Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to make Bone Broth

Bone broth is very simple to make, and much better for you than a canned broth from the store. It contains many minerals that are made readily available for the body to absorb, as well as a whole host of other good ingredients. It is more flavorful AND less expensive! It contains no added MSG, and you can easily regulate the sodium level and fat levels. I guess Grandma knew what she was doing when she was making her chicken stock for chicken soup when you were sick!

When I buy a chicken, I generally assume that I can stretch it for at least 3 meals. The first meal is based on roasted chicken and side dish veggies, the second meal is a casserole/sandwiches/wraps/quesadillas from the remaining meat, and the third meal(and fourth?) is soup made from the bone broth/stock and whatever remaining meat there was on the bones and of course added veggies.

Method 1: Crockpot
The way I have been making bone broth for the last few years has been to roast a chicken, remove most of the meat from the carcass, and put the carcass in the crockpot full of water to cook overnight. I include whatever veggies and spices I am in the mood for. I usually include:

A few carrots, washed and broken in half.
A few stalks of celery(especially the leaves)
A whole onion, including the skin
About 1-2 tsp of salt
About 1 tsp of pepper
A splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to help break down the bones quicker
A few teaspoons of dried herbs of choice

The next morning, turn off crockpot and allow broth to cool. Strain through a colander, remove meat from bones and put broth/meat in containers. Freeze or use within the next few days.

Method 2: Pressure Cooker
Last weekend I roasted a chicken and took off most of the meat. I didn't want to have the crockpot running all night, though, and have to deal with it in the morning, so decided to try making bone broth in the pressure cooker.

I put my usual chicken and veggies in the pot, filled it about 1/2-2/3 full with water(read your manual for how full to fill your own pressure cooker), and added some fresh herbs from my garden(few sprigs each of marjoram, basil and flat leaf parsley).

I brought it to pressure(15lbs) and cooked it about an hour and a half, then took it off the heat and let it cool on the stove rather than running cool water on the cooker.

This bone broth is AMAZING, compared to the Crockpot method! I think I will be doing it this way from now on! I used the broth a few days later to make an Awesome soup. Mmmmm!

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