What is bone broth and why should I make it?
Slow cooking meat bones in water to create stock is a practice that spans generations, traditions and cultures - most of us are aware of the healing properties of “Grandma’s chicken soup”!
Bone broth is a true superfood, rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, glycine and proline. While bone broth itself hasn't been extensively studied by the medical profession (although this recent study has shown benefits for those suffering with ulcerative colitis), the nutrients it provides have been.
They offer a whole range of health benefits including reducing inflammation, repairing joint damage and stimulating the growth of collagen for healthy joints. The natural gelatin in bone broth coats and seals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, which helps the small intestine absorb nutrients and support a healthy immune system.
It’s a great food to turn to during or after an illness, or after antibiotics or an operation to help heal and soothe.
You will need
- A slow cooker or a large pan with a lid
- A chicken carcass or beef bones (leftovers or free from a butcher!) - organic is ideal to produce the purest broth
- Water (enough to cover the bones)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (preferably a brand that contains "The Mother")
- Jam jars, glass click boxes or Tupperware
- Place your leftover beef bones or chicken carcass, including the skin, fat etc into a slow cooker or large pan with a lid.
- Add enough water to cover the bones. The more water you add, the more broth you get out so I like to fill up my slow cooker to the top!
- Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, which will help extract the maximum minerals from the bones.
- Cover and cook on the lowest heat for up to 24 hours.
- Leave to cool and then strain the liquid, discarding the bones.
- Decant into jam jars, glass click boxes or Tupperware. If using plastic, make sure the liquid is completely cold to prevent harmful toxins leaching out from the plastic.
- Place in the fridge or freezer and use whenever a recipe calls for stock! Simply add to your cooking with a stock cube as normal.
Use to make gravy or in a soup, stew, stir fry, cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne, risotto etc! You can also drink it neat by warming it up and adding some seasoning and herbs.
If you don’t want to or can’t make it fresh, you can buy ready-made bone broth from companies like Coombe Farm and Osius. You can also buy vegetarian bone broth and there are recipes online to make it from scratch, including this one.