Step 1: Use the bones from your delivery or save all other bones in freezer bags until you have a full freezer bag or two. Bones from grilled meats are especially treasured. We like to keep them separated by type of meat (beef, chicken, pork).
Step 2: For every four quarts of water in your stockpot (or crockpot), add about 2-3lbs of bones with any extra meat still on them (basically generously cover the bones with water). We also like to add a scant teaspoon of salt per quart.
Step 3: Bring to a low boil or set crockpot to low. Reduce heat and simmer low for 12-24 hours for chicken bones, but 48-72 hours for beef. For the last 12-24 hours (or the whole time with chicken), Add the following: 1 large onion (halved), 2 carrots, 3 celery sticks. Don't let the veggies simmer for more than 24 hours or it will taste bad.
Step 4: About 10 min before finishing, add a bunch of parsley or other herbs you think would be nice. This adds additional nutrients and flavor to your broth.
Step 5: Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large Pyrex measuring cup. Line up a few pint sized or pint and a half ball jars and pour a small amount into the first (this will mostly be fat), then a larger amount into the second, more into the next and continue until about half of the broth from the Pyrex is gone. Then work your way backwards to fill to an inch from the top. This will even out the fat content in each jar. If you have an excessive amount of fat, skim it off the top and store in your fridge to fry veggies, eggs, etc. Cover the jars and store in the fridge for a week or freeze until future use. A canning funnel is super helpful
Many of you have switched your kids (or yourself) to a GAPS or similar traditional diet that emphasizes real bone broths. We love hearing all of the stories of kids with chronic illnesses that have miraculously turned around after switching to a more traditional diet based on broth, pasture raised meats and fermented foods.
We drink broth on a regular basis and have found we feel much better when we do. When I first heard about drinking broth by itself, I have to admit I thought it was more than a little kooky. After all, my idea of broth was that watery stuff that came in blue cans, BPA toxic plastic lined cardboard boxes, or even in little cubes! Yuck, who wants to drink that?
It turns out that all that effort and cost to raise healthy chickens with strong bones and fats, pays off in spades when we make broth. Although our batches are somewhat variable, many taste ultra buttery. I find myself taking a couple of quarts on all of my long days away as it makes a quick and easy lunch.
If you don’t want to venture into drinking warm broth (basically chicken noodle soup without the noodles), you can still use the broth to make the best tasting rice, soups or number of other dishes.
For more information on the health attributes and other recipe ideas, we recommend reading this broth book. We also strongly recommend reading the GAPS book if you're interested in learning more about how to improve your gut health which has a direct impact on your mental and physical health.
It turns out gelatin is really important for our health and hardly anyone eats much of it anymore. It aids in the absorption of all sorts of vitamins, minerals and proteins. The best way to get it in your diet is to make your own stock. According to Nourishing Traditions, eating bone broth, and the gelatin it contains, has been shown to treat acid reflux, colitis, Crohn’s disease, anemia, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and even cancer. The cartilage in stock has recently been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, bone disorders and cancer as well.
When you slow cook our chicken or other meats, you’ll notice a nice thick gelatin layer in the leftovers. While we agree this isn’t super appealing when in the fridge, it is a sign of a healthy wholesome nutrient source. So go ahead, warm it up and enjoy knowing it contains many of the nutrients your body is craving.
Giving your kids homemade bone broth from pasture raised animals will really help counter the inflammatory damage that processed foods or grains cause to their digestive systems. If you aren’t able to cook them 100% whole unprocessed foods, at least take the time to make real broth and give them a pint or two every day. They will begin to absorb nutrients much better, requiring fewer calories for the same amount of body and mind building vitamins and minerals. You’ll notice a dramatic difference in their short term and long term health.
We use gallons of broth every week in the winter. While the first batch or two may seem daunting, it has become routine and streamlined in our household. We clearly don’t have much free time, but we’ve figured out a good system to make broth on a regular basis without eating up too much precious time. Take the time to build this into your routine, and you’ll find it well worth your while.