Bone broth, healthy, nourishing, and “gut-friendly,” a natural remedy for the cold and for so much more that ails us, found in a single pot. This healthy broth, chock full of amazing nutrients, not to mention rich and soul-satisfying to drink, can be made at home, allowed to simmer-away on your stove for many, many hours—even a couple of days’ worth, when time allows.
My life changed; literally, from the moment I discovered how to [properly] make bone broth from scratch, in the convenience of my home’s kitchen, because I discovered two influential books: Brodo by Marco Canora, and The Bare Bones Broth by Katherine & Ryan Harvey. I began browsing through a few pages, at first, standing there at the bookstore, but then I didn’t hesitate to grab them and take them home. I began to read each page like it was candy to be devoured; I read them quickly, cover to cover, and, when I was ready to begin, did go back to the important parts to memorize every helpful word and suggestion. These books explained the Why’s and How to, and I couldn’t wait to begin making my very own batch.
I began this [ritual] almost three months ago, and have been non-stop ever since. I make a different batch (nearly 2½ gallons) about every other week. And I kid-you-not when I confess to being fully addicted, from making it, to drinking it! From my first mug, from my very first sip, I felt like a new born person. I have never tasted anything so delicious, with the added benefit of experiencing something I can only describe as “spiritual comfort.”
This is now a practice I relish doing with time alone, moments all to myself.
Among my family and friends I am already well known for making some of the best soups and gravies/sauces around, usually during the holidays and special events. And though I have always made them from scratch, using meat and bones, and even using every part of an already roasted chicken for a boost of flavor, I’d never thought about cooking it for all those many hours recommended. It never crossed my mind to simply strain and drink it. So this idea is ingenious to me; how-be-it a very old practice and being done all over the world for centuries.
It is simply mind-blowing when our eyes are opened to trying something new!
We have already learned that chicken soup is not just an old wives’ tale, but truly does have medicinal properties for the common cold. So do imagine, if you will, what else has been discovered by [regularly] drinking homemade bone broth?
Today I feel like a Bone Broth Prophet; I am slowly but surely making addicts of members of my family. One by one they are trying it and coming to really appreciate it. Here I also hope to make an addict, if not a believer, of you too, the reader.
Marco Canora’s and Katherine and Ryan Harvey’s books gave me the blueprints for how-to lay-out the makings of a great homemade, healthy bone broth. Of course, with this added good knowledge I am now able to take off and run with it on my own. I have made beef broth, chicken and mushrooms, beef and chicken loaded with mushrooms and beefy Pho style broth. And any one of these are so, so yummy. A must try!
I read that the sign of a well-made bone broth is how it sets like gelatin when it has chilled. And I can brag that my broth shivers solid when shook!
So why not now grab your biggest pot in the kitchen, gather your ingredients, and let me take you on a wild bone broth ride? I’ll do my best to guide you with what I’ve learned. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Enjoy a mug or cup of bone broth a day, or even just a couple of times a week, because it certainly couldn’t hurt!
Come; take a comfortable seat at our cozy table. Dinner is served!
Note: I took a few liberties with the recipes in the books and changed them up to suit my personal taste buds. As well you should, if you so desire. But you can always pickup your own book(s), Brodo and/or The Bare Bones Broth and taste their most delicious version too.
This recipe made roughly 9quarts (almost 2½ gallons). Please note that the end result is always dependent on how much liquid you began with and how long you actually simmered your broth for. Also how many pounds of meat were used and how much vegetable was added. My recipe is written for you to use as roughly/round-about/give-or-take. And spices used for this specific recipe, including amount/ratios, can be considered in many cases as optional. Do always season to your very personal taste; especially where salt and chili spice is used.
STEPS 1 (getting the broth started):
Side Note: I was fortunate enough to find whole chickens (though completely cleaned of feathers and innards, head and feet were still attached), which I believe help to add that gelatinous quality to my broth.
2 (3 lbs. ea.) organic, free-range chickens, broken down
2 lbs. chicken feet (optional, but they do help to create a gelatinous broth)
3 lbs. beef oxtails
3 lbs. beef shank (always with bone-in)
2 lbs. beef neck bones
1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
[Roughly] 8-10 quarts of cold water, or enough to comfortably cover the bones, but make sure to leave at least 4-inches from the rim of pot (very important to avoid boiling over!)
Add everything to a very large pot (a 20-quart capacity works best) set on high, and depending on stove and type of pot this could take as much as an hour. During this time skim the sludge/foam that floats to the top and discard. Skim about every 10-15 minutes in that first hour of cooking.
When the real boiling begins lower the heat just enough to keep an obvious simmer going (you should be able to see true continuous bubbles still coming to the surface). Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 hours (skimming once in a while when it is needed), stirring every once in a while; after the 5 hours there should have been some reduction of liquid, now follow Steps 2.
STEPS 2 (adding vegetables and seasonings to the pot):
1 (14.5-oz) can organic crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 organic celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 [big] organic carrots, coarsely chopped
2 lbs. mushrooms (mixture of dried and fresh)
1 bunch [organic] cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
3 small to medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4-6 inch nub of ginger, sliced into big chunks
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, optional or to taste
1 tablespoon whole black pepper blend (whole plain black pepper is fine)
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
3 bay leaves
Add Hot water if needed to keep vegetables submerged (however the mushrooms will automatically float to the top so that can be deceiving!)
[Bourbon Smoked] sea salt to taste, optional or to taste
At this point turn the heat to high and very carefully begin adding the rest of the ingredients. If more water is needed to keep things submerged, add it now. When boiling begins again, lower to a reasonable simmer, and simmer, uncovered, for 7-10 hours, and even up to 24 hours (if time allows). Just make sure you stir to keep meat and veggies rotating, and check to make sure you don’t burn/scorch your broth.
It is when we have 1½ -3 inches of reduction (from when we started) that flavors, umani, begin to happen!
Important: I safely left my pot of broth cooking on the stove, overnight, on a low simmer; I trusted my pot and stove because I am very familiar with my kitchen and elements. So PLEASE take great caution when doing this. You don’t want to burn your place down.
1. After cooking time, allow your broth to cool, uncovered) for about 1 hour on the stove.
2. If you have a double sink, plug one side and fill with cold water and lots of ice. This will help your broth cool quickly. The less time your broth is out the healthier it will be (less time for contamination), and it will last a little longer in the fridge.
3. Place another pot in the sink with the water and ice and VERY CAREFULY strain your broth with a large, fine strainer into it. (You could always strain a second time using cheesecloth if you want a very clear both.)
My broths last me a good week in my fridge since we keep it very cold.
Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!