Wellness professionals talk a lot about bone broth. People from different backgrounds including traditional medicines and early conventional medicine have used it extensively – in fact, in the early 20th century in UK hospitals, it was prescribed on admission for every single patient. In this modern day and age, where our food is convenient, quick and easy, we miss out on a lot of nutrients from short cooking times to keep up with busy lifestyles. Bone broth is from the age of slow cooking, where structural proteins are slowly and gradually released from tendons and bones throughout the cooking process. So, why would you use bone broth? The quick answer is concentrated protein. All of that lovely protein gets absorbed through our digestive systems quite easily and enters the bloodstream to build the Chinese Medicine concept of Blood, as well as helping support tendons, bones and ligaments. If you’ve got a diagnosis of Yin deficiency or Blood deficiency, bone broth is perfect for you. We don’t recommend it if you have too much dampness but consult with a practitioner for the right advice.
Bone Broth Recipe
Step 1 – Get 1kg of beef bones from your local butcher and put them on a tray. If you sweet talk him or her, they may give you a discount =)
Step 2 – Place the bones in a preheated oven at around 180 Degrees (C) for around half an hour, or until the meat and fat left on the bones goes crispy and brown.
Step 3 – They should smell pretty awesome by now, but there will be a thin (?) layer of fat covering the bottom of the tray, so be careful not to pull it out of the oven too quickly or it will go everywhere. Drain the fat off once you’ve taken it out of the oven.
Step 4 – Put the baked bones in a 10Lt pot with the following:
- 1 whole onion, peeled
- 1 whole carrot, tip removed
- 2 sticks celery
- 1-2 stalks fresh thyme tsp rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp fresh sage leaves (fresh is always better!)
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 peppercorns
- 5-6 litres of cold water
- Salt to taste
HOT TIP: Remember that as liquid cooks it will condense and the flavour will increase and get saltier, so go easy at the beginning. You can always add more at the end.
Moderately Spicy Tip: Bear in mind that whilst you CAN use dried herbs, fresh is ALWAYS better. You never know how long dried herbs have been sitting there, and the longer they sit, the more volatile oils they lose.
Step 5 – On high heat, bring it all to a steady boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Step 6 (AKA Intermission) – Put the lid on the pot, then cook it on very low heat for around 8 hours. I do this overnight, but it’s up to you whether or not you think this is safe to do at your place with your kitchen setup. I take no responsibility for your decisions if you burn your house down, so if you think that it might not be a good idea, best to just do it during the day when you’ve got some time off.
Step 7 – After 8 hours, turn the heat off, drain the liquid into a bowl, and strain the bones and veggies out. Discard the bones and veggies, and retain the liquid in a jug. Allow to cool, then put it in the fridge.
After it’s been in the fridge for several hours, the liquid will form a jelly. This is how you know you’ve done it right. If it doesn’t form a jelly, something has gone wrong and it’s best to just start again. The jelly usually has a layer of solidified fat on top, that has floated and hardened along with the jelly.
Step 8 – Scrape off the fat and discard it. My grandmother used to keep it and use it on bread, but dripping was a WW2/Great Depression thing and it’s kind of gross in this day and age, so I for one just off it. If you know something fantastic that can be done with it, please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page and let us know!
Step 9 – Time to eat it. – 2-3 tablespoons of the jelly can be warmed up and form a soup or stew stock, or just a nourishing drink. Add chopped veggies, meat or herbs to make a delicious lunch. I like to make French Onion soup with it by sauteeing sliced onions and mixing them through. Great with some bread or croutons, if you can eat them, and topped with parmesan cheese, again, if you can eat it. If not, crackers are a great idea, or soy/goat/vegan cheese for the dairy-free folks.
Super-Awesomeness Tip: And this is the kicker – For added deliciousness, and possibly even the difference between getting grossed out and really excited by bone broth, mince 1 clove of garlic into the jelly before warming and stir it in once it’s warmed up.
Written by Rebecca Tolhurst.