A few benefits of bone broth.

In the general vernacular “broth” and “stock” are used interchangeably, but as an explanation of terms, a broth is made at home with bones and leftovers and a stock is a strict recipe used in commercial kitchens to maintain consistency. I’m talking about broth, mainly because once you understand the health benefits, how you flavour it is up to you.

Try to get the best bones you can. If you are going to go to the trouble of making a broth make sure you get healthy bones – organic grass-fed are the best. Yes, you can buy bones, you just have to ask at the butcher. Buying bones is an extra step, another hurdle created by the modern culture of pre-portioned, over-packaged convenience foods. In the good old days, people would buy meat on the bone and use it all to make stock, broth, soups and sauces, so as not to waste anything (and reap the health benefits on the side). I know it may seem crazy, but the best things don’t come easy.

It’s delicious.

Usually that’s enough for me to advocate the consumption of real food, but in this case, the further I look into bone broth and the more I experiment with drinking it, the more I realise how amazing it is. You can make your broth from all types of bones including chicken, fish, veal, beef, lamb and venison (the list goes on). We generally stick to chicken and beef. Adding different flavours to the broth also keeps it interesting (like Pho spices, Thai hot and sour) although we generally stick to the classic method, allowing us to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of how different bone tastes.

Broth makes your joints feel smooth.

I try my best to not take any supplements. But when I do, it is because I’m experimenting with an increased dose of something, and if I’m getting results from it, I’ll look for it in real food. The beauty of bone broth is that it contains so many vitamins and minerals that it’s a one stop shop. In particular – glucosamine. Ever heard the expression ‘you are what you eat’? By slowly simmering the bones you are releasing glucosamine which is crucial for collagen health in your ligaments, tendons and the ends of your bones.

It’s nutritious.

Sally Fallon writes in Nourishing Traditions (1999): “Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth.” Basically, because it’s a liquid form is is easily absorbed by your body and keeps you hydrated.

There many more health benefits to drinking bone broth, I’ve only listed a few that important to me. After some experimenting I’ve found that the best time for me to have a cup is about half an hour before Crossfit. The key is making enough to last a week or two and not over doing it, one cup is enough per day. If you want to find out why you shouldn’t drink too much Paul Jaminet writes on the topic in “Perfect Health Diet” (2012).

How to make beef broth.

First buy enough bones to fill the largest pot you have. We generally buy 3kg.

Lay the bones out on trays and roast in the oven, about 180 degrees for about 1 hour (maybe longer, you want them brown all over but not burnt).

Raw Bones

Peel, wash and chop carrots, celery and onion and sauté in the pot you are going to use for the broth. While the bones are in the oven.

IMG_2419

Next add one head of garlic, some thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf and a couple of pinches of salt. Sauté.

IMG_2421IMG_2420

Add about half a bottle of red wine and let it reduce to about half or a third.

IMG_2422

Add your roasted beef bones and a couple of pigs trotters (for a little extra gelatine and flavour).

IMG_2423

Fill the pot with water and bring to a fast simmer. Turn your broth down to low and let it slowly simmer for somewhere between 42-72 hours. Keep topping up the pot so the bones are always covered and it doesn’t reduce too much. Take the broth off the stove and strain into a bowl, let cool on the bench for a while (so it doesn’t bring the temperature of your fridge up) then put it in the fridge. This allows the fat to rise to the top and set, this is so you can pick it off easily and throw it away or keep it for roasting potatoes.

IMG_2428

From here you may need to freeze some, but in our house there’s not much point.

Very Important: When you are ready to drink your broth you’ll need to add salt. I just heat up a cup in the microwave and add salt to taste. After a while you’ll know if it’s right or not.

If you want any direction on how to make variations or soups just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A few benefits of bone broth.

  1. Just a couple questions…

    1. What sort of red wine do you use?
    2. What does the wine do for the broth?
    3. What else could you use instead?
    4. When you ask a butcher for bones do you have to specify what bones for a certain part of the animal?
    5. If so what bones?
    6. Or just say its for broth?
    7. Just leave it simmering overnight yeah?
    8. Can you use the broth as stock for a veg soup? Ratio to water?
    9. Do the pig trotters need to be roasted?
    Cheers

    • Any kind of medium/full bodied red wine will do. Shiraz, cab sav, merlot … whatever you have on hand. Adding wine just gives the broth a bit more flavour – it is by no means essential. You should also add one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to help draw out the minerals from the bones.

      Technically, you could just use bones, water and ACV/lemon juice but the other things make it taste even better. If you ask the butcher for bones for stock or broth they will probably give you a mixture of marrow bones and knuckles, which is fine. Joint bones are good because they have a lot of gelatin in them.

      Leave it overnight on a very low heat with no lid, it will reduce down in that time and concentrate the flavours.

      You can definitely use any kind of stock in vegetable soup – you can mix it with water to taste. There is no hard and fast rule, it’s all about experimenting until you find what you like. You could even just throw vegies into your stock if you wanted to.

      As for the pig trotters, roast them up! Roasting makes your stock darker and richer. Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s