Bone broth is one of the key building blocks to the Bain-Marie food philosophy, as it is a sustainable and age-old food tradition that is a prime example that taste and health are intimately linked (not polar opposites like most believe it to be). It takes nose-to-tail eating to the next level, by truly respecting the sacrifice the animal has made for our health and nourishment to consume the WHOLE animal, as so much nutrition is missed when we don't consume the bones. But bones aren't easy to consume just like that for us mere humans (unlike our canine buddies who can chew right through them). In order to access the bounty of vitamins, minerals, gelatin, keratin and collagen that animal bones can offer, one must boil them for long periods of time to obtain beautiful broths redolent with flavour, depth and nutrition. Here it is worth pointing out that more than ever, the origin of the bones is of utmost importance. Sourcing organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised type of produce is an indispensable step in making bone broth.
And my favourite part about bone broth is its sustainability and frugality. Making something from nothing is truly extraordinary. Not only making something but making something wonderful but other people's "waste" makes me very happy. Yes many butchers actually throw away their beautiful bones. So do pay a visit to your local farmers market and speak to your local butchers and see if they've got any spare organic grass-fed bones to give you so you can start your bone broth journey. There is a wide selection of bone broth recipes available on the blog that will have you converted in no time.
We all know that stock cubes are poor replacements for a homemade broth made from real bones, in fact they just aren't the same thing at all. Stock is purely for flavour and is often full of artificial additives. Every Michelin starred kitchen makes their own broth from the bones of the animals they serve. And hopefully more of us will return to cherished traditions of making this oh-so-very sustainable and healthful food.
I haven't even talked about the health benefits... We've all heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul and broths ability to heal ailments that traditional medicine won't solve. Bone broth is essential for healing the gut which is the seat of the immune system. And guess what? The keratin and collagen also makes it a beauty food, wonderful for the skin, hair, nails (and yes cellulite too)!
Here is a simple guide to making your own bone broth at home!
Bone broth bisou,
- 3kg of organic grass-fed beef bones preferably marrow, knuckle bones (usually free from your local farmers market if you smile)
- 5 litres of filtered water
- large stainless steel or ceramic stockpot or a slow-cooker
- 3 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar
- 3 onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- pinch of sea salt or pink himalayan salt
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
parsley stalks (and leaves)
1a. If using raw bones from the market or your butcher, it helps to roast your bones first, as this improves the flavour of your broth. Roast the bones at 180°C/350°F for 20-30 minutes. You can then discard the excess fat. OR
1b. If suing raw bones, there is another option to clean your bones first, again improving the flavour of the broth. To do this, simply place them in a large stockpot and bring them to the boil for 10 minutes. Discard the water from the first boiling and then start your broth from this point.
2. Place your roasted or cleaned bones (and any optional ingredients if using) in your large stockpot or slow-cooker and cover with fresh filtered water. The water should completely cover the bones.
3. Cover your pot and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for at least 12 hours (ideally 24 hours for beef bones) which is why a slow-cooker is so convenient as understandably some people don't feel comfortable leaving the stove on overnight. If using a slow-cooker simply leave to cook for 24 hours.
4. Remove from heat and let it cool before straining. There you go your broth is ready!
5. If storing for future use, strain directly into sterilised glass kilner jars (or freezer-safe BPA-free container of your choice) and leave to cool before storing. Bone broth will keep for up to a week in the fridge and several months in the freezer. Be sure to leave at least 1"/3cm of room at the top if freezing to allow for expansion. Whilst it is cooling a layer of fat will form at the top which is a very clever feature from Mother Nature that actually helps seal it from the air to avoid spoiling.