Bone broth rocks.
Bone broth ought to belong in every non-vegetarian’s repertoire. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make, it uses bones that would otherwise get discarded, it’s super dense in minerals and nutrients, and it has a multitude of culinary uses.
For starters, you can forget buying broth, which isn’t cheap and rarely impresses in the flavor department. It’s great in soups, in every recipe that calls for broth or stock, and even straight up. Oh, and your dog – if you happen to have one – will act like you are even more awesome than normal if you add it to his kibble. At least our dogs do. Plus, bone broth is stupid easy to make and just so happens to be ridiculously nutritious.
Here’s the recipe.
Bone BrothPrint Recipe
- bones and shrapnel - cooked or raw (and minus the skin) - from a chicken or any other animal
- 1 glug of apple cider vinegar
- a few chopped carrots (optional)
- a few celery stocks (optional)
- 1 onion, quartered (optional)
- a modest bit of sea salt
- a handful of peppercorns (optional)
- a few sprigs/leaves of any or all of the following: rosemary, thyme, and/or bay leaves (optional)
Place the bones, shrapnel, peppercorns, and vegetables (if using) in a slow cooker or stock pot and cover with water. Add the vinegar and salt, and if using a slower cooker, cook on a low setting for 24 hours. If using a stock pot, bring to a boil, loosely cover, and reduce heat to the lowest setting that will keep the liquid simmering for 6-24 hours (if you are uncomfortable with leaving an unattended pot on the stove, just turn the burner off and resume simmering when you are able). Strain the broth. If you have pets, pick the fleshy shrapnel from the bones. Trust me, this will be the highlight of your pups' day. Not that I would know.
This recipe is intentionally vague. I guess I could have you weigh out bones and use precise quantities of water, salt, etc., but for what purpose? The most important thing is to ensure that the bones are submerged and that you let the broth cook slowly for a long-ass time. Err on not using enough salt (I use probably around a teaspoon per 3 or so quarts water and one chicken carcass).
The timing isn't rocket science, either. My clay pot slow cooker times out after four hours and switches over to a holding temp, so I end up resetting it multiple times over the course of a day (or two - the longer the merrier!). I use the braise setting, and it always turns out fine.
Unless you want your pad to smell like a tannery and your broth to be excessively oily, remove as much of the skin as is reasonably possible prior to heating. Yes, you will be discarding some nutrients, but at least the smell won't be nauseating to sensitive folks. This especially applies to those of you who use a clay pot-style slow cooker. Also, note that there is no need for you to bother with doctoring up your broth with aromatics and vegetables if you don't want to, as it's insanely flavorful without them. Plus, it's cheaper and simpler, and if you are anything like me, you will be far more inclined to make it regularly if doing so requires only minimal effort. Feel free to roast your bones to draw out a wonderful concentration of flavors, but know that it's completely unnecessary. Suggested uses for bone broth: as a protein shake replacement (it has something like 9 grams per cup!), in risotto, braises, soups, a dog's dinner, etc.
Have you ever tried making bone broth? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share below!