Why Bone Broth is the Bomb…

(Image by TSL)
(Image by JFC)

It’s not art. It’s not haute cuisine. It’s not the latest new and groovy Sydney restaurant. It’s not even very sexy. But it is my biggest food obsession…

It’s no secret that LM and I have undergone a massive paradigm shift in the last couple of years with the way we eat. The discovery of a combined shellfish/dairy allergy for LM and – in amongst other health ‘stuff’ – a sensitivity to gluten for me, means life at Casa TSL is no longer quite the same. Poor old LM has well and truly divorced Adriano Zumbo. My favourite Sonoma sourdough looks like it may well be permanently off the menu. <sigh>. And, at the time of writing, we are entering our eighth week of the Autoimmune Protocol.

I have undertaken a lot of reading about different approaches to food, and its effects on the body, in an attempt to work out what might work best for LM and me. And, we have experimented a little, too. This has led to a growing understanding and appreciation of more traditional eating – the way our great grandmothers ate. And, by this I mean: –

Locally

Seasonally

LOTS of fresh vegetables

A nose-to-tail approach (for reasons of health, sustainability and budget)

Cutting out highly refined, processed and artificial food

A nutrient-rich diet (including lacto-fermented foods)

And, one of our biggest steps towards a more traditional diet was when I started making bone broth. Regularly. As in at least every other week.

You looking' at me...? (Image from here)
You looking’ at me…?
(Image from here)

So, what exactly is bone broth?

Bone Broth is typically made with different varieties of bones from the same animal – like pasture raised-beef, -lamb, -chicken, and fish – and may have a small amount of meat still attached to the bones. The wider the variety of bones – knuckles and feet give lots of gelatine; marrow bones give great flavour and added nutrients; ribs and neck add flavour – the better. As with the preparation of a good stock, bones are usually roasted first to improve flavour.

Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long – as long as 72 hours, in some cases. This long, slow cooking time is to allow as many minerals and nutrients as possible to be removed from the bones.

Why bone broths are good for you

Bone broths are hugely rich in nutrients – particularly minerals like sodium, chloride, and iodine as well as magnesium, potassium and other important trace minerals.They are also a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports our bodies’ detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying within the blood), bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the release of gastric acids. Proline (along with vitamin C) is great for our skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatine which has multiple uses – it aids in digestion, helps in the absorption of cooked foods (particularly the muscle meat cuts that are so popular now), and also supports skin health.

Bone broth made from chickens helps alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu. There’s a reason chicken soup is an old Jewish tradition!

Why can’t I just buy ready-made stock from the supermarket?

Well, you can. You just shouldn’t. For a start, they won’t taste nearly as good as your home-made version. And, they’re expensive. And, if that’s not enough, commercial stocks are often pasteurised – killing off all the goodness you get from your long slow simmer, and they have additives and preservatives that you just won’t put in yours.

Chicken Bone Broth
(Image by JFC)

What Can I do With my Bone Broth?

Well, the simplest answer is: drink it! Just heat to a simmer in a small pot, add a little good quality sea salt, and sip away. It’s great before or with meals and helps with digestion. You can also enhance the flavour by adding freshly grated ginger, fresh herbs, or even (if the thought is not too way out for you) throw in some sea vegetables.

Of course, bone broth is a great flavour base for soups and sauces. A simple soup can easily be created just by adding vegetables. For sauces, just add a little broth to the pan as you are cooking various meats.

We’re now cooking lots of braises in bone broth. You can see from my recent Osso Buco recipe that secondary cuts of meat not only taste amazing, they’re cheaper, too!

I also cook veggies with broth, too. Leafy greens, cabbage and fennel are great braised in broth. Adding broth to a root vegetable mash is a good alternative to dairy.

Can you tell that I’m a little passionate about bone broth? Well, here’s my very easy recipe…

Why Bone Broth is the Bomb...
 
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe is 100% Autoimmune Protocol friendly
Author:
Recipe type: Essentials
Serves: 3 litres
Ingredients
  • 1.5 - 2 kilos bones from happy, hormone free animals (a mixture of bones from different parts of the animal is good. I save the bones and carcasses from my roast chickens)
  • a couple of chicken feet (optional - will ensure your broth has a good gelatin level)
  • a good glug of apple cider vinegar (lemon juice also works)
  • 2 or 3 onions
  • 2 or 3 carrots
  • 2 or 3 sticks of celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns (omit for strict AIP)
  • A bunch of parsley stalks
  • You will also need a large stock pot.
Method
  1. If making beef or lamb bone broth, heat your oven to 180°C/360°F. Pop your meatier bones into a roasting dish and roast until well browned (about 30 - 45 minutes). Place your knuckle and marrow bones into your stock pot. Add your apple cider vinegar and cover with cold water. Now, just let this sit while your meaty bones brown. When your bones are nicely browned, add these to the pot, along with your onions, carrots, celery (and chicken feet, if using). Make sure you deglaze your roasting dish and get all the good bits out of the bottom to add to the stock pot. Ensure your cold water just covered your bones. Top up if necessary. Note: if using leftover chicken carcasses and bones, there is no need to roast the bones.
  2. Bring your stock pot to a boil. Carefully skim off any scum that rises to the top. Reduce the heat to low and add your peppercorns (if tolerated), parsley stalks and bay leaves.
  3. Now just leave it. Let it simmer for 12 - 72 hours (I simmer chicken bones for 24 - 36 hours and beef bones for 48 - 72 hours).
  4. When you have finished simmering your bones, turn off the heat. Carefully remove your bones and vegetables (these can now be discarded). Place a sieve covered with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel over a large bowl. Strain your bone broth. Cool in the fridge.
  5. Once cooled, there will be a layer of congealed fat that has risen to the top of your bone broth. This is easily removed if desired and can be saved for cooking.
  6. Transfer your broth into smaller containers for freezing. Your broth will keep up to a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Notes
Cook time can be anything from 12 to 72 hours depending on your preference

 

If you’re worried about leaving your stove-top on for that length of time, or you just don’t have the time, the Nourished Kitchen has a great recipe for Perpetual Soup (chicken bone broth) she has going in her slow cooker.

E N J O Y !

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Comments (32)

I have a left over chicken carcass in my freezer to make a broth one day soon. This recipe looks easy peasy.

ohhhh – Kirsty. Wait until you have another one (if you’re going to all that trouble, you may as well make a decent sized batch, I say!) and try a couple of chicken feet. It will make such a difference to how gelatinous it gets… Good luck!

Wow! I thought my 36 hour broth was impressive. I’m going for 72~!

I love broth! I’ll have to try your recipe some time – I’m usually lazy and just throw in some bayleaves and call it good. I season it after the fact with a little turmeric, lemon juice, and salt. I swear by good broth – it’s amazing for skin.

SoA – if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Your way with the addition of turmeric, lemon juice and salt sounds pretty good to me! 🙂

Bone broth is such a staple in our home! Its benefits truly are amazing. I am farily lazy with mine though. Leftover carcass/bones and feet. I throw in any frozen veggie scraps {onion peels, carrot ends, etc.}. A new onion if I don’t have scraps.Lots of garlic, a chunk of fresh ginger, and ACV. For the last couple of months I’ve only used a pressure cooker to make broth. I don’t think I have histamine issues {I haven’t felt the need to dive into that possibility – ha!}, but pressure cooked broth is better for those with histamine intolerance.

E – I don’t think I have histamine issues, either. Well, I hope I don’t!

Do you find your pressure cooker useful? – I have been holding off buying yet another kitchen gadget…

[…] One other factor is bone broth. I’ve read on a number of sites that people who consume bone broth regularly are able to avoid sickness generally and the stomach flu specifically. Interestingly, we had a bone broth lull at our house in the weeks before Matthew started barfing. Regular bone broth intake might help prevent the need for a future reset. This Sidney Life has a great bone broth recipe. […]

Where do you get chicken feet? My farmers say the inspectors won’t let them sell them.

Hi Alice – I get my Chook feet from my sustainable butchers. In Sydney, either G.R.U.B. or Feather & Bone. I buy them in bulk and then freeze in small portions of 2 – 3 footsies (the dog never turns one down).

I’m heading over to The Meat Emporium to pick up my grassfed beef bones to make my first batch today!!!! Woo hoo!

Yay! Seriously one of the best things you can do for yourself. I promise (and I’m not exaggerating!)

[…] I posted about bone broth the other day, a girlfriend asked for some ideas on how to incorporate more of this wonder-food […]

[…] of time, that makes you look for opportunities to use that product. I find that all the time with bone broth. After I made the lard, I used some in my first-ever batch of plantain crackers. More on that next […]

From time to time, generally from chicken or turkey carcass, I make broth and without question it is better than anything you can buy. I’ll have to give it a try with other meat bones.

finally, the beginning of my chicken bone broth is simmering on the stove – although, I have made a couple of substitutes. No parsley, have used coriander. Lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar. Have also left the garlic bulb from roasting the chickens ….It already smells delicious. kx

AWESOME, K! Coriander and lemon juice are fine subs – I love coriander with chicken.

Your tummy will thank you! 🙂

Hey this is a great inspiring read about your bone brothing (is that even a word?!). I do mine in a pressure cooker and it takes as little as 3 hours. Comes out perfect. For those of you who don’t like the idea of something being on the stove for a day or two or just want to produce it quicker, pop ingredients in a pressure cooker – tho I would hold off on everything except Apple Cider Vinegar and a couple of bay leaves. Apparently the faster the cook the preserving of more nutrients.

Hey R – thanks for stopping by. Since that post, since I make so much bone broth, I’ve actually invested in a pressure cooker myself. I LOVE it! And, I always get the perfect gelling, wobbly broth, too… 🙂

Yeah cool. Love reading about your AIP travels. Tough stuff but empowering aye. I’m two weeks in.. Fresh as fresh but still, free of some of my biggest addictions, like coffee. Feeling the freedom in between plate after plate of vegetables and meat .. 😉

Are you making your own fermented veggies, Possum? That and bone broth are my BIGGEST additions to my diet.

I am finally back on limited coffee after 9 months of avoidance. I found giving up coffee harder than giving up wine… Maybe it’s a Kiwi thing!?!

it’s def a kiwi thing.. hell, I live in Wellington. Who ISN’T a coffee lover around this joint?! just cafe after wonderful cafe of great baristas who conjure up some fantastic cups of beautiful black stuff. It’s been hard. Haven’t got onto fermenting my own veggies yet but that’s next on the list. That, and I read somewhere recently, how easy and delish making coconut yoghurt is. Have you done that one?

I haven’t been making coconut yoghurt – largely because cracking all those young coconuts for the flesh is a little daunting. I was making raw milk yoghurt for LM for a while, but now we are buying coconut yoghurt from our local farmers market.

Fermenting veggies is SO easy! Suggest you look to Sandor Katz, ‘The Art of Fermentation’. The man is a legend!

[…] to it. If you’re not a cook, start slow. Start easy. Make some bone broth. Make a frittata. Make a Jamie Oliver Inspired Four Hour Lamb (If you leave off making the gravy, […]

[…] I make bone broth from the leftover chook bones – If I’m sufficiently organised, I’ll have extra chook carcasses in the freezer. They’ll go into the pressure cooker with the leftover bones from my poached chook. I follow Simone from Zenbelly’s instructions on making pressure cooker bone broth, but if you’d like to make it conventionally, here’s a post on how to make bone broth. […]

[…] simple, I have learnt that some level of planning is key. Having a good stash of homemade stock (bone broth) at the ready in my freezer means I can always whip up something healthy and tasty, even on those […]

[…] Autoimmune Protocol lends itself to soup. Not least because bone broth is an integral player in the […]

[…] course, there’s always that trusty AIP stalwart – bone broth; but, honestly? – I’d be lying if I said the idea of a cup of this filled me with […]

[…] broth, bone broth, bone broth. I used to make it this way. Then, I discovered the magic that is pressure cooking and I loosely follow the Zenbelly […]

[…] my old-fashioned-but-new stove top pressure cooker was used to make bone broth. Until that time, I had been making my bone broth in the traditional way – long, slow cooking […]

[…] course, bone broth features heavily. So do pureed soups, which freeze particularly well. I freeze liver pâté in […]

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