Homemade Bone Broth

It’s December – the time of year when comfort food can mean indulgent sweets and heavy dishes with meat and cream. Or Grandma Schroeder’s famous fried chicken. YUM.

And while these foods are okay in moderation, what if comfort food was actually both soothing AND nourishing?

Hello, bone broth.

Bone broth is not new. In fact, the women in my family have been making bone broth as long as I can remember. We didn’t call it bone broth, however. And we certainly didn’t see it being sold at posh NYC and CT specialty food stores for a million dollars. Bone broth is what my mom Marleen (a truly fanstastic cook!) has made for years every time we had turkey or chicken or beef with a significant number of bones. She used that homemade stock to make delicious soups. And guess what, my friends? You can make bone broth too! At home! And it’s easy!

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What are the health benefits of bone broth? It’s chock-full of immune-boosting nutrients and proteins like collagen. Collagen is all the rage these days as we look to ways to increase skin elasticity and fight wrinkles, but it’s also an important structural component of bones and joints, muscles and tendons, hair and nails, and blood vessels. And it helps with digestion! 

 In addition to being one of my amazing kitchen role-models, my mom is also an aesthetician and an expert in skin care. She’s always taught me that beauty and strength start from the inside out. Your gorgeous glow starts with nutritious food and is supported by a good skin care regimen. (Email me if you want the skinny on my favorite skin care products from Environ!) Collagen in beauty products is not nearly as useful as collagen from foods. Beauty starts with nutritious food.

The secret ingredient to successful bone broth is acid, which causes the minerals we want to consume to leach from the bones we are cooking. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV, as the cool kids call it) is the best. Just a few tablespoons and you’re good to go.

 When eating something from an animal, I recommend choosing organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed products. (This applies to everything from eggs to cheese to hamburgers, including the components for bone broth).

I found a pressure cooker to be easiest in the end. I first used my slow cooker, but it literally took almost three days of constant cooking to get to my end result. A pressure cooker can do the job in a few hours.

When the bone broth cools, it will get slightly gelatinous. THIS IS GOOD. It’s this gelatinous texture that you want to consume. You won’t notice it when you drink broth that’s warmed. The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices. It’s the ultimate in hydration for the body!

 

Prep time

10 min


Cook time

2 hours with pressure cooker

3 days with slow cooker

 

Ingredients

Bones from chicken, beef, pork, or fish (organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed)

2 cups vegetables (carrots, onions, celery) roughly chopped

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ cup parsley, optional

1 tsp poultry seasoning, optional

Water

 

Directions for pressure cooker (Instant Pot)

1.    Place all ingredients in pressure cooker/Instant Pot. Use enough water to cover the bones, but not to exceed the maximum fill line.

2.    Press pressure cook and adjust time to 2 hours. Make sure the venting contraption is set to seal.

3.    After cooked, strain the solids from the liquid while still slightly warm.

4.    Use the bone broth in soup, to cook rice whole grains, or sauté vegetables.

5.    Store in refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month. The liquid will firm up when refrigerated – just warm and stir!

 

Directions for slow cooker

1.    Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Use enough water to cover the bones.

2.    Cook on low for 72 hours. (You can start on high for a few hours and then transition to low heat.)

3.    After cooked, strain the solids from the liquid while still slightly warm.

4.    Use the bone broth in soup, to cook rice or other whole grains, or sauté vegetables.

6.    Store in refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month. The liquid will firm up when refrigerated – just warm and stir!

 

RecipesKatie Takayasu