Making your own bone broth is super easy, high in nutrients and the ingredients are dirt cheap. It has a myriad of uses, ranging from being a great base for soups, stews and sauces, all the way to a fortifying breakfast tonic. That age-old tradition of eating chicken soup when you’re sick takes on new significance when you consider what’s actually in the bones you use.
Bone and the surrounding tissues are rich in some essential compounds that don’t really occur in high concentration anywhere else. You can think bone and the marrow as storage for all the really important minerals, protected and stowed away – so naturally when you crack these open, the concentrated goodness can escape. Bones house deposits of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous – all of which are used for maintaining healthy bones, teeth and cells. There are also amino acids like glycine and proline which aid in strengthening cells and healing wounds. And that’s just in the bones, around them are joints and ligaments rich in collagen which is essential of healthy joints and skin.
With all they’ve got going for them it seems strange that we often just eat the meat off of bones and then discard them!
The act of making broth is so easy it almost doesn’t have a recipe…
Start with the bones. You can use basically any bones; Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish – but it’s Beef and Chicken that are the most popular and versatile – because their natural flavours are suited to so many dishes.
- 1 kg of chopped up bones (beef chuck bones are great for broth, are are chicken frames).
- 3lt of water and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Bring the water to a boil the reduce to a simmer and keep it simmering.
- The famous stock making vegetables are often included here to add an extra dimension of flavour and lend their own nutritional properties to the mix.
Whole onions, roughly chopped carrots (unpeeled), celery (including the leaves). In the last hour or so you can add herbs like parsley and garlic.
There may be an urge to add salt but this should only really be done when you come to using the stock because as it reduces your salt ratio will be hard to judge.
Your broth will be ready to drink after about four hours of simmering but if you’re aiming for maximum extraction you can have it quietly bubbling away for 24 hours.
Once complete, strain it once or twice until you’re left with a golden-brown semi-transparent liquid with oils on the surface and a hearty aroma. You can now separate the broth into containers and freeze for later use or keep in your fridge for up to 6 days. It’s the kind of thing that makes sense to do in big batches and freeze because you’ll find yourself wanting to use it for many meals.