Bone Broth

bone-broth

Bone broth from any kind of good quality organic/free range animal renders a myriad of health benefits, boosts the immune system and is particularly good for restoring gut health.

I generally use the broth as a base for soups and freeze in 1 cup batches to use as stock. However you can equally drink a cup of bone broth as a daily tonic when run down or to ward off common winter ailments.

Ingredients                        

The ingredients listed here are intended as a guide only. I have a 6 litre slow cooker (crock-pot) which is ideal for making big batches of stock. Play around with what works best for you depending on the cooking utensils you have at home.

  • 2 kg organic/free range meat bones including marrow bones if possible OR 2 cooked chicken carcasses
  • 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped*
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (you can leave the peel on if organic)*
  • OPTIONAL: half a cup of whatever fresh herbs you have available (eg parsley, coriander/cilantro, basil etc)
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon good quality salt (eg Himalayan crystal or Celtic sea salt)
  • Fresh ground pepper (around quarter to half a teaspoon)
  • Filtered water (I find I generally need at least 4 litres)

Method

If using raw meat bones, roast them for an hour in a medium oven (180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit), otherwise the flavour of the broth can be unpalatable. If using chicken carcasses, I tend to freeze the bones of cooked chickens until I have enough to make a stock (about 2 chicken carcasses).

My preference is to use a slow cooker/crock-pot as it’s easy and energy efficient (my slow cooker uses about the same amount of energy as a light bulb). Simply add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, cover with filtered water and cook on a low setting for at least 8 hours. I prefer to cook for longer – up to 24 hours, to allow plenty of time for the nutrients to leach from the bones.

If cooking on the stove, add all the ingredients to a large pot with a lid and cover with the water. Bring to a low simmer over a medium heat, then continue to cook over a very low heat for as long as you have time (I suggest a minimum 3-4 hours and a max of 8 hours so as not to leave the pot unattended).

Whichever cooking method you’re using, once complete allow the broth to cool then strain. I choose to place it in the fridge for several hours/overnight (whichever is convenient) so that the fat sets on top and any excess can be scraped, which can be a good option if using lamb bones which are very fatty. Note however that vitamins A, D, E & K are fat soluble therefore it’s always advisable to allow at least some fat to remain to help your body absorb the nutrients from the bone broth.

Makes around 3 litres/6.5 pints

*I’ve listed carrots and celery in the ingredients but you can experiment with whatever vegetables you have available.

 

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