When Fall starts to roll around, I start to think of bone broth. I made our first batch this week. It is so easy to make and it is a staple in our kitchen. We use broth to make many dishes likes, risottos, soups, stews, gravy for pot pie, and more hearty dishes for the fall and winter months. We could use broth paste, which we do from time to time, but when a good bone broth can be used we use it. It makes a fantastic meal and it is really good for us.
The idea is that all the minerals and nutrients in the bones are cooked out of the bones and into the water in which they are cooked. This allows those nutrients to be easily absorbed by our bodies to help support good health. Some folks seem to be unsure about making bone broth, but I am here to let you know that it really is easy. So easy, you’ll soon be saying, “That’s no big deal’!
Bone broth can be made from chicken, turkey, beef, pork, or lamb bones. At least, those are what I use. If you have venison bones, they too can be made into a bone broth.
I make chicken broth every time we have a chicken. Turkey only gets made once a year and I bet you can figure out when that time comes around! It makes a lot. Freeze whatever is left over. Purchase your chickens and turkey whole and cut up if you want breast meat or legs if needed. This way you save money by purchasing at a lower rate for the same meat. You get the bones to make the bone broth also. A whole roasted chicken for us is one dinner for six, a couple of lunches, and then dinner again from what is made from the bone broth. It makes it more affordable. For chicken and turkey, I add the carcass, leg bones, and thigh bones. We don’t eat the wings much, so those also get added to the pot.
Beef, pork, and lamb bones are made more often around here. I use shank bones, knuckle bones, rib bones from beef, and an array of bones from pork and lamb. If you go to a butcher, you can ask them for bones. We order ours directly from a local farmer every month when we place our meat order. You can order with us as we offer this service to others as well. Here is our meat ordering info.
To make any of the above broths is the same method. You start with bones. I add these to my crockpot so that it is filled to the top, but not sticking out. The amount will vary depending on the size of your crockpot. Probably 3-7 lbs. Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or cider vinegar. I add a teaspoon of sea salt. Cover the bones with water and turn on high. When it is bubbling, I turn it down to low and let it cook for 24 hours. Yep, a whole day.
This amount of time is needed for the acid in the lemon juice and also the salt to do its thing and get those bones to release all the minerals. When the broth is done, the bones will be so brittle that you can break them with your hand. Even the beef bones. I do have to say that the shank bones don’t get soft, but they do get really white and remember to scoop out the marrow from these bones and add it into the broth. You might be thinking that would be a good bone to give the dog? NO, they cannot eat cook bones. The bones splitter and that’s an expensive trip to the vet. Toss the cook bones into the trash. Use the broth for all kinds of wonderful recipes.
You can do the same in a pressure cooker. Add eveything mentioned above and cook for 4-5 hours on low. I don’t have an instapot, but the same can be done. Of course, this can also be made on the stove top too. I am not home all day to watch it, but if you are, the stove stop works great. Bring everything up to a boil, cover and turn to simmer. Simmer all day 8-10 hours or longer.
You can drink the broth straight up also. You can cook a bit longer and add some veggies and make a nice bone broth with vegetables. Excellent for the fall and winter months. Try adding some garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and some sweet parsnips!
Want to expand your bone broth horizon a bit? Try mixing beef, pork, and lamb bones. It is just delicious!
A way to know that your broth is strong enough is to refrigerate it. It will solidify. No worries, just heat it up and its liquid again. This is a great way to remove a large amount of fat also. The fat will rise to the top as it chills and become solid. Break the fat off the top to remove it. (You can save it to cook with!)