Low sodium bone broth is the perfect base for stewed vegetables, braised meat, thinning sauces, and soups. You can buy premade organic broth but it tends to be high in sodium. Also, when you make your own you can adjust the aromatics and spices to your liking. Bone broth is rich in nutrients and it is said that it can boost the immune system (chicken soup, anyone?), plus it contains collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline, which may aid healing. Though the medical community has not rallied behind bone broth as a medical miracle, enough clean eating, alternative medicine, and nutrition advocates have touted its benefits that it’s worth trying. Plus, it tastes really, really good.
Bone broth is distinct from standard broths and stocks in that it uses virtually no meat.
For equipment you’ll need a baking sheet, foil, large, heavy bottom pot or slow cooker, and a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Cheesecloth also works in a pinch. Store broth in clean, empty jars with a tight fitting lid. It also freeze well – pour into empty ice trays, cover with foil, and freeze like ice cubes.
One whole chicken carcass OR
2 pounds mixed beef bones OR
2 pounds pork bones
1 tablespoon olive oil
I small yellow onion, rinsed and cut in half, lengthwise
I bunch green onions, washed, roughly chopped
I stalk celery plus leaves, washed and cut into large chunks
I whole carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 whole clove
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Rub the olive oil all over the bones and place in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast chicken carcass for 25 minutes – all other bones for up to an hour. Turn halfway through to prevent burning or scorching.
Place the roasted bones and all other remaining ingredients in your pot or slow cooker. Cover completely with water plus another 2 inches.
Bring to a boil. Cover immediately and set your burner or slow cooker on low.
Place all ingredients in your pot or slow cooker and cover completely with water, plus another ½ inch. Bring to a boil. Cover and set burner or slow cooker on low. Simmer for 8 hours on your stove and up to 10 hours in a slow cooker. Skim any foam from the surface every hour or so, and add enough water to keep everything covered if necessary. Add a pinch of salt near the end of cooking.
Your broth should have a nice color and aroma. Remove from the heat strain and strain through your sieve or cheesecloth into another pot. You can strain a couple of times until the brother reaches the clarity you want (I like mine to be a little cloudy.) Let cool to room temperature, then cover and set the pot on a towel or pot holder in the refrigerator to chill.
Your broth is now ready to use or store. Don’t worry if it is a bit jelly-like – the broth will melt once reheated.