Novemberites and lovers of fall and food,
Bone broth has to be one of the cheapest, most nutrient-dense sources of food out there. One of the oldest and most revered foods, it has long been the way matriarchs prepared nourishing food with meager expenditure. Cooked until the bone is crumbling and breaking, bone broth is rich in gelatin, collagen, protein, glycine and minerals. It creates foundational building blocks for our gut health, skin, hair, bones, teeth, and it can be a wonderfully soothing source of nutrition for the ill, or for anyone suffering from morning sickness.
Not only can you make it cheaply, but you can easily store bone broth by cooking it down and making bouillon cubes, or dehydrating and powdering it.
Bone broth can be expensive to buy, but preparing it from scratch costs almost nothing – even when you use the finest, grass-fed, organic bones and vegetables.
I use leftover bones from our meals (even the drumstick you picked clean at dinner – that makes great bone broth. Squeamish about cooties? Remember, it’ll be cooking for over 24 hours – even if there WERE any cooties on that bone, they’ll be gone by the time you strain your broth!). Wilful waste makes woeful want! Waste not, want not. I use fish-heads and bones from local fishermen, and carcasses from cutting up whole chicken or turkey for dinner. The bones from ham, beef and any other meat we eat go straight into a pot, along with any vegetable scraps from preparing dinner.
Rustic Bone Broth
2 pounds bones – leftover roasted poultry bones or piece bones, ham bone or pork chop bones, oxtail bones, fish heads or spines, or boiled and rinsed pig’s feet
Butt from 1 – 2 bunches of celery
Butts and/or skins from 4 – 10 carrots
Butts, skins and any pieces from 1 – 3 onions
Any other vegetable scraps, skins, tops, butts
2 – 4 tablespoons fat (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, bacon drippings, duck fat), optional
2 – 4 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (optional), to help draw minerals from the bones
Sprigs thyme, sage and a few bay leaves, salt and pepper
Prep the bones | If bones are not already cooked, heat oil in a large skillet. Add bones and herbs and sear them for a few moments on the stove. Note: Cover and let sit for 45 minute if you are using beef bones; or let them roast, uncovered, at 375F for 45 minutes. Beef bones should always be roasted for 45 minutes or more prior to use. Fish bones can skip this step entirely – do not pre-roast or sear them (if they are pre-cooked, that is fine).
Stovetop | Place all scraps, seared or roasted bones, herbs, any leftover oil and cider vinegar (if using) in a large stockpot. Add water to cover, or up to 2 gallons. Cover with a lid and bring up to a strong simmer. Turn down heat and let simmer for 24 – 48 hours.
Crockpot | Place all scraps, seared or roasted bones, herbs, any leftover oil and cider vinegar (if using) in a large crockpot. Add water to cover. Top with lid and bring to LOW temp; cook for 24 – 48 hours.
Continuous broth | Follow directions for crockpot. Every 24 hours for 5 -7 days, remove 1 – 2 quarts of bone broth and replace with fresh water. Use a large spoon to continuously break and distress the bones each time you remove broth.
Usage | Bone broth should be consumed daily; use it to cook rice, quinoa, millet or other grains. Drink a mug of it, well-seasoned, as a nourishing and comforting beverage. Bring a thermos to work or school. Use to cook pieces of meat and vegetables for delicious and nutritious soups!
We should visit more soon; have you checked my events page to see if I’ll be in your area? Maybe we can chat over a glass of kombucha, or a mug of steaming bone broth!