Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Organic Cooking: Making Bone Broth

I try to keep four types of broth in the freezer so that no matter what I want to make I have the right stock. For the less nerdy of us, beef and veal broth are great to have on hand because veal broth can be used for chicken and lamb. Veal broth is the most nutritious of all stocks because of the higher amounts of collagen which add tons of gelatin and makes the most wonderfully rich stock. If you don't believe me check out this blog for a humorous take on veal stock (also the pictures of stock making are great).

Well back to stock making. Here is the basic recipe:

Organic Cooking: Bone Broth

1. Bones -- raw bones, with or without skin and meat, from poultry, beef, lamb or veal - use a whole carcass or just parts (good choices include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles)

2. Water -- start with enough cold water to just cover the bones or 2 cups water per 1 pound bones

3. Vinegar -- 2 tablespoons apple cider, red or white wine, rice or balsamic vinegar per 1 quart water or 2 pounds bones - lemon juice may be substituted for vinegar (citric acid instead of acetic acid)

4. Vegetables (optional) -- peelings and scraps like ends, tops and skins or entire vegetable
celery, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley are the most traditionally used, but any will do
(if added towards the end of cooking, mineral content will be higher)


Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot, let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour, bring to a simmer, remove any scum that has risen to the top, reduce heat and simmer (6-48 hrs for chicken, 12-72 hrs for beef). To reduce cooking time, you may smash or cut bones into small pieces first. If desired, add vegetables in last 1/2 hour of cooking (or at any point as convenience dictates).

Strain through a colander or sieve, lined with cheesecloth for a clearer broth. Discard the bones. If uncooked meat was used to start with, reserve the meat for soup or salads.

An easy way to cook broth is to use a crockpot on low setting. After putting the ingredients into the pot and turning it on, you can just walk away. If you forget to skim the impurities off, it's ok, it just tastes better if you do. If you wish to remove the fat for use in gravy, use a gravy separator while the broth is warm, or skim the fat off the top once refrigerated. Cold broth will gel when sufficient gelatin is present. Broth may be frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for these tips! I'm getting ready to make some broth and this will really help.