All food has a story and for us it is one of love, unyielding commitment to quality, compassion and respect–when I make bone broth it is certainly no exception. When we decide to butcher an animal it is no little act. We respect that an animals life has been taken to nourish ours. One of the ways that we show respect and give thanks to an animal is by utilizing as much as is humanly possibly to ensure that there is very little waste. In this way we actively chose to celebrate what we have gained from the animal by not taking anything for granted.
Bone broth is so nutritionally dense! Homemade Bone Broth is packed full of immune boosting minerals and healing components like collagen which is super beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut. Bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse for sure. And it can be used for SO many things.
My mouth is just watering thinking about all that goodness 🙂
You’d be surprised how many butchers are squirmy about giving you all the scrap meat and bones back. Regardless, we typically ask for the majority of the bones back from our butcher so that we can turn them into bone broth and then off to the dogs they go for a treat!
There are so many methods and ways to make a bone broth and mine is certainly a culmination of what I have learned through the years. The biggest dividing factor for most broths is time. You’re either committing to cooking the heck out of those bones for 2 days or your just doing a quick afternoon simmer. But; the longer those bones cook, the more essential nutrients are released.
And of course there are the additions. A good broth always has some form of a mirepoix or holy trinity (a special, small assortment of flavor bases for soups and stock that changes depending of what part of the world or whose kitchen you’re in… I tend to lean on the French Mirepoix: celery, carrots and onions in this ratio- 1:1:2). And then there are of course the spices that your home treasures. Around here, that’s whole peppercorn, fresh or dried Bay leaves, fresh sprigs of thyme, smashed garlic and if I plan to use the broth for soup I prefer to use smoked salt.
I start by braising or searing (depending on what I have the time for) the meat attached to the bones over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet until they are good and browned. Depending on how much fat cover is on the bones, I may or may not add olive oil or butter. Once the meaty parts of the bones are totally seared (doesn’t matter if the meat is actually cooked) I will transfer them to a stock pot and cover them with water.
I then get onto my my mirepoix and once everything is chopped I toss it all into the same cast iron that seared the bones with a bit of olive oil. While those veggies are softening, I add my smoked salt, thyme sprigs and Bay leaves to my pot and begin to admire the lovely smells everything is making…and then… I scour my fridge because said lovely smells make me hungry.
When those veggies are softened some (5-7 minutes), I ladle out some of my would be bone broth water into the cast iron pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of that skillet to loosen up the bits of flavor that might have gotten stuck down there and pour the entire thing back into the stock pot, veggies and all. This is an entirely optional step, but I feel it enhances the overall flavor. You could just as easily add all your veggies, chopped and uncooked directly to the stock pot.
I tend to let my bone broth boil over a medium flame, adding water if needed for about an hour. I then reduce the heat to low-medium and cover for the entire afternoon (5-6 hours). After which I can either use some stock for dinner or fill the stock pot to the top with fresh water and turn it down to low and leave it over night (I’ve also transferred it to a crockpot for the night). This particular time around, I opted to make beef minestrone from the stock with homemade rigatoni noodles and replenished what I took from the stock pot (with water) and let it cook over night.
By allowing the bone broth to cook even longer the bones begin to break down further releasing gobs of micro nutrients, minerals and other nutritionally dense awesomeness that make it a true homestead superfood.
I freeze mine by the quart so that I always have some on hand! I use it as the liquid in my homemade French rolls, for soups, mushroom risotto and an endless list of deliciousness.
- 4-5lbs Beef Bones/ Marrow Bones
- 2 cups Onions - roughly chopped
- 1 cup Carrots - chopped or peeled
- 1 cup Celery - roughly chopped
- Water - Enough to cover Beef Bones by 2-3 inches (roughly 16 cups/ 1 gallon)
- 1 Tbl Whole Peppercorns
- 2-3 Bay Leaves
- 3-4 Thyme Sprigs
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves - crushed whole
- 4 Tbls (or to taste) Salt - I prefer Smoked Salt by Malden
- *Seasonings are optional and totally up to your preferences! I general rule about making bone broth or any stock is to omit salt if you intend to use it for things other than soup. When I store salted bone brother, I write "salted" on the Ziplock or container.
- Start by gathering your arsenal of flavoring bases: carrots, onions, celery and what ever seasoning you have decided to use. Chop the onion and celery roughly and either peel your carrots or chop them too.
- In a large stock pot, add water, seasonings of choice and salt(if desired) bring to a soft boil.
- Preheat a pan or Cast Iron Skillet on medium heat. When well heated, add beef bones and sear them until brown on all sides. Once browned, remove from heat and add beef bones to your large stock pot.
- In the same pan that you used to brown the beef bones, add your onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened. (If you are short on time, you can totally add your uncooked veggies to your stock pot!)
- Once your veggies are done, label some of your to-be stock liquid into your pan and with a wooden spoon, gently scrape down the bottom of your pan or iron skillet. Pour the veggies and liquid into your stock pot.
- Maintain a soft boil for 1 hour, cover with a lid and then reduce heat to low and cook for atlas 5-6 hrs, checking water level occasionally and replenishing the stock pot with more water if needed. If you would like to cook it over night, be sure to add enough water so that the contents don't run dry and burn. Alternatively, you could transfer the contents to a crock pot and cook over night.
- Once you've decided your broth is done, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Ladle broth through a strainer to remove large particles and store in ziplock bags if freezing.