It’s one of those recipes that your grandparents probably made, but then was forgotten about for decades due to the low fat craze of the late 1970s, right through to the early 2000s. (It turns out however, that the ‘low fat’ diet was actually making us fatter….)
Bone broth has come back into fashion once again, thanks to our new found love for fat, the Paleo movement, research into gut health, and modern chefs like Hemsley and Hemsley. It’s touted as the key to gut healing, and recovering from illness and injury, and is said to be one of the best things to consume to improve skin, hair, nails, joints, immunity and metabolism.
Bone broth could be the new fad, like green smoothies were a couple of years ago, or it could really be the missing link in health. With the abundance of minerals it contains, it’s likely there’s actually quite a lot of evidence backing up the hype: collagen, gelatin, glutamine, glycine, proline, calcium, magnesium, iron, and B vitamins are all found in high quantities, and these are actually some of the minerals we’re thought to be deficient in in modern day life.
If you’re recovering from an injury, illness or surgery, then these are the types of minerals that can help fast-forward the healing process. Those with leaky gut syndrome can also benefits, and the minerals and vitamins can also contribute towards improving the quality of sleep.
Sound good? There’s one other bonus: It reduces waste!
If your Sunday family dinner consists of a whole cooked chicken, what do you do with the carcass? Those bones and ‘yucky bits’ that get thrown in the bin hold the potential benefits we’ve just mentioned, and they could be a lot more useful in your body than in the bin….
To make bone broth, I use an InsantPot., which is very useful for all sorts of recipes. All you need to do is add the bones, a few chopped vegetables, spices, apple cider vinegar and a little salt, water, switch it on and leave it for a couple of hours.
If you don’t own a fancy InstantPot, then here’s the simple recipe from Hemsley and Hemsley:
- Place the bones and any additional ingredients into a large stainless steel cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by 5 cm whilst still leaving room at the top of the pan.
- Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for at least 6 hours for chicken and 12 for beef or lamb, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. We like to boil the chicken carcass for up to 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and keep beef bones going for 24 hours until they look as if they were washed up on a beach.
- Fresh chicken carcasses from the butcher usually have a fair amount of meat on them. We tend to poach the carcasses for 20 minutes, then pull off the meat (and save it for another meal like a chicken salad or chicken pho) before returning the carcasses to the pot and continuing to simmer to make broth.
- Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic). Bone broth will keep in the fridge for several days or up to a week if you leave it undisturbed, as a layer of fat will form on the surface and keep it sealed from the air.
You can also make Bone Broth using a slow-cooker. Just turn to high and cook for 12 hours or more.
Broth will happily keep in the fridge for up to a week. Divide your batch between 2 containers. This will allow you to use up one jar over the first few days while the second forms a fat layer which will keep it good for the second half of the week.
Small portions of Bone Broth are great for cooking up quinoa or braising vegetables and larger containers are great for making batches of soups, curries and stews.
Beef Bones produce a lot of nutritious fat – (skim some of it and save it for roasting vegetables). Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or freeze the stock in a glass container.
Try making it soon and let us know how you feel!