It’s no coincidence that my very first blog post would be about this beautiful kitchen staple. We truly do love it, and rely on it, and I happen to have some simmering away this very moment.
What makes bone broth so special? As far as kitchen staples go, it doesn’t get much EASIER than dropping ingredients into a pot and turning ON. Most meals I prepare are from scratch and serve a table for 10. TEN. I need as much quick and easy as I can get. And talk about FRUGAL. There is the old adage “making something out of nothing”, meaning you take what is considered waste, scraps, FREE, and turn it into something new and useful. The thought makes me giddy. Bone broth is also incredibly NOURISHING, which is to say it is full of vitamins and minerals that are easily utilized by your body. It just screams wholesome, warm, & soothing! There are times when the budget doesn’t support expensive supplements so we turn to foods such as this. When my husband was working on a protocol to heal his GERD, the nutritionist insisted he incorporate as much broth into his diet as possible. And on a separate note, I can’t forget the time we let a stray dog hang around the homestead for a couple of days, my kids loving named him “Broff”.
Where To Get Bones:
The main ingredient in a good broth is, you guessed it, bones. It may be the carcass of your chicken dinner. Perhaps you have leftover pork chops, or ribs, or steak bones. Some families choose to buy beef direct from the farm in which case you can ask the butcher to include all the bones (raw bones do need to be roasted prior to going in the stockpot). My current batch is utilizing the bones of one of our own Boer goats raised here on the homestead. Because of the quantity, I am able to fill a 24 quart stockpot and will pressure can the broth for future use. Just start stashing those bones away in the freezer and once you can fill your crockpot or stockpot with bones you can get a batch started.
How To Make Bone Broth:
I find the absolute easiest way to make broth is after our family has enjoyed a roast chicken for dinner prepared in the crockpot, because after you eat dinner, pull leftover meat from the bones, you place the carcass BACK into the same crockpot. Nothing like saving on dishes! Sometimes I add vegetables or vegetable scraps like an onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. I figure it’s hard enough getting my children to eat vegetables so I may as well use broth as a secret vehicle! Same goes for spices. The best flavor comes with the addition of salt, some thyme, and bay leaves. However, I also stock herbs like catnip and skullcap, both known for their calming effects and of course high in vitamins. They don’t impart much flavor at all so why not add them as well? I’ve even snuck in some dandelions! Once you’ve added your chosen goodies, cover with water, and add a splash of vinegar. This acid acts to leach out even more nutrition from within the bones that you want in your broth. Now cook it low and slow for 12 to 24 hours. Enjoy the aroma! When it is finished, strain out all the cooked down bits and pieces. On our homestead we feed this to any number of hungry mouths in the barnyard from cats and dogs to chickens. Nothing is wasted. Taste your finished product and make any necessary tweaks before storing in the refrigerator or freezer or canning. Keep in mind that you can re-season again when you use your broth. Often I will strain it right into a pot or put it back into the crockpot and get going on a soup. It’s also handy to keep a pitcher of broth in the refrigerator throughout the week. It is so versatile as you’ll see some ideas below.
5 Easy Ways to Use Bone Broth:
- Eggs cooked in broth for breakfast
Add broth to a sauce pan and bring to a soft boil. Gently break desired amount of eggs into broth. Cook until yolks are just set. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne for a kick.
- Add vegetables and/or meat and herbs for a quick soup
- As a hot beverage added to a mug with salt, pepper, and cayenne
- Use it in place of water when cooking rice
- Whip up a quick gravy to go over dinner
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over med/high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of flour and stir thoroughly for a minute. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of broth and continue whisking until mixture reaches a low boil and thickens up. Add salt and pepper.
Any way you can incorporate more bone broth into your diet, do it. Good for mind, body, and spirit!
Cheers to good health!