Last week, I wrote about why I started making bone broth. And why I have consumed it every day since late December. This week, I’m going to tell you how I make bone broth.
Let’s start with ingredients. I am all about having the right ingredients. It’s the same as anything I cook; I start with quality ingredients. Let’s talk about some of those ingredients:
- Beef Bones – I’ve made several batches of bone broth and all except one was made with beef bones. Beef bones from grass-fed cows. Preferably marrow bones. I buy them at the farmers market from a rancher. I’ve also bought bone broth from the same rancher.*
- Chicken bones – I start with a whole chicken. Once the chicken is cooked and the meat removed from the bones, I use all the leftover pieces – skin, bones, connective tissue. Some people even buy and add chicken feet. We buy our chickens at the farmer market as well. So they are pasture-raised chickens.*
- Vegetables – Carrots, celery, and onion add flavor to bone broth. If I can, I buy these at the farmers market as well, but they’re not always in season. You can prepare these in advance and freeze them. I will buy celery and then cut 3-4 stalks into 1-2 inch pieces, wrap them up and freeze them for later use in bone broth. I buy carrots in bulk and freeze them too. The texture isn’t what’s important, just the flavors. The first time I made bone broth, it cooked for 24 or 48 hours. My husband wanted to taste one of the carrots at the end. He was unpleasantly surprised to learn that the carrot had no flavor left. It was all in the broth.
- Other vegetables – I’ve read a lot of bone broth suggestions and several say that they put vegetable scraps in the freezer and then add them to their bone broth. Someone suggested that you go easy on the greens as they can add a bitter flavor.
- Garlic – Another flavor enhancer.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar helps to leech the nutrients from the bones.
- Filtered water – We filter all of the water we drink, to remove the chlorine, fluoride and who knows what else is in our water. It makes sense to use that same filtered water for bone broth.
* Buying grass-fed beef bones and pasture-raised chickens may be pricey, but if you can swing it, you’ll be starting with the best ingredients. I fully believe in going way back to how animals were raised before there were large-scale factory farms. If you want to spend less, look for the highest quality you can find.
Here’s how I make my bone broth:
- Prepare your bones – if you’re starting with raw bones, roast them in the oven @ 350F for 30 minutes.
- Start with a large stock pot. Mine is 12 quarts.
- Add your prepared bones.
- Throw in your vegetables:
- 1 onion, diced into roughly 1 inch pieces
- 3-4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3-4 stalks celery, with leaves, cut into 1 inch piece
- any other interesting vegetables you have on hand
- Add 3-4 (or more) cloves of peeled garlic.
- Add filtered water to within 1 inch of top of stock pot.
- Add desired spices and herbs – I add thyme and 6-8 black peppercorns.
- Add 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Do not add salt at this point. Add salt to individual dishes you make with your finished broth.
- Turn on the heat. You never want this to boil as prolonged boiling will destroy the collagen. Still, I like to heat it on a higher setting just to get everything in the pot hot. Once it is hot, I reduce the burner to a low setting. You want it to gently simmer.
- Cover your stock pot.
- Cook your broth for at least 24 hours. If you read other broth recipes, you’ll find a wide variation here. I have even let it simmer for up to 48 hours.
- Once you’re done cooking, you’ll want to strain your broth using either a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. I strain my broth into a 2 quart measuring cup and then pour it into 1 quart canning jars.
- Allow the broth to cool before refrigerating. You can freeze your broth as well, but that will be the topic for another day.
- Enjoy. I sip a mug full every day. It also makes an excellent base for stews or soups – anywhere that calls for broth.
And that is how I make bone broth. This absolutely isn’t rocket science. I have found that if you start with quality ingredients, you just can’t go wrong. Try it yourself and let me know what you think.