Herban Kitchen & Stillroom - Bone Broth 101

So as promised, here is Bone Broth 101! I've put the simplest rules of bone broth down here in this sheet that you can print out, but this is only just the beginning! Bone broth is so rich in amino acids, collagen and gelatin  that you'll want to always have it on hand, because when you see and feel the reported benefits...like suppler softer skin, increased mobility and a happier gut,   you'll begin to understand why dense rich broth has always been a staple in so many diets all over the world. 

The recipe for bone broth is essentially the same whether or not you make it in a stock pot, instapot or slow cooker. The instapot cooks it much faster and I think that it does an amazing job. It's a pressure cooker and it does in 3 and a half hours what can't be done in under 10 hours in the traditional way. That being said, I just want you all to try bone broth and I don't really care how you make it. If you use the slow cooker just put all of the ingredients in and turn it on low for 10 to 12 hours. Your kitchen will smell absolutely wonderful  and you'll have a fabulous broth to boot. If you use the stock pot it will be a little more difficult because you have to really watch it carefully.  If you use a stock pot or slow cooker, add about a cup of apple cider vinegar to the pot. This will help leech all of the minerals from the bones. Some say this is just fallacy. I say what can it hurt? 

One question I'm always asked is  "Why grassfed and organic?" My response is simple. Over the years, I've discovered that broth cooked from animal bones that are not grassfed or organic is much "scummier" ...in others words, junk is always rising to the top that you have to skim off.  Impurities, antibiotics...just ick. So I spend a bit more, and get good bones from a traceable source. 

Remember too, you can use fish heads, shellfish and other seafood sources and make a terrific bone broth as well. The secret is long, steady cooking and a steady temperature so that the collagen and gelatin are broken down evenly.  The sign of a great bone broth is that 24 hours after you've finished,  it becomes gelatinous, just like when you've roasted a chicken or rib roast and you find that wonderful jellied gravy in the pan the next morning. Even if it doesn't get jellied, it's wonderful for you. The secret to having it get all jiggly are the bones you use. Try neck bones, chicken feet, oxtails, marrow bones....anything with cartilage. Especially the chicken skin. Your wrinkles and dry skin will love all of that extra collagen!

I always add turmeric for a deep rich color!

Remember this is not your normal pot of soup. By the time you're done, if you've cooked it right, everything in the pot will be tasteless. The meat can be shredded and put back in, but there won't be flavor. So as not to waste it I give it to my dog who will eat anything. The cat won't touch it. If you pressure cook it in an Instapot, please don't give the bones to your pets because they will have become too brittle. 

The flavor of any vegetables you choose, even onions and garlic will get lost in the cooking process. What they will add is depth, nutrition and deep flavor, but they won't be easily recognizable so save the flavoring for later. Don't add salt until it's done because you'll want to make each cup or bowl individually. Thats the beauty of a pot of bone broth, is that it's the perfect tonic that you can doctor differently each time! This type of broth loves to be heated up on a chilly morning and served with lots of add-ins! Have fun! For a broth that's predominantly poultry,  I love to add some maple syrup, onion, cracked pepper and sage. You can add eggs, corn , onions and fresh garlic and create your own ramen! For a beef broth , how about some ginger, scallion, garlic and soy? Or for chicken or beef you could add chili powder, garlic, onion, cocoa powder and raisins, like a bone broth mole! You could slice up some leeks ,  cube some potatoes, add some cream and have an instant potato leek chowder. 

Start here and  develop your own add ins! Bone broth IS superfood and I always have a pot of it in the fridge. My husband, the mostly vegetarian loves it. I pour it all over the dogs food and her skin is just so nice and I've noticed that she's shedding a a lot less than she was. 

Remember this though. Unless you freeze it, bone broth is only good for 7 days. If you smell it and it smells funky, pitch it please. That's how they used to grow antibiotics:)  

The Herban Farmgirls