Bone Broth

Beef broth using marrow bones
Beef broth using marrow bones

 

Throughout the weeks, when I prep vegetables, I save the ends and “nubs” in a bag in the freezer. For instance the ends & tips of carrots & celery, the root of onions, the white “bulbs” of green onions, the stalks of fennel, garlic cloves that are too small to be worth the time and effort to peel and mince, tomato cores, the little “nubs” on the sides of a hand of fresh ginger, parsley and thyme stems, etc.

Chicken bones, ready to be made into broth; bag of frozen veggie ends-n-nubs
Chicken bones, ready to be made into broth; bag of frozen veggie ends-n-nubs

When it’s time for me to make a batch of Bone Broth, I use:

  • 2 or 3 large bones from grass-fed, pasture-raised beef (either marrow or soup bones).  Put them in a large bowl.
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar — pour over the bones
  • Cover the bones with Britta-filtered water and let all of that stand at room temperature for 60 minutes. The acid in the vinegar starts to leach minerals such as calcium from the bones.

**Sometimes I substitute chicken bones from whole or partial chickens I have roasted or poached. I save the carcasses in a bag in the freezer until I have enough for a batch of broth … or until I need the space in my freezer!**

Depending on how many veggie ends-n-nubs are in my freezer bag, I may supplement with:

  • 1 onion, cut into large dice
  • 2 or 3 carrots, cut into fat chunks
  • 2 or 3 stalks of celery — especially the fibrous, outer stalks — cut into fat chunks
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled is fine, but slightly smashed is best, to release the flavor

Put the frozen veggies and fresh veggies into your slow cooker, and nestle the beef bones on top. Pour the water-vinegar mixture in which the beef bones soaked over the veggies and bones.

Add:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste (preferably organic) — or substitute the juice you have frozen from canned tomatoes that you have strained for another recipe — or the leftovers of a jar of marinara sauce that you didn’t finish but froze …
  • 10-12 black peppercorns
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • More Britta-filtered water until everything is submerged

Cook on low heat for 8-12 hours, covered. I usually start ours in the morning around 7am, and then strain it around 9pm.

During the last hour of cooking, add:

  • 1/2 a bunch fresh parsley (more or less, to taste — or determined by how much you have on-hand!)
  • 10-12 stems fresh thyme
Pressing the veggies & bones with a ladle against the strainer, to extract the most flavor
Pressing the veggies & bones with a ladle against the strainer, to extract the most flavor

When finished, strain out the veggies, herbs, peppercorns, etc. and discard. If using soup bones, I pull the meat off the bones and freeze. If using marrow bones, push the marrow through your strainer to break it up, and then stir to distribute throughout your broth.

Either freeze in individual serving containers, if drinking like tea.  Or in bigger containers, to pull and use for soups or other recipes. Or refrigerate until ready to use … or pour directly into a soup you are creating!

5 Comments

    1. I just started using chicken feet and am floored by how *delicious* the resulting broth is! Haven’t mustered-up the courage to try chicken heads, but you’re inspiring me!

  1. I love this!!!!! So easy, cheap and ohhh so nutritious!!!!!!! Great for our skin, hair, nails and digestive health. Chicken feet make an exceptional chicken soup filled with amazing glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen. Have you tried it yet, its our go to bone broth over here on the island.

    1. ALEKS! *So good* to be reconnecting with you over food! I may just change the name of this recipe to “Aleks’ Bone Broth” since you are the inspiration for much of this technique! I buy from a local farmer who offers chicken feet, so I’ll buy some next time and will let you know how it goes.

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