Bone Broth, Fountain of Youth?
Homemade bone broth or stock is a nutrition powerhouse. Why is it the fountain of youth?
It is rich in collagen and the building blocks of collagen which is essential for having strong, supple and soft skin. It has claims of reducing cellulite.
It is also rich in the minerals calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium which are vital for bone health. Especially later in life when there is a higher risk of Osteoporosis and brittle bones.
It is incredibly beneficial to new mothers in the postnatal period for the reasons above but also because it aids in wound healing and provides so many needed nutrients for this special time.
It is also cheap to make. My butcher gives me beef bones for free or charges very little for chicken thighs. I always save the bones from our roast chicken and I choose meat on the bone when I can now. I won’t make a soup or stew with stock cubes anymore.
There is no comparison between the flavour. I have a huge bag in the freezer that I put them all into so they are all immediately tidied away. I throw them all into the pot frozen, boil them up and make a huge batch of broth.
You can make broth from any kind of bones including those from chicken, turkey, goose, beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, deer and even fish.
Once you’ve made this delicious broth, you can then use it for so many dishes including soups, stews, sauces, gravies, pies, casseroles and curries. The picture above is of beef stew made with roasted beef broth. It was the first time I made it with stock. It was amazing!
How to stop a cold in its tracks: Sleep, water, and chicken soup.
Chicken broth inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections. It is very easy to digest so the body’s energy can go to healing. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness. Homemade broth makes chicken soup truly nourishing.
How to make a great Homemade Bone Broth:
Bone broth or stock is made by simmering the bones for a long period of time. This low, slow cooking draws out all of the flavour, produces gelatin from the collagen-rich joints and releases the minerals from the bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger. A good concentrated stock will be gelatinous and thick when it has cooled.
- any mixture of bones eg. chicken and beef
- enough water to cover
- 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavour to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 25-30 minutes at 190°C.
- Otherwise, simply pack bones in a large pot, cover them with cold water and set the temperature on low heat so it doesn’t do much more than simmer. You only need a few bones to make broth, but the more you can fit in the pot the better.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the cold water to help draw the nutrients from the bones.
- As it cooks, foam will begin to appear on the surface of the water. You can choose to skim it off to make a clearer broth. It’s personal preference. I skimmed about half off, my stock was looking like a bubble bath!
- Cook for at least 6 hours, preferably longer. Poultry bones can go as long as 24 hours, and beef bones can simmer for up to 48 hours.
- When your broth is cooked, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the bones. I always portion some out to use straight away and store the rest in freezer bags.
- When the stock cools, the fat within will congeal on the surface. You can leave it in or pull it off, whichever you prefer.
- Separate what you plan to use straight away. Store what you plan to use within 4-5 days in the fridge and freeze the rest.
- Be sure to cool it before storing in the fridge or the stock will heat up your fridge to unsafe levels for storing food. Allow no more than two hours.
- I freeze mine in smaller freezer bags so I can defrost as needed. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, and transfer the frozen cubes of broth to a resealable freezer bag where they will keep for 6 months. It’ll be easier to break off what you want to use plus it’ll defrost faster.
- Don’t add any salt. If you plan to reduce when making soups or sauces, the salt concentration can easily become too high.
- You can add onions, celery, garlic and carrots to the stock. They impart great flavour. Add them only at the end if you’re going for a 24 or 48 hour cooking period or they’ll disintegrate.
Let me know how this turns out for you! Tag me in any pictures on Instagram and ask me any questions you may have in the comments below.