Nourishing Bone Broth
Amanda Love's Cooking
"Indeed, stock is everything in cooking . . . without it nothing can be done." Auguste Escoffier
Broth or stock as some call it is one of the most nutritious of foods. In many cultures it is consumed almost daily. Ancient cultures would not think of throwing out the bones, the place that holds the essence of the animal. They knew to slowly cook them with water and maybe other herbs and ingredients to extract the precious life giving nutrients from them. Chinese medicine says that the bones hold "jing", also thought of as our essence. Once depleted by stress and poor diet, it is hard to replenish.
Consuming things like broth on a regular basis helps to balance and replenish this. Not only does broth warm the digestive fire and ready it for more food, but it provides minerals and gelatin. Gelatin, often just thought of only for dessert, is extremely nutritious and healing. It helps us to build strong bones, hair, teeth, and fingernails and is also very good for digestion. It is hydrophilic which helps to keep the mucosal lining of the intestines in good shape. You can use any kind of bones you have access to. The traditional bones we most commonly use to make broth are beef and chicken bones, but you may also use lamb, turkey, fish, seafood, duck, venison, buffalo or any other bones you can find.
Bones – preferably soup, shank, ribs, marrow, oxtail or knuckle bones; if using chicken – try to salvage the feet and head along with the other bones for an extra rich broth; extra tough cuts of meat will give extra flavor as well as
Filtered Cold Water to cover
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
(Optional) – veggies like potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, rosemary, nettle or any other medicinal herb
You can ignore this first step to save time, but for a more robust flavor, it is best to roast the bones first. Simply place the bones on a large baking pan or casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until browned.
Give your broth the best start by roasting the bones before adding to water
Transfer the roasted bones to a large crock pot or stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam that will rise to the top.
Turn down to a simmer or low. Add the vinegar and salt. If you can, let this broth cook for 36-72 hours. (Consider using a crock pot at this stage.) Watch the water level - you may need to add more water as it evaporates.
The minimum amount of cooking time is 6 hours, but overnight is best. The longer you cook the bones, the more medicinal your broth will be. Store the broth in pint or 1-quart mason jars and pour a little bit of fat on top of each jar of broth. This will help preserve the broth.
Once your broth cools, it may become jelled. This means you have a gelatin rich broth. It will liquefy when heated. The broth will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for several months. You can freeze glass jars as long as you leave 2 inches of air space at the top. Use to make soups, stews and sauces, to cook your grains, and to just simply drink before meals or anytime. Enjoy!