Bone broth and stock have always been made from the parts of the animal that could not be used for other purposes, like the chicken carcass from a roast chicken or beef marrow bones, not to mention chicken feet or beef knuckles. Not only do these overlooked bits impart deep, rich flavor to a broth, they also lend amazing health benefits. From The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil.
Makes 4 quarts
You can enjoy bone broth as a base for soups and stews, a flavorful cooking liquid for rice and other grains, or a simple mug of something warm.
Think of the broth as a blank canvas for whatever ingredients and flavors you love most—a couple of thumb-size pieces of fresh ginger root (the peel can stay on if it’s organic); a few sticks of dried astragalus root; a handful of medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, maitake, or shiitake; a thumb-size piece of turmeric root or one to two teaspoons of ground turmeric; veggies like squash, celery, onions, and carrots; and other flavoring agents like garlic or fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or cilantro. Don’t forget that making broth is a perfect opportunity to use vegetable scraps. You can easily scale this recipe up or down—the basic rule of thumb is roughly one pound of bones per gallon of water, but soon you’ll be able to just eyeball it.
3–4 pounds bones of any type—beef, bison or buffalo, marrow bones, lamb, venison, chicken, duck, goose, turkey, goat, or pork, roasted at 400°F for 50 minutes. Add chicken feet or beef knuckles for more nutrition and flavor. Don’t knock it till you try it!
1 gallon filtered water
3–5 cups assorted vegetables, roots, and fresh or dry herbs
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1. In a large stockpot or Crock-Pot, submerge the bones in the filtered water (adding more if necessary). Bring to a low simmer and allow to cook covered for 6 to 12 hours if using chicken bones, 12 to 24 hours (up to 48, if desired) when using larger bones like beef. During the first few hours, skim away any gray foam that rises to the top. This is the time to add mushrooms like maitake or shiitake, as well as astragalus root or ginger.
2. During the last hour of cooking, you can add vegetables—except for garlic and fresh herbs, which you can add toward the end. A good indication that the broth is done is the bones become crumbly—a sign that the minerals are dissolving into the broth. (Make sure to eat the marrow—in pastured animals the marrow is dense with healthy fats that support immunity.)
3. Strain the broth through a colander or sieve and store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it into cubes to have handy for future meals. The bits of ginger, reishi, and astragalus have already infused the soup and can be composted.