Making a broth from animal bones has fallen out of favour in the fast world that we now live in. An old fashioned grandmotherly cure for nourishing the sick or weak that might seem a bit redundant in our high tech world. However, don’t be quick to disregard this as irrelevant. There are enormous health benefits that can be derived from a simple bone broth:
What’s so good about it?
Bone broth is rich in key nutrients that can support our health in a number of ways:
Protein: particularly the amino acids arginine, glycine, proline and glutamine. Amongst other things these amino acids support immune function, wound healing, repair of cartilage and joints, and are gut protective and detoxifying
Collagen and gelatin: found in connective tissue, which makes it important for skin, hair, nails and joint health too.
Minerals: particularly calcium, but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur making it good for bone health
How to make it
Take the bones from poultry, ham, beef or lamb (ideally grass fed / organic bones)
Add enough cold water to cover the bones
Add a splash of any type of vinegar or a dash of lemon juice
Simmer for 30-60 minutes, remove any scum that has risen to the top, reduce the heat and simmer (6-48 hours for chicken, 12-72 hours for meat bones). To reduce the cooking time you may want to smash or cut the bones into small pieces first
Add vegetables: tops, skins or roughly chopped veg - I use carrots, celery, onions with a few herbs such as parsley or bay for the last 30-50 minutes of cooking.
Strain through a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth for a clearer broth, Discard the bones. If uncooked meat was used in the mix, reserve for soups or salads.
Use the broth to make soup or as a stock when you make other dishes such as rice or beans or simply sip like a tea.
Apart from anything else, it is a great way of feeling that you are getting something for nothing. Bones that you would typically throw away can deliver a healing potion of goodness and delicious flavour too. I freeze my bones and chicken carcasses and then when I have a reasonable sized batch I brew up my broth then pack it away in small containers in my freezer. A little effort goes a long way.