In Traditional Societies all around the world, bone broth was a common kitchen staple not only because cultures wanted to use every bit of an animal, but also because broths are a nutritional powerhouse, full of minerals and micronutrients essential for good health. These days, when people think of broth, they think of the carton on the shelf at the grocery store. Unfortunately, these broths include additives such as color, sugars, and salts to cover up it's poor quality. Homemade bone broth is a lost art that should be reclaimed in home kitchens as it is incredibly simple to make and very economical as well.
When I first began this Real Food journey, making my own broth was one of the first things I learned how to do because of it's simplicity and low cost. A good, wholesome broth can be prepared for pennies. Using the bones left over from a roast chicken and any vegetable scraps that have been saved, sometimes all you have to pay for is the energy used to heat your pot!
So, what is so great about homemade broth? As the broth is simmering (with the addition of apple cider vinegar), nutrients and minerals leach from the bones and infuse the water with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, glycine, hyaluronic acid, and other trace minerals. Chondroitin and glucosamine can help with arthritis and joint pain. Glycine helps support liver health and is helpful in wound healing. Gelatin is healing to the digestive tract and also aids in bone/wound healing. Bottom line, broth is darn good for us. One of my goals for myself is to have broth every day. Whether it be in soups, a hearty risotto, or just a mug with a pinch of salt, I know that I could reap incredible benefits from this simple addition to my diet.
So, how do you make it? You aren't going to believe how simple it is. Throw your bones in a pot, add some aromatics like carrots, garlic, onions, or mushrooms. Add some apple cider vinegar, and cover with filtered water. Bring all of it to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 4 hours, but up to 24 hours. Cool, and then refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze!
I manage my broth in a few ways. Once it is done, I strain it into a large bowl, or another pot. I usually stick this in the fridge to solidify the fat, making it easy to skim off. Once it has cooled and the fat has been skimmed, I strain again through a fine mesh sieve and store in quart sized mason jars and 1/2 pint sized mason jars. I keep them all in my freezer.
Today I am going to share a recipe I used for the Beef Broth I made last week.
First, I roasted my beef soup bones for about an hour. This is VERY important. Don't skip this step if you are making beef broth.
Once the bones were done roasting, I threw them into a big stock pot and added what I had on hand. In this case I had 2 carrots, and onion, some garlic, and fresh thyme and rosemary.
I added filtered water and brought it to a boil.
Once the broth was boiling, I added a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a few bay leaves and turned the heat down to a simmer. Then, I forgot about it. Initially I did not cover my pot, but after a few hours in, I added the cover and adjusted the heat as needed to keep the stock at a low simmer. Be sure to replace water as it evaporates if you do not cover your pot.
After 24 hours, I had a lovely stock that I strained and let cool in the pot until it was cool enough to transfer into my jars.
This time I did not refrigerate my broth because I wanted the fat in my broth. I figured I could skim it off later if I want to. So, once it was cool enough, but still warm, I moved my broth into jars.
I moved my jars to the freezer, but kept one quart in my fridge. My daughter had just broken her collar bone and I wanted to give that broth to her to aid in her healing. When I pulled it out of the fridge I was super excited to see that it had gelled!!!!! I haven't been able to get my chicken stock to gel, so I was thrilled to see that my beef stock had!
Making my own stock is one of the easiest and most nutritious foods I make for my family. Since it is so inexpensive and simple to prepare, I hope you give it a try in your healthy kitchen, too!
Learn More About Bone Broth
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- 5 to 8 pounds of grass fed beef soup bones
- Vegetable scraps (carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mushrooms, leeks)
- Filtered water to cover (I like to cover by 2 inches)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Bay leaves, if desired
- Roast your soup bones in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Your bones should be brown and fragrant. Do not skip this step, or your broth will smell and taste terrible!
- Drain the fat from the bones.
- Add the bones to your stock pot along with your vegetable scraps.
- Add filtered water to cover by 2 inches and bring your pot to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the vinegar and bay leaves.
- Turn down your heat to maintain a gentle, low simmer.
- Cook for at least several hours. I simmered mine for 24 hours.
- Cool and store!
- If you are short on time you can also buy grass-fed bone broth online!