This bone broth isn’t your average store-bought watered-down liquid or the salty, preservative-laden bouillon cubes and powders that line the supermarket shelves.
This is homemade, nutritious stock full of minerals, collagen, electrolytes, digestion and skin-friendly properties that also helps reduce waste by using inedible parts of an animal. I also like to add flavourful add-ons that not only take it to the next level, but also stand on the intersection between food and medicine.
Feeding our families real, nourishing food that comes from whole ingredients, not a lab - is critical for those who seek better health.
The Difference Between Stock and Broth
Although stock and broth are used interchangeably in the culinary world, there’s a difference between them.
While broth and stock start with the same foundation of adding water and optional aromatics, broth is the liquid left after simmering meat and is quicker-cooking by comparison to stocks and bone broths. It’s thinner, lighter in flavour, usually seasoned and can be eaten on its own, as a soup.
Stock is made from bones, cartilage and connective tissue. Simmered for long hours and even days, these give the stock the luxurious, silky-smooth texture that meat-broth stock lack. The purpose of stock is to extract the collagen, giving it the thick Jell-O like consistency. Stock is unseasoned and can be used as a base for soups, sauces and stews.
Bone broth is a hybrid of broth and stock as it can be prepared with bones that have some meat attached - I often use the carcass of the roasted chicken, turkey or bones left over after braising meat. So while the term ‘stock’ is more accurate for this recipe, I’ll be using the modern version of ‘bone broth’ as it refers to broth made with bones. Call it what you like as long as you develop a habit of making and regularly consuming it!
The key to making a good gelatinous bone broth is low and slow simmering. Good food needs good time here! You’ll be rewarded with concentrated savoury liquid that warms your body, nourishes your hair, skin, nails, digestion, and hydrates just like a good cup of tea.
You can also infuse your home-made broths with health-supportive nutrients and amp the nutritional content of your recipes - and that you simply can’t buy in a store. In addition to being flavourful, herbs have stellar benefits of containing antioxidants and many medicinal properties. See the links below to my favourite books about the healing properties of herbs.
Start with a small amount of your new additions until you learn how they taste and build up from there. That said, the herbs I chose here are pretty neutral in these amounts. They however will add more depth, umami and savoury flavour.
I’m using mostly dried herbs here; if using fresh, simply double the amount.
Basic Bone Broth Ingredients:
- 1 poultry carcass
- 2TB apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- About 3 quarts cold filtered water or to cover the bones by a few inches
- 1 leek, white parts only or 2 shallots
- 2 carrots, (no need to remove the skin)
- 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
Optional Herb & Mushroom Boosters:
- 1 tablespoon nettle leaf
- 1 tablespoons seaweed flakes, such as kelp or wakame, or 1 8 inch strip of kombu
- 1 tablespoon calendula flowers
- 3 astragalus root slices or 2 TB astralagus chunks
- 2TB burdock root or 1 medium fresh burdock root, chopped
- fennel tops from 1 fennel bulb
- 5-6 shiitake mushrooms
- 2 fingers of fresh turmeric
- 2 inches of fresh ginger
- 5-7 garlic cloves, unpeeled are ok
- a few sprigs of thyme, parsley, sage, marjoram or tarragon (small quantities)
1. Rinse all the vegetables well.
2. In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients and cover with water by a few inches.
3. Bring the pot to boil, reduce the heat to simmering and cover.
4. Cook for 4-6 hours (and up to 12-24, that’s even better) until the bones disintegrate and vegetables become mushy.
5. Let come to room temperature and strain through a large mesh sieve and add salt to taste. Pour into Pyrex lidded glass containers or jars and/or in ice-cube trays to freeze in single portions.
To your good health!
If you want to learn more about the medicinal properties of herbs, check out two of my favourite books on the subject: