The many health benefits of bone broth have been enjoyed for centuries in many cultures, however the art of making a good bone broth (and how to incorporate it into our every day diet) seems to have almost been forgotten - sadly replaced with convenient, long life, store bought stocks.
Bone broth should not be confused with stock - not even the fresh variety. Stock is usually made with bones with a larger amount of meat and simmered for only 3-4 hrs, to release their flavour.
Bone broth is made by firstly roasting the bones and slowly simmering at very low temperature for 10-24hrs. At the end of this process, the bones should almost crumple in your hands, leaving all their minerals and nutrients in the broth.
- 2Kgs of fresh beef bones*, with only a small amount of meat on them and some with marrow.
- 2 large carrots - chopped into thirds
- 3 sticks of celery - chopped into thirds
- 1 large brown onion - quartered
- 1 small head of garlic - chopped in half (leave the skin on)
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (this helps to extract the nutrients)
- 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns. (Do not add salt as the liquid will reduce over the cooking process and may become too salty. Its best to add salt to your recipes, when you use the broth).
- Roast the bones first. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (celsius). Place the bones on a roasting tray and roast for 30-40 mins. This will help develop the colour and flavour of the bone broth.
- In a very large, heavy based saucepan**, combine the roasted bones, and all other ingredients.
- Pour in 12 cups of filtered cold water.
- Bring to the boil, then immediately turn down to the lowest heat, cover with a saucepan lid slightly ajar and simmer for at least 10 to 24hrs. The longer you simmer the better the bone broth will be.
- Be sure to check the broth periodically to ensure the contents are still covered with liquid. Fill up with cold filtered water where necessary.
- You may wish to skim the excess foam which surfaces during the cooking process.
- Allow the broth to cool and settle slightly for handling and pass broth through a very fine metal sieve to remove the bones and veggie scraps.
- Place bone broth liquid in the fridge for a few hours. Once cool, fats will rise to the surface and turn white. It's best to remove these fats before dividing your broth into containers for storage.
* You can use Beef, Lamb, Poultry or Fish bones to make broth - or even a combination of them. If you are using poultry or fish bones, do not roast first, and slow cook for 5-10hrs only.
** You can use a very large slow cooker instead of a heavy based saucepan. Simply add roasted bones and all ingredients and slow cook on low heat for a minimum of 12hrs.
Bone Broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 6 months. It's best to divide broth into 500ml or 1L containers for recipe use. A great idea is to freeze some in ice cube trays then transfer once frozen into a zip lock bag or air tight container. This makes portion control for recipes really easy and convenient.
HOW TO USE YOUR BONE BROTH
- Drink it straight as a hearty healthy power drink. Add some green shallots to taste. Replace your morning coffee or 3pm pick me up.
- Use as a much healthier and flavourful substitute to 'beef stock' like Bolognese or stews
- Add fresh vegetables and noodles to make a quick, tasty and easy meal
- Replace water with bone broth in couscous preparation