Nothing beats the full, thick richness of slow-roasted bones for broth – whether they be from leftover ham, marrow-rich beef bones, or chicken.
What's so great about using homemade bone broth? It's not just about preventing waste. Bones are an oft-overlooked source of protein and many minerals. Whether you're using a cleaver to chop your own bones at home, or you've gotten machine-sawed bones from the supermarket, observe: the bones are hard, but not brittle. What remains in the marrow of the bone is a natural source of nutrients - all you have to do is extract it.
Preparing the Bones
Any bone will taste great in a broth, but your preferences may vary. Duck broth is rich and hearty, and it complements the taste of potatoes fantastically. Chicken and beef, pork and lamb, it's all welcome in the broth pile.
Want a professional tip? Save your bones every time you serve a meal with them (even fish, but we recommend finding a specific recipe to achieve the desired taste), and keep them in an airtight container or plastic bag in the freezer. When you're ready to make your broth, thaw or brown them frozen.
Want another tip? You don't have to do all that work to enjoy the benefits of bone broth. You can also just buy the bones at from the deli or butcher.
Making the broth
Broth takes a lot of salt and a lot of patience. But the results are well worth it! There are only four ingredients - bones, water, a little oil, and salt. The instructions below will give you all the possibilities needed to bring scrumptious to your kitchen.
Stove method: Heat a dutch oven on high, and add about two tablespoons of olive oil to it. Season and salt the bones, and brown them - this will bring out the flavor. Allow to cool, so the oil won't splatter when you add the water. Cover the bones completely with cool water, and heat until boiling. Simmer for 6 - 8 hours.
Oven method: Heat oven to 425. Place bones in the dutch oven, sprinkle lightly with olive oil, and season generously with salt and your favorite spices. Remove from oven, add water, and boil. Lower heat and simmer for 6 - 8 hours.
Crockpot method: In a heavy saucepan, brown the bones in a little olive oil, with desired salt and seasonings. Then transfer the bones to a crock pot, set to low, and allow to roast for 10 - 12 hours.
Here's what you'll want to try with bone broth:
Chop up some vegetables and make a soup for a cold day - ham broth is wonderful with split pea or bean soup, beef complements noodles of many kinds quite well, and chicken goes great with potatoes or rice.
Did you know that you can make gummy bears with bone broth? All you have to do is cut back on the salt, and...probably go buy yourself some gummy bears, because it's not easy. The gelatinous substance takes form once it has been chilled, and is sometimes served like that, but most prefer the sweeter dessert gelatin to the chilled savory broth.