Healthy Eating – Bone Broth

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve changed our eating habits to align more with the theories of Weston A Price. Of all the changes that we’ve made, my favorite has to be making bone broth. I great satisfaction from it and we use our broth in EVERYTHING.

A few years ago, the kids and I were learning about the dark ages and how a family would throw a pot on the stove and just leave it cooking constantly, adding and taking from it as needed. Those people had it right. There are so many health benefits to drink bone broth. The broth is full of well, good for your bone/teeth minerals – calcium, phosphorus, magnesium. When made correctly, it is full of gelatin that is good for your hair, nails and gut. Not to mention, that is yummy and easy to sneak in (if you must) to many foods so that even your little picky eaters get the benefits of it.

It’s also really easy to make. Here’s what we do:

Buy bones – I usually make bone broth with beef bones but I’ve used chicken and moose as well.

For beef  and moose bones you are going to want to roast them first a la osso buco style. I don’t really have a set time for this. It depends a bit on the bones. I usually roast them for 20-40 minutes at 450 degrees until the marrow becomes translucent and falls easily from the center of the bones. This is yummy to eat on bread straight from the oven. We’ve also served it over rice or thrown it into pasta sauce.

Osso Buco – I actually cooked these bones for a while longer after I took this picture. They were some big bones with lots of marrow.

Place your bones into a large stock pot and add whatever ever savory food you’d like to add for flavour. My favorites are carrots, celery, onions, garlic, ginger (love that one for flu season), shallot, and parsley but I change things up base on what we have on the house.

Ready to simmer!

Then it’s basically a matter of simmering the broth down over the course of many hours. You’ll want to just get the broth up to boiling to get it started but then you’ll immediately turn down the heat as low as it will go and let it simmer and simmer some more! The broth may get a little bit frothy on top and you can just skim that off. After the first 8 hours or so, I love to take 2 cups of the liquid and make a rice as it tastes so, so good at that time. However, the full nutritional value hasn’t been reached by that point so keep simmering.

In the end, we usually simmer our broth for at least three full days (leaving the stove on overnight). You can turn the stove off at night if you do not feel safe leaving it on (and you can leave the pot right there) but you need to get the  temperature back up to boiling when you start it the next day and then reduce the heat. Keep in mind to get a good gel you DO NOT want your broth to come to a full rolling boil so keep an eye on it when you are increasing it’s temperature over a higher heat.

We tend to take from our pot as it is simmering down and we do replace the liquid that we use (and add vegetable scraps as well) but we do simmer our broth for many, many days. The more concentrated your broth the more it will gel.

When you feel it has cooked for long enough (in general, your bones will be brittle and start to fall apart) then you simple remove the bones and strain. Leave the broth on your stove top to cool down (if you have a big pot this will take many hours) and then refrigerate. There will be a layer of fat on the top and you can use this for cooking and under, you should have a gel like broth that you can add to just about EVERYTHING.

  • rice
  • mashed potatoes
  • gravies
  • stews
  • soups
  • roast veggies (we make an amazing curried saucy potato with broth)
  • pancakes (I haven’t but I have a friend who does)
  • stirfries
  • and the list goes on….

The finished product (despite appearances, it is yummy). It completely liquifies when warmed and is even good to drink just like that if you add a generous amount of sea salt.

Your broth can be kept in your fridge for many a day but I’m not giving you a number because, in reality, I don’t know how long you are supposed to be able to keep it in the fridge! After a few days I usually freeze it in muffin tins so I can grab a couple and throw them into whatever I am cooking. In addition I usually fill two 1.5 L containers (plastic…apparently mason jar crack even when filled accordingly) with broth to freeze and use in stews or soup at a later date.

We make beef/moose broth every two weeks (as the first week we are usually stealing from the pot as it is being made) and if we happen to have a chicken I usually use the carcase for a chicken broth (made in the crockpot and simmered for 24-48 hours instead of 3-6 days).

I highly recommend you trying this with your family as it is an easy to boost the nutritional value of just about anything that you cook. Be warned, though, if you start following Weston A. Price principles be prepared to dream about food for weeks when you are just beginning, not that it is a bad thing, but it will take over your subconscious! You’ll be so anxious to wake up in the morning to eat your sourdough and drink a glass of kefir!