“Indeed, stock is everything in cooking…without it nothing can be done.” Auguste Escoffier
Broth or stock as some call it is one of the most nutritious of foods. In many cultures it is consumed almost daily. Ancient cultures would not think of throwing out the bones, the place that holds the essence of the animal. They knew to slowly cook them with water and maybe other herbs and ingredients to extract the precious life giving nutrients from them.
Chinese medicine says that the bones hold “jing”, also thought of as our essence. Once depleted by stress and poor diet, it is hard to replenish. Consuming things like broth on a regular basis helps to balance and replenish this. Not only does broth warm the digestive fire and ready it for more food, but it provides minerals and gelatin.
Gelatin, often just thought of only for dessert, is extremely nutritious and healing. It helps us to build strong bones, hair, teeth, and fingernails and is also very good for digestion. It is hydrophilic which helps to keep the mucosal lining of the intestines in good shape.
You can use any kind of bones you have access to. The traditional bones we most commonly use to make broth are beef and chicken bones, but you may also use lamb, turkey, fish, seafood, duck, venison, buffalo or any other bones you can find.
- Bones – preferably soup, shank, ribs, marrow, oxtail or knuckle bones; if using chicken – try to salvage the feet and head along with the other bones for an extra rich broth; extra tough cuts of meat will give extra flavor as well. (You can also use pork bones as well as any wild game animal or fish bones)
- Filtered Cold Water to cover
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- (Optional) – Veggies like potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, rosemary, nettle or any other medicinal herb
- Optional Tip: You can ignore this first step to save time, but for a more robust flavor, it is best to roast the bones first. Simply place the bones in a large baking pan or casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until browned.
- Transfer bones to a large crock pot or stock pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil and skim off the scum that will rise to the top.
- Turn down to a simmer or low.
- Add the vinegar and salt.
- If you can, let this broth cook for 36-72 hours. You may need to add more water as it evaporates.
- The minimum amount of cooking time would be 6 hours, but overnight is best.