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Bone broth has been a staple of home and restaurant cooking for centuries. Flavorful, healthy and easy to make, bone broth can serve as the base for sauces, soups and stews, and it can be used for braising meats and vegetables.
Although it is easy to pick up broth and stock at the grocery store, there is a huge difference in taste and nutrition between these canned or boxed items and homemade bone broth.
Get Started With Bone Broth
Broth and stock each start with the same basic ingredients of water, meat and/or bones, vegetables and seasoning. As the concoction cooks, the liquid develops a frothy, foamy top layer. Use a filter to remove excess solids. However, there are differences after you get beyond the base.
- Broth is usually made with meat and a small amount of bones. The broth is simmered for one to two hours, which gives it a thin texture, a light flavor and rich protein content.
- Stock usually contains bones and perhaps a small amount of meat that remains on the bone. Stock makers often roast the bones before simmering them in water to improve the flavor. Simmer bone broth for three to four hours. That’s the time it takes to become a great source of gelatin.
- Bone broth is made with bones and perhaps a small amount of meat that remains on the bones. Bones are often roasted first to improve the flavor, and bone broth is simmered for 24 hours or longer. The cooking process releases minerals from the bones and produces gelatin from the bones.
Problems With Store-Bought Bone Broth
Store-bought broths often contain artificial ingredients or chemicals to add flavor. They also lack gelatin and other health benefits of homemade bone broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that help support the body’s immune system and, in addition to gelatin and collagen, it contains other healing compounds, including glutamine, proline and glycine. Consuming bone broth helps fight inflammation throughout the body and aids the digestive system.
Another advantage of making your own bone broth is that it is less expensive than buying broth or stock from a store. If you use leftovers and kitchen scraps to make your bone broth, it can literally cost only pennies, while a one-quart package of broth can cost $2 to $5, depending on the brand and the store.
Here is a recipe for making your own bone broth at home. Feel free to tweak it as you learn what flavor combinations and consistency you like best. It makes roughly 16 one-cup servings.
- 2 pounds animal bones from a healthy source
- Extra gelatin (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Additional herbs or spices to taste
- 2 cloves garlic
Bone Broth Directions
Roast raw bones, especially beef bones, for 30 minutes in a 350-degree (Fahrenheit) oven.
Place the bones in a large (five gallon) stockpot. Add enough water to cover the bones and then add the vinegar. Cover the pot and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped vegetables (except parsley and garlic), seasonings and herbs to pot.
Bring the broth to a vigorous boil. Then reduce to a simmer until done (about 24 hours).
During the first few hours of simmering, remove the frothy layer that forms at the top with a spoon and throw it away. (Note: Bones from grass-fed animals will produce much less froth than other animals.)
During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley.
Remove pot from heat and let it cool slightly. Strain out bone and vegetable bits. When the broth has cooled, you can store it in lidded glass jars in the refrigerator for up to five days. You also can freeze it for later use.
Although cooks from all over the world have used bone both for generations, it has become quite trendy today for health-conscious diners. Many people are enjoying bone broth as tasty and nourishing hot beverage. Now that you know how easy it is to make, you can skip the store and restaurant prices and serve up your own recipe.
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