Bone broth is a truly nutrient dense, nourishing food that has been made by various cultures for centuries. It requires the simmering of bones and/or carcass from either poultry, fish or meat for approximately 12-72 hours. The cooking process breaks down the bones and connective tissues of the animal creating a broth rich in proteins, minerals and fat. The inclusion of an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar helps to draw minerals from the bones. The longer you simmer the bones/carcass the more nutritious the broth becomes.
Bone broth is rich in collagen which is the building block of skin, hair, tendons, cartilage and organs. One fourth of the protein in our body is collagen. Gelatin, the food term for collagen is particularly beneficial for gut healing and provides amino acids glycine, proline and lysine. Bone broth is rich in the minerals calcium, magnesium ,phosphorus and other trace minerals. It also provides glucosamine and chondroiton which may help arthritis and joint pain. Bone broth is particularly helpful for those with digestive disorders, because it is easily digested the body can utilise the nutrients present.
The most detailed and well researched article I have found on bone broth is by Dr Allison Siebecker Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease. I usually make a bone broth once a week to sip on, make soups and braise meats. Not only is bone broth highly medicinal it has great flavour.
Here are instructions for producing your very own bone broth:
Source some bones and/or carcasses:
Fish carcass, chicken carcass, beef or lamb bones (raw bones, meaty bones, knuckles, ribs, necks or feet.) Choose only one animal.
Source enough water to cover the bones
Add in a large splash of vinegar (apple cider, balsamic or even wine.)
You may add in vegetables such as carrot, celery or any vegetable scraps. I usually have my broth plain.
When the bones/carcasses are covered with water and vinegar let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour then begin to heat to a simmer. Remove any scum that rises to the top. Now let the pot simmer on a very low setting (for chicken and fish 6 to 24 hours and beef and lamb 12 to 72 hours.) You may add in your vegetables a few hours before it is ready.
You may use the stove top or do what I do and after bringing the pot to the boil and removing scum transfer to a slow cooker.
When the time is up sieve the broth through a strainer. You can keep any meat and marrow remaining for soups etc.
Refrigerate or freeze your broth. It will last around 5 days in the fridge and many months in the freezer.
It is best to discard the fat of the fish or chicken broth as the fats are predominantly delicate polyunsaturated and monounsaturated and become rancid after cooking for long periods. The fat of lamb and beef is great for cooking and baking as it is highly saturated and stable.
Do you make bone broth? Has it helped you in anyway? Or do you just love the taste!