I have no idea why, but so many people have asked me to share how I make bone broth, so here it is!
I need to preface this post by adding a HUGE DISCLAIMER. I REALLY hesitated to even share how I make bone broth because I am still learning and tweaking the process. I started with recipes that were shared with me, plus tips from some of my fellow Instagrammer friends (@venisonfordinner + @unschooling.inthe.cariboo). I questioned myself and wondered whether I knew enough to be sharing publicly. HOWEVER, I am also working on not letting perfection hold me back. Just because I’m still learning, it doesn’t mean I can’t share what I do know, even if it’s not perfect, right? Getting started on something can be overwhelming, but I hope that by sharing my imperfect recipe that it will encourage you to get started, even if it’s not perfect!
Why I started Making Bone Broth
I started making bone broth in the Fall of 2018. My body was so run down, my iron was low, my energy was low and I just really needed some wholesome TLC. It was recommended to me to try drinking bone broth. When it first came up in conversation I thought, oh yeah, I’ve made soup with bones before, I can do that. Then I went home and was later informed that I really didn’t know what bone broth is. I had no idea that people make it to drink it. Yes, its a thing. So there I was, laughing at myself, thinking I needed to go home and make soup. You can absolutely use it for soup, but bone broth is so much more than that. Lots of people make it to drink it straight. Although this is super healthy for you, I rarely do this. I prefer to incorporate it into my cooking. I’ll share more of that below. Long story short, I started making it to boost my body!
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a mixture of bones (chicken/pork/beef or other animal) and vegetables cooked together then strained leaving a broth behind. You can make vegetable broth by omitting the bones.
Where do you get Bones?
I had no idea where to start, but it’s really not that complicated. I asked at our local butcher shop and they have packages of bones in the freezer section labelled “soup bones.” A whole chicken is also a great start. Now that I’m getting into it more I have also been saving scraps from meat we use. Even small bits like bones from steak or pork chops. If we cut them off raw then I save them in a bag in the freezer for the next time I make broth. They say knuckles are really good, but I just make do with what we have. I’m not that hardcore.
If you purchase sides of animals from farmers, make sure to ask to keep all the bones when it gets butchered. Better yet, if you have a friend who butchers, just ask them to save you some bones! It really doesn’t have to be complicated, just use what is available to you.
How to Make Bone Broth
I’m not a big recipe follower. I prefer to just wing it and throw it all in so things like bone broth are easy for me to make! I’ve been making two types of broth, one with chicken only and one with beef and/or pork. I have read that mixing different bones is better for getting the collagen out of the bones, but this is what I do because I like the taste of just chicken broth for certain things.
So get whatever you have for bones and vegetables and put them in a large stockpot. Fill with water and I usually add a little salt. That’s it. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 4 hours. Again, this is what I’ve been doing, but I’m not saying this is the best way.
For the vegetables, you can put them in whole, or use scraps or cut in half. Check the photo above, I put everything in the pot as shown in the photo, peels included!
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. It helps to extract the nutrients from the bones. Now I’ll be honest, I sort of forget about this, but it was in the original recipe that was shared with me, so I’ll do my best to remember it for next time!
TIP: I have been saving vegetable scraps in the freezer (mainly celery, garlic, onion, carrot, but you can use anything you’d like) and just use them. It’s also a great time to use up wilted vegetables that are on their way out. I prefer to use up vegetables that I have on hand versus buying fresh vegetables specifically for making broth.
When done cooking, strain all the bones and large scraps out.
If you used a whole chicken then make sure to pick off the meat. I freeze it and save for sandwiches, wraps, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and anything else you can think of!
Store the broth in the fridge for about 5 days or freeze. I have been storing mine in canning jars (you could pressure can too). It’s nice when you can keep some in the fridge because if you have it on hand you’ll find more ways to use it in your cooking!
If you are freezing canning jars, make sure not to overfill, and by overfill I mean, leave A LOT of room for expansion. The photo directly below was enough room, but the batch before that, I had filled right to the bottom brim and it was clearly not enough room (see second photo)!
What to use Bone Broth for?
These are some of the things we use it for, but I’m sure you could come up with some of your own uses too!
- Soup broth
- Noodle bowls
- Cooking rice or pasta (instead of water)
- Drink it warm, as is
- Basically substitute it for any recipe that calls for water or broth, where it makes sense, of course!
I love using it for broth with our homemade won tons! So delicious and nutritious and kid friendly!
My secret. Maybe it’s cheating, but I also sometimes add this Organic Better Than Boullion. Yet another reason why my bone broth is perfectly imperfect, but I figure it’s still better than using broth from a can or cube! I picked ours up in chicken and beef flavour from Costco, but have a look at your local grocery store and I’m sure you can find it. I did check Amazon, but the prices were much more then what I paid, so I have not included any links!
A Few Things to Mention …
I make mine on the stove because I want to be able to use a very large pot. I’m sure you could do it in the Instant Pot or Crock Pot too though. Just try it and see what works for you!
I have the 6qt Instant Pot (shown below) and it’s just not big enough for a large batch, in my opinion. Go big or go home over here!
I also read about how the perfect bone broth jiggles…and how it means you’ve gotten all the collagen out of the bones. Well, mine doesn’t jiggle and I’m okay with that. I likely add too much water and probably don’t have the right mix of bones. If you want the best of the best bone broth (health wise), then I would recommend doing some more research on your own! The way I have been making broth has been an easy way to use food I mostly already have at home and add more nutrients to my family’s diet. We aren’t perfect, but we are okay with that!
So I encourage you, let go of perfection and just give it a try! Add spices if you want, make it your own, do what your family enjoys! Use whatever you have at home, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just let it be!
Tell me in the comments how you enjoy using bone broth!
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