I am crazy about homemade bone broth. I try to get a batch going on Sundays so that I’ll always have some in the fridge during the week. It’s really easy to make, is extremely nutritious, has a ton of healing properties, and is really versatile. AND it’s cheap! The packaged store-bought broth doesn’t come close. That stuff tastes like junk compared to the homemade stuff. You can make soups out of it, deglaze pans with it to make sauces, or just have it as a snack. One of my favorite uses is to fill my thermos up with it, add a little bit of seaweed, and sip it like tea in the mid morning. Yum!
My favorite bone broth recipe comes from my favorite food blog Nomnompaleo. This one is made with beef bones, but you can use any type of animal bones. Also, if you don’t have a slow cooker you can do it on a stove top for several hours. Or if you want it done faster you can use a pressure cooker.
The key to a delicious bone broth is making sure you are including bones that have marrow, joints, and cartilage. This is where all the good nutrition and flavor comes from.
I started by chopping up an onion, a couple of carrots, and a couple of stalks of celery. Smashed several cloves of garlic. Then threw it all in to a crockpot and added a couple of bay leaves and some peppercorns.
Then I added the beef bones. I got them from my meat CSA from Chestnut Farms for $1 a piece. I use about 3-4 lbs. of bones in a 6 quart crockpot. You can also get grass-fed beef bones from Whole Foods. They are usually found in the freezer by the butcher and seafood area. Or you can also ask the butcher directly and if there aren’t any in the freezer they will cut some bones up for you.
I sprinkled a tiny bit of sea salt over the bones. You don’t want to use too much salt because the salt flavor will intensify as it simmers. I also sprinkled 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar over the bones. This is will help pull the marrow and cartilage away from the bones and in to the broth.
I added water to the top of the crockpot, put the lid on, and cooked it on low for about 12 hours. The longer it simmers the more rich in flavor it becomes and the more minerals and good stuff comes out of the bones. I have simmered it for almost 24 hours in the past and it was deliciously intense.
Once cooled I removed the bones (don’t throw them away just yet!) and strained the solids from the broth in to some containers. I like to refrigerate them a bit so that the fat separates and hardens. It’s good to leave some fat because that has a lot of healing properties in it, but sometimes it’s a little much for my taste. So I’ll crack the fat cap and toss some of it if there is a lot. If you simmered it for a long time, the broth will be gelatinous when chilled which is great. That means all the marrow and good stuff has been well-incorporated in to the broth.
I scooped all the marrow and stripped any cartilage and tendon off the bones. These are totally edible and are great for gut healing. I like to keep them in a separate container and add spoonfuls of them in to each batch of broth that I heat up for eating. Down the road I’m hoping to experiment with marrow butter to melt over steak (mmm…). If marrow/cartilage/tendon ain’t your thing, feed it to your dog. Or to a neighbor. Or throw it out, but just don’t tell me about it!
That’s it! It’s really easy and it will last in the fridge for a week or so? I’m not completely certain since it’s usually gone well before that. It also freezes really well.