual bones. A different methodology is also used that doesn’t include long and slow cooking, therefore it doesn’t have the nutritional goodness that home-cooked has.
HOW DO YOU MAKE BONE BROTH
Patiently. Use a slow cooker, a pot in the oven, or on the stove.
- Basic Ingredients: bones, water and a really long simmer with the lid on.
- A Few Add-Ins: bay leaves, onions, celery, carrots and a squeeze of something acidic like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to help further extract nutrients from the bones.
- Cooking Times: Simmer chicken broth for at least 6 hours; 12 hours if you’re using beef or lamb bones. Simmer roasted bones for 36-48 hours. This breaks down the bones and extracts its goodness—collagen, amino acids, and minerals—and creates the broth’s rich color and thickness.
- Avoid: Brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, kale, collards, brussel sprouts and the like), non-stick pans, plastic spoons.
- Strain & Store: Once broth is done, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container and let cool completely. Skim off any fat. Transfer to jars, cover, and refrigerate for up to a week. To freeze, transfer the cooled broth to plastic freezer bags or containers. Bone broth cubes made in ice-cube trays are very handy to have on hand for making sauces or whenever a small quantity is required. Frozen broth keeps for up to 6 months.
WHAT BONES ARE BEST
The most important criterion for selecting good bones is that they come from healthy, pastured animals. Buy naturally- and ethically- raised beef, pork, and poultry for your broths. The better your base ingredients, the healthier and tastier the finished product.
Joint bones are particularly good for bone broth because they contain cartilage and connective tissue that can render out in the lengthy cooking process. Meaty bones, such as ribs, or bones with marrow are also excellent. Bigger bones need a long, slow extraction.
You can also make broth from leftover roast meat like a roast chicken carcass. Save the remains from a few dinners in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you have enough for a potful.
WHAT DO YOU USE BONE BROTH FOR
Bone broth is a superstar ingredient in the kitchen. It adds richness and increases mouthfeel to anything it’s in because of the collagen and gelatin dissolved in it. This gives it thickening superpowers akin to cornstarch or a roux.
Of course bone broth makes every sort of soup, but a steaming cup of well-seasoned bone broth is also wonderful on its own. It also serves as an amazing base to make sauces, stews, and grains like couscous, quinoa, and risotto. For added depth of flavour and nutrition bone broth can be added to finish veggies; in braises; curries, and Bolognese sauce.
Bone broth is a cuisine chameleon depending upon what’s put with it: anything goes – from spicy and fragrant to soothing and mild, just choose your favourite herbs and seasonings. From ramen to Pho to Tom Yum, umami-boosting ingredients such as ginger, garlic, lime, seaweed, miso, a squirt of Sriracha, a splash of fish sauce turns plain broth into a zingy Asian soup we crave. Just add noodles, veggies, and meat to make a meal in a big bowl.
From Italian Zuppa, to French Onion soup, to American chicken noodle, it’s all a matter of taste.
BONE BROTH RECIPES
4 pounds beef bones
2 large yellow onions, quartered
4 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put the bones in a roasting pan and roast until well browned, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the bones to a stockpot and add water to cover by 1 inch, then add the onions, celery, carrots, and salt. Bring to a low boil, skimming any scum that rises to the surface, then lower the heat so the liquid is gently simmering. Simmer for 4 to 5 hours, adding water as needed to keep the bones mostly covered.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and let cool completely, skim off any fat that has risen to the surface. Transfer to jars, cover, and refrigerate. If storing for more than four days, transfer the cooled broth to plastic freezer storage bags and lay flat in the freezer. Frozen broth will keep for up to 6 months.
- Add all ingredients to large pot. Fill with cold filtered water to cover. Leave a few inches between the vegetables and the rim of the pot so it doesn’t boil over.
- Bring to boil. Skim.
- Simmer on low heat overnight (8-12 hours) with the lid on.
You can also make Bone Broth using a slow-cooker. Set to high and cook for 12 hours or more.