In honor of National Family Caregiving Month I am sharing a very inexpensive, nutrient dense, heart healthy broth recipe. I love to sip this broth throughout the day in winter months. I crave it and it nourishes my body and soul. Yes, I said it. There is something ancient and satisfying about sipping this old world broth that packs a nutritional punch. Once or twice a month you’ll see a large stockpot simmering on my stove for days. I use it for braising vegetables, in soups, stews, sauces, gravies, or when making risotto. I certainly will be using it this week as I prepare my family’s favorite and most requested wild rice, sausage, water chestnut, and herb stuffing for Thanksgiving.
Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours), with the purpose being not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release minerals from bones. The longer you cook this nourishing broth, the more savory and concentrated it will become. Roasting the bones and vegetables beforehand will add even more flavor and richness.
Broth is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones with vegetables, herbs and spices. Besides its amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth help. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content.
- 4 pounds beef bones, preferably a mix of marrow bones and bones with a little meat on them, such as oxtail, short ribs, or knuckle bones (cut in half by a butcher)
- 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar *helps leach minerals from the bones
- 6-quart (or larger) stockpot or a large slow cooker
- Fresh parsley or other herbs
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place beef bones, carrots, leek, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Toss the contents of the pan and continue to roast until deeply browned, 10 to 20 minutes more.
- Fill a large (at least 6-quart) stockpot with 12 cups of water (preferably filtered) . Add celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Scrape the roasted bones and vegetables into the pot along with any juices. Add more water if necessary to cover bones and vegetables.
- Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook with lid slightly ajar, skimming foam and excess fat occasionally, for up to 24 – 48 hours on the stovetop. The longer you simmer it, the better your stock will be. Add more water if necessary to ensure bone and vegetables are fully submerged. Alternately, you can cook the broth in a slow cooker on low for the same amount of time.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly. Strain broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard bones and vegetables. Let continue to cool until barely warm, then refrigerate in smaller containers overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth.
You can use any type of bones that honor your lifestyle. Here are some simmering guidelines:
- Beef broth/stock: 24 to 48 hours
- Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours
- Fish broth: 8 hours
During the last 30 minutes add the parsley if using.
From my heart to yours.
Bon Appetite and Namaste!