- 3-5 lb bones (chicken carcass, backs, necks, feet (EW! but yes - they're amazing), wings, beef femur bones, white fish bones, lamb bones, etc.)
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- filtered water
- Rinse bones.
- Place bones and vinegar in a stock pot or slow cooker and cover with cold water by 2-3 inches.Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Then bring to a simmer (bubbles just barely breaking the surface) and skim off any foamy-looking impurities that rise to the surface.
- Simmer for: Fish bones - 30 minutes, Chicken bones - 5-7 hours, Beef/Lamb/Pork - 24-48 hours
- Strain and use or cool overnight and skim hardened fat off the top.
Broth can literally be used for anything. N-ee-thing.
Use it as a base for soups, stews, or sauces. Use it as your liquid for cooking grains. OR drink it as a hot beverage for breakfast on the go or when you’re sick. SO many tips on broth, where to begin…
At the start of the process obviously.
You have two options. Either rinse your raw bones then sanitize your sink, or “parboil” the bones. This means not rinsing, bringing the bones to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, draining them, and then proceed with make broth as per usual with fresh water. Cuts down on the having to sanitize your sink part. Why is this step important? Rinsing or parboiling reduces the amount of impurities that will come to the surface needing to be skimmed off. We call this scum because it looks like gross scum. Just good to reduce the chances of it happening in the first place.
Another way to reduce scum is to NOT STIR. Do you hear me? There’s this compulsion to babysit something when you’re cooking and this doesn’t need it. Leave it alone. When you stir (especially at the start of the process), you will agitate the proteins getting pulled out of the bones and end up with a cloudy broth. The best cure for this is to use a slow cooker, plus you don’t have to leave your stove on for hours.
And lastly to reduce scum, don’t let your broth boil. Simmer means that bubbles are barely breaking the surface. That’s where you want it. If you boil you will have the same effect as stirring without touching it. Once again, the best cure for this is the slow cooker.
IF you do stir or your broth boils, no big deal guys. Don’t throw it out and start over, it’s fine. Just may be a little more cloudy than you’d like.
The vinegar helps to pull minerals out of the bones and gives you a bigger nutrition punch. Letting it sit for 20 minutes before heating maximizes this effect.
Cost effective broth
You always want to buy the highest quality bones, i.e. pasture raised, which are expensive so let’s talk ways to cut cost. Always buy bone-in meat (it’s cheaper + has more flavor), either cut the bone off raw or remove after it’s cooked (think carcass from rotisserie chicken) and stick the bones in a ziplock in your freezer. Before you know it, you’ll have a bag full of bones ready for broth! Also, beef bones are so thick you can use them for 2 rounds of broth. I usually do 1/2 fresh bones and 1/2 second round bones per broth batch to make it cheaper.
Unless you plan on only making soup all the time, freezing broth as a massive brick is not the best way to go about storage. I like to freeze some of the broth in silicon ice cube trays and then once they’re frozen, put them into a ziplock bag. Just makes it more versatile if you want a small amount for grains, sauces, or beverages. If you keep it in the fridge, use it in 4-5 days and not after 7. See what a great rotation that is? One freezer bag of bones waiting to be used for broth and one bag of small broth cubes waiting to be used in your meal?
OK, why homemade broth?
First of all, the stuff at the store in the boxes is literally water, food coloring, and “natural flavors.” From a culinary standpoint, you’ll get a flavor and richness from homemade broth that you’ll never get from store bought. From a nutrition perspective, the connective tissues and collagen in bones turn into gelatin (why your broth will look like jello when it cools) which is A-MAZING for muscle repair and exercise recovery. It is also really good for “sealing” your gut lining, aka stronger digestion. In addition to gelatin, it is packed with minerals, which will boost your immune system. That is the science behind the folklore of using chicken soup to cure the common cold.