Bone broth

The stockpot could possibly be the most important piece of equipment to have in your kitchen.

That’s quite the statement to make and I’m happy to share with you why I think so.

I remember so clearly my days at Silwood where one of the first things we were taught was how to make stock, or bone broth. We then had to make sure that we had a constant supply of good quality, well-made stock for use in our practical classes. Cooking with stock was new to me, and my family, who were amused at my constant pot of bones, vegetables and often chicken feet cooking away for hours on the stove at home.

Sadly there has been a huge decline in the use and preparation of broths and stocks in our modern, fast paced daily lives. Our economical ancestors made use of every part of the animal, and so should we.

“Waste not,Want not!”

veg prep

What exactly is bone broth:

Bone broth is built up on a foundation of; water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables, herbs and seasoning. These are cooked for 24-48 hours and eventually the solids are removed by straining the broth with a fine-mesh sieve. This long cooking process helps to release gelatin from collagen rich joints and releases beneficial minerals from the bones. These minerals in the form of a broth are easily absorbed by your body, making it a real pot of health!

You also get different recipes for broths and stocks, such as chicken, beef, lamb, vegetable or even fish stocks. For home use I simply mix what ever I have available from my local butcher.

 Many societies and cultures around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food. Broth is a traditional food that your ancestors possibly even your grandmother made and often. You’ll find a pot of stock on the go in any great culinary kitchen or restuaraunt.

organic chicken feet
Organic chicken feet ready for roasting.

Why is it so beneficial to include it in your diet:

Properly prepared meat stocks or broths are incredibly nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables in an easy to absorb form.  By adding vingegar during the cooking process you help to draw out all the minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium to name a few.

1.Great for Gut health and healing

Bone broth is easily digested and calming to the digestive system. Gelatin from bone broth is useful for restoring strength of the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities, assisting with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut, and supporting healthy inflammation levels in the digestive system.

By including Bone Broth into your diet you help to restore the gut lining.

2. Maintains Healthy Skin

Collagen helps retaining skin’s youthful tone and appearance. Collagen is said to help reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decreasing puffiness and fighting various other signs of aging. We have all seen those anti-aging creams being advertised with their amazing collagen benefits. Some even say they have seen benefits and reduction in cellulite from consuming broths that naturally contain collagen. What have you got to lose!

3. Supports the Immune system

Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume to restore gut health and by doing so you support the immune system function. There is a reason our grandmothers and ancestors prescribed eating chicken soup when we were ill, and there is research to prove it. Not to mention the vast amount of amino acids and minerals etc readily available in broths to be absorbed by our bodies.

4. Protects Joints

Bone broth is one of world’s best sources of natural collagen, the protein found in animals — in their bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and bone marrow. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear from our daily lives. There is no better way to maintain health than through your diet, and by getting in collagen from bone broth you will definitely be taking care of those joints.

Another incredibly valuable part of bone broth is gelatin, which gives it its jelly like consistency when cooled. Gelatin acts like a soft cushion between our bones that helps them move without friction. It also helps to maintain strong bones; it’s great for those aging bones and inflexible joints. Exercise and stretching are still vital in your daily routine too, so don’t leave them out.

How to get your own broth brewing: (recipe)

Bone Broth Ingredients

2 kgs (or more) of bones from a healthy source. Grass fed is best if possible.

chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)

Lamb and Beef Broth
A warm, hearty bowl of lamb and beef broth.

1 onion

2 carrots

2 stalks of celery

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste.

You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is complete.

Method:

  1. If you are using raw bones, make sure to roast them for 30 minutes before hand, this enhances the flavour, trust me!
  2. Place bones into a large stock pot and cover with water.
  3. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This helps to pull out important nutrients from the bones.
  4. Fill stock pot with filtered water. Leave plenty of room for water to boil.
  5. Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least six hours. Remove scum as it arises.
  6. During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon.
  7. Cook slow and at low heat. Chicken bones can cook for 24 hours. Beef and lamb bones can cook for 48 hours. A low and slow cooking time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients from the bones.
  8. You can also add in vegetables, such as onions, garlic, carrots and celery, for added nutrient value and flavour.
  9. Remove from the heat, strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable.
  10. When cool enough, store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 7 days, or freeze for later use. The broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth beneath.

Tips when making broth:

  • Do not leave out the vinegar! This step draws the minerals out of the bones. It is very important!
  • Freeze in different portion sizes in glass/ mason jars.
  • If you freeze in ziploc bags, make sure the broth is cool first, then store flat in the freezer.
  • A good stock will jelly completely when it’s refrigerated. This is a great thing, so do not throw it out!
  • If your stock does not jelly, do not worry, just boil it longer or eat it anyway. It will still be full of nutrients. Next time, add some chicken feet (honestly!) or find another source for your bones.
  • If you refrigerate your stock and there’s a lot of fat on top, break it off and freeze it. It’s great to use in gravy’s.
  • Do not give your dogs the bones from the stock, once you have cooked them they will be soft and can be dangerous for them to consume. I learnt this one the hard way! The cooking process makes bones more brittle, increasing the likelihood they might splinter and can cause havoc with your pet’s intestines, or internal injuries.

Happy Cooking everyone, if you have any thoughts or comments share them below and feel free to get in touch.

Love and health,

“Mama Wolf” x

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For further reading on the benefits of bone broth check out :

Dr Mercola’s article.

Dr Axe’s bone broth benefits.