I made some bone broth over the weekend.
Yes it is a labour of love; cheap to almost free to make until you count the man hours and electricity!! But oh so worth it to have the result of a broth that is so dense with healing amino acids that it solidifies in the fridge.
I kept mine simple. I also made a large volume of it to make use of the time I invested and so that I could freeze several batches for use later in soups, casseroles and stews.
- Bones from the local butcher – I used three knuckly joint bones that had an open end long bone with bone marrow at one end and a big joint at the other. The bones were large and messy (cartilage and fat and sinew) and this means you get the best results as they are full of soft tissue and ligaments that break down their nutrients into the broth. Hard clean long bones are great also but you will not get as much nutrition released from a solid bone no matter how long you boil it for. Bones just don’t disintegrate no matter what claims people make for adding vinegar (not unless the poor animal had osteoporosis!). It does all seem a bit yucky I can appreciate this, but this is also ethical eating where we use more of the animal and waste less.
- Vinegar – this can be cider or wine. I used 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar as it was the first one in reach in my cupboard.
- 1 onion – roughly sliced
- 1 carrot – peeled and roughly sliced
- Optional diced fresh chili, ginger, garlic, and/ or fresh turmeric (this time I used a fresh red chili and a couple of cloves of garlic)
- Mixed dried herbs
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1-2 tablespoons ground dried turmeric
- Filtered water – a lot
- Large stock pot with lid
- Strainer/ sieve
- Fat separating jug (I’ve spoken about this fantastic kitchen aid before; see here:http://andreacullenhealthsolutions.com/2013/08/15/bone-broth-for-healing-how-do-you-do-yours/)
- Seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
This couldn’t be simpler: place your bones in a large stock pot, add the onion, carrot, herbs, bay leaf and vinegar and any other chosen ingredients and fill with water until you submerge the bones (but not too full so that when the water simmers it will bubble over). I boil the water in the kettle first to speed things up.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and leave for several hours; you may need to turn the heat down even further as it gets going. I cooked mine in two stints; on Saturday evening for a few hours and then I topped it up and started it all off again on Sunday. The bones and their soft tissue ligaments and tendons literally fell apart at the joints overnight and the marrow fat was released into the broth after this double simmer. The broth will be fatty and how much fat you choose to keep is up to you; it is very good for you and especially young growing children (not if they are over-weight as it is pretty calorie dense). I chose the strain most of it but not all. Sometimes I separate the marrow and use this on toast; bone marrow is full of immune supporting nutrition and is considered a delicacy in many countries.
Allow to cool. Remove the bones (there may be a few dog friendly pieces to make your furry friend very happy. Please make sure that they are safe, do not contain sharp ends and will not fracture and splinter in the dog’s mouth. Our dog coudn’t believe her luck with a bone bigger than her head; and I was amazed that she managed to successfully bury it!), and then in whichever order you prefer sieve the large pieces of bones, vegetables and broken bone bone pieces from the stock and then run the stock trough a fat separating jug.
This is your stock.
You can use this fresh to make soup or you can freeze for later. Or if you like you can drink this as it is; it is so rich in flavour and surprisingly tasty to first time broth makers.
I made a quick roasted butternut squash soup by blending cooked onions, oven roasted butternut squash and seasoning into the one-third of the broth. And I froze the other two-thirds for later use.
Tip: remove the skins from the butternut squash before roasting. This makes it easier to remove the flesh as I discovered. The longer you roast the squash the more that it will caramelise and give a delicious sweet toasted flavour.
Here is a more complex recipe for butternut squash soup that I plan on making later in the week Thai Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Easy peasy but a little messy.