Looking for a solution to improve your joint pain, immunity, gut health or brain function? Nourish every cell in your body with wholesome and easy to make bone broth! Not only do homemade bone broth or stocks add incredible flavour to your soups, sauces or casseroles, they have many health supporting properties too.
Today, I’m going to share recipes for making both beef and poultry (chicken or turkey) bone broths with you. I’ll include some details on how these support and nourish your body. It’s a fantastic way to use up bits and pieces of leftover vegetables and the carcass of your roasted turkey or chicken. Plus you’ll find that with a delicious tasting stock as the base, your family and friends will rave about your cooking skills!
The secret ingredient
The physical ingredients of a good broth or stock are simple; meaty bones, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, cold water and some apple cider vinegar will give you the base of a delicious stock. The secret ingredient? Time! In order to bring out the flavours, the stock needs to simmer for hours and hours, even days.
Bones vs meat content
The amount of bones versus meat you use will determine how gelatinous and clear the stock ends up. More meat content will yield a thinner, cloudier stock.
Cold water and apple cider vinegar
Why cold water and apple cider vinegar? As the ingredients warm up with the water gradually, the fibres open slowly and release their juices to add flavour. Adding apple cider vinegar helps with this release of flavours and helps to draw minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium from the bones into the broth. It also adds a delicious tang to your finished stock, while keeping down the amount of salt needed for flavouring.
Benefits of homemade stock
- Homemade stock supplies key minerals from bone, cartilage and marrow
- It provides easy-to-assimilate electrolytes from the vegetables
- Gelatine is derived from the collagen of animal bones, tendons or ligaments and is mostly protein. The gelatine in meat broths is hydrophilic (attracts water) and as such attracts digestive juices from your stomach, making it easier to digest and assimilate cooked foods. Normally hydrophilic properties are only found in raw foods
- Other than a digestive aid, gelatine is also very healing to the digestive tract and can provide support for those suffering from colitis, hyperacidity or Crohn’s disease
- Gelatine has been found to benefit joint/bone health, including osteoarthritis, and brain health. It can also help with healthy looking skin and hair by increasing strength and flexibility to these tissues
- Gelatine contains about 11% glutamic acid (or l-glutamine) which the body makes naturally but also relies on getting from food sources. It supports immune function and intestinal health
- Gelatine is rich in glycine (27%) which has been shown to improve memory and attention/focus. It can be helpful for those dealing with mental health issues
- For those who can’t or won’t eat large amounts of meat in their diet, homemade broths rich in gelatine can supply needed amino acids and help the body utilize the proteins that are taken in from other sources. It can provide support for those suffering from diabetes, anemia, muscular dystrophy and even degenerative diseases like cancer
- Rather than throwing out bones, tough meat and vegetable scraps, you use more and waste less
Did you know?
- Doctors used to prescribe chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma; it used to be referred to as “Jewish penicillin”.
- Broth and stock are interchangeable terms. Broth used to refer to homecooking whereas stock was a term used by professional chefs.
How to use bone broth/stock
- Drink warm as is. You may want to add a little himalayan or grey sea salt for flavour.
- Use it as a base for making soups, sauces and gravies, casseroles or any recipe asking for stock or beef/chicken/vegetable bullion
I have made homemade bone broth for many years, long before it became trendy in health magazines or as a supplement. My initial reference was the incredible book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If you're looking for a huge resource for traditional cooking methods, it's a worthwhile addition to your shelf of cookbooks. Over the years, I have adapted her recipes to what most people can easily acquire in terms of animal parts and have also adjusted a few other ingredients. I get raving reviews for my soups, gravies and casseroles from adults and kids alike, and I know it's the homemade stock base that deserves the credit!
Beef Bone Broth/Stock
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
4-5 lbs beef marrow and knuckle bones, ideally from non-medicated and pastured cattle - check with your local grocery or butcher
3 lbs beef ribs
4+ litres of clean filtered or spring water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 long celery sticks, including leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bunch parsley
6 quart/litre stock pot with lid
Roasting pot or large frying pan
Large pot or bowl
- Place the marrow and knuckle bones into the stock pot, add the 4L of water and the ½ cup apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 1 hours.
- Meanwhile brown the beef rib bones by either roasting in a pan in a 350 degree oven or searing them in a frying pan on the stove top, until well browned.
- Add the rib bones to the stock pot. Drain the excess fat from the roasting or frying pan. Now add a little water and heat over high heat, stirring frequently to loosen any juicy bits of meat and juices. Add this mixture to the stock pot.
- Add the vegetables to the stock pot and add more water if needed, to cover the bones but leave at least 1 inch to the rim of the pot.
- Bring to a boil and skim of the scum that rises to the surface with a slotted spoon. Now add the thyme and peppercorns.
- Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for up to 72 hours but at least 24 hours. During the last 10-20 minutes, add the parsley.
- Strain the contents through a strainer and into a large pot or bowl. If your bones are large and still intact, remove them first with a slotted spoon. Let cool to room temperature then transfer to the fridge until completely cooled.
- When cooled completely in the fridge, remove the congealed fat that has accumulated at the top of the broth.
- Stock will last about 5 days in the fridge or transfer to containers and freeze for long term storage. If you have a pressure canner, you can also can the stock and store in a dark cool area. I usually freeze my stock in glass quart jars, leaving at least 1.5 inches of room for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
Poultry (Turkey/Chicken) Broth/Stock
Adapted from Nourishing Traditions
2-3 lbs of meaty bones or 1-2 carcasses of a roasted turkey or chicken, depending on the size of the bird. Include the neck and optionally the gizzards. Cut or break the carcass into several pieces.
4L of cold filtered or spring water (or enough to cover the bones)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 clove garlic smashed
2-3 stalks celery with leaves
1 small bunch parsley
Large bowl or pot
- Place bones into the stockpot and add enough cold water to cover the bones. Add the apple cider vinegar and let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Add the vegetable (except parsley) and bring to a boil
- Skim off any scum that rises up with a slotted spoon
- Put a lid on the pot, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 12-24 hours
- During the last 10 minutes of simmering, add the parsley
- Remove pot from stove and strain into another pot or large bowl. You can remove the bigger bones first with a slotted spoon but I have a large strainer and just dump the whole pot full through the strainer at once.
- Place the stock in fridge to allow the fat to rise to the top and congeal. Skim this fat off and your stock is ready to go.
- Pick the meat off the bones and use it to make chicken soup, casseroles, pot pies, chicken salad sandwiches, etc.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze. If you have a pressure canner, you can also can the stock using instructions from your canner.
- When you use your stock, remember it’s unsalted so you may need to add salt to taste to your recipes.
Voila! Two easy recipes that are a bit time-consuming but the effort is well worth it for your health, your taste buds and your reputation as an outstanding cook!
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Homeopathy - Live/Dried Blood Analysis - Essential Oils Specialist
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Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon with Mary G Enid, Ph.D, Revised Second Edition