While bone broth is technically a stock, and not a broth, the terms are often used interchangeably. This kitchen staple is an extraordinarily inexpensive food source, especially for its nutritive value. Beyond expanding your kitchen savvy and saving your dollars, bone broth is remarkably healthful.

broth-fixensIn our home, we often have a crockpot of brewing stock bubbling away on the counter. We use it most days. When I deglaze a pan of dinner, I use bone broth. We sip it out of mugs at breakfast and of course, home brewed stock makes the base for our; quick blender soups, more involved soups, stews and pots of whatever else we want to simmer into savory, substantial goodness.

 

 

Here are but 3 reasons, of course there are more than these!

1) Become A Kitchen Maven

What smells so good?  Rich, fragrant and dancing with droplets of golden fat, quality stock is an essential aspect of good cooking. Homemade bone broth offers a depth of flavor that leaves its store bought counterpart paling in comparison. It’s a deeply flavorful yet versatile kitchen constituent.

Bone broths have been simmering across the globe throughout the history of humans cooking. Nearly every traditional society boiled the bones of meat-giving animals to make a nutritive broth. You can do it too, the skills and time needed to up your kitchen game with homemade stock are next to nil. 20 minutes of your time, a crock pot and some soup bones are all that a good stock requires, some veggies and an aromatic herb or two are bonus.

2) Waste Not Want Not

Boxed and canned broths and stocks are commercially available, and you can even purchase organic and free-range meat broths; however, preparing your own stock at home can possibly save you more money over time than any other kitchen endeavor. Consider that a one-quart package of organic broth will set you back at least $4 at most grocers, while making your own costs pennies. The value extends beyond your own pocket book, your homemade broth utilizes more of the animal who gave its life, plus there’s no waste of energy due to packaging and shipping.

3) Build Your Bodacious Body

Stocks made from the bones of chicken, fish, lamb and beef – consumed on a regular basis are a boon to your health. Adding a little vinegar to the recipe helps to draw out minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium. Best yet, in this liquid-whole-food-form, the nutrients are easily  assimilated by your body. These elixirs also provide an excellent source of proteins, especially collagen.

Further more, homemade bone broths help to heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation. The gelatin found in bone broth attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. Gelatin also shows promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease. It helps to support the connective tissue in your body.

Why wait, make a big pot! You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days and/or freeze it in plastic bags or jars for months.

Here are your recipes!

Beef Bone Broth

Gather Your Ingredients:

3 lbs marrow bones from Grass fed cows

3 lbs knuckle bones from Grass fed cows

2 onions, cut off the roots and take off the first few dirty layers of the golden skin, leave the under layers of golden skin and slice the onions in quarters.

4 huge cloves garlic, smash and leave the skins on

2 teaspoons peppercorns

4 bay leaves

4 stalks of celery, rinse and cut into 4” pieces

Approximately 4 quarts filtered water

¼ cup vinegar, I use Braggs apple cider vinegar

 

Assemble Your Creation:

Thaw your bones and roast them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. While the bones are roasting place the onions, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and celery in the crock pot.

roasted bones

When the bones are done roasting place them in the crock pot on top of the veggies. Add the water and vinegar. Let sit for 20 mins. Turn your crockpot on high and cook for 24 – 48 hrs. You can reduce the heat to medium after the first 12 hrs or so.

When you’re ready, turn the crockpot off. Use tongs to fish out the larger pieces of bones and push the marrow out into the liquid. Then pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Let the liquid come to room temperature then transfer it to the fridge until the gelatin in the broth sets and all the fat rises to the top, once this happens you can easily scrape the fat off. The fat can be reserved as a cooking oil if you desire. At this point you can store the stock in jars or plastic bags in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for months.

Chicken Stock

Gather Your Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

Approximately 4 quarts filtered water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 large onion, cut off the root and dirty outer skin but leave the inner golden skin, cut in quarters

4-5 huge cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

4 bay leaves

Assemble Your Creation:

Place chicken in a large pot with water or a slow cooker, add the vinegar, onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Let stand 30 minutes.  

whole chix broth

Bring to a boil or turn your slow cooker on high, as it heats up and comes to a boil,  remove any scummy bubbles that rise to the top.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 4 hours.  Use tongs to grab the chicken and place it in a large bowl. Let it sit at least 20 minutes so that it cools a bit so it’s easier to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and place it in  a storage container, it’s now ready to be used for recipes that will go good with “shredded chicken meat”. Return the bones back to your cooking vessel.

Continue  to simmer the bones for 24 hours or a bit longer if you need the extra time before you can get to it.  When you’re ready, pour the stock through a strainer into a large bowl. Let it come to room temperature then chill your bowl of stock in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.  Skim off the fat and store the stock in jars or plastic bags, it will last in the fridge for 5 days or you can freeze it and it will last for months.