Bone Broth and its renewed popularity
People hundreds of years ago thought that Bone Broth (BB) could be important part of their diet (or they really didn’t like to waste anything), and now we’ve rediscovered it. Well not quite, the healing benefits of chicken broth are legendary.
Somewhere around 2013 it rose so much in popularity that bone broth bars suddenly appeared along with BB home delivery services. The Americans embraced it enthusiastically believing it to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, joints, skin and hair and give you really great bones.
In 2014 a book came out, Nourishing Broth in which the authors described the amazing benefits, BB was here to stay. Whilst there is little scientific evidence to support it’s magical properties, many swear by it and science doesn’t know everything.
There is even a basketball team that uses BB refuel after a game.
Many enthusiastic cooks have been making stock or broth as a basic staple to have at hand for that magic boost of flavour for a risotto, soup or stew. Is there a difference between stock and broth? James Beard wrote “a stock is a broth is a bouillon,” so no, people might be picky about it though.
However for those that have forgotten the art let’s go through it.
You will need to choose your bones according to the flavour you prefer. Fortunately bones are readily available in any almost supermarket or butchers, they will be only to happy to sell them to you, after all they are largely a waste product for them.
Look for bones that have some marrow in them, the long bones of the leg are great, but any bones will do-chicken, beef, lamb, even fish but somehow…..!You can save up bones and vegetable trimmings in your freezer, keep a bag in there and just add to it when you have some.
You can cook them all up together but I prefer to have either beef or lamb to which I add some chicken carcasses. Of course chicken on its own is great.
You will need about 2kg, I use 1/2 beef or lamb and 1/2 chicken.
Onions and carrots are a must, leeks, celery, garlic, are all welcome along with any bits that you’ve accumulated in your freezer. Herbs such as bay leaf, rosemary and thyme will add to the flavour.
Use a large onion, 3 medium carrots, 1/2 a bunch celery, 1/2 head garlic (it really mellows out), a couple of leeks if you have and whatever you have in your freezer goody bag.
The best broth is obtained when the bones are nicely browned and the veggies are bit caramalised, gives a lovely colour & richness of flavour. This can be done by roasting them in the oven or, as I do, putting a splash of oil in a large pot and and stirring over a moderate heat until nicely browned, then add enough water to cover, add bay leaves at this point, it will smell amazing. Simmer for 6-8hrs, do top up with water from time to time. This can also be done in a slow cooker for, like, 2 days.
I only add the aromatic herbs, rosemary or thyme at the end of cooking, when its turned off and they are allowed to infuse as it cools. If they are cooked for any length of time their wonderful aroma will be lost. At this time you can also add ginger, tumeric, lemon juice, or any other tasty ingredient, I have thought a dash of truffle oil would work. Do season it now, salt and pepper to your taste, a dash of lemon can bring out the amazing flavour.
The broth needs to be strained and allowed to chill overnight, any fat will solidify on the top and can easily be removed from your lovely jelly. Leave the fat in place if you plan to store your broth a few days in the refrigerator, it will help preserve it. In years gone by people sealed food in fat as a form of preservation.
There are many sites out there that will advise you how much and how often, I believe 1/2 a cup a day is recommended.
Bone Broth can be added to any dish you are preparing as an excellent flavour enhancer, risottos, soups, stews, even into a smoothie- I know, but you don’t know unless you try. It can be consumed as shot with a dash of chili, cardamon, nutmeg, garam masala, paprika even as a latte? It will not loose it’s nutritional benefit because you add it into other ingredients. cook some fresh spinach in it, add some noodles, poach an egg in it, go wild. I haven’t tried incorporating it into ice cream yet, what do you think?
If you don’t have the time or the inclination it is available in the shop, at the moment it is selling as fast as we can make it.
We use grass fed Beef & Lamb
Lamb and Chicken lightly infused with rosemary, lemon and ginger.
Beef and Chicken infused with thyme.
Chicken with a hint of lemon.