Our Paleo Family

Magical Bone Broth

Ok, so maybe it isn’t really magical, but if you read or listen to any health experts these days, paleo or otherwise, you will know that bone broth is pretty darn good for you. It’s a staple that should be in every freezer. I use it in tons of my recipes so I wanted to let you know how I make it. Besides simply needing it on hand for my recipes, here are a few other really good reasons to make your own broth:

  1. if you make your own, you know exactly what’s in it – and what isn’t
  2. you are spending good money on quality meat, so use every bit of it, including the bones, skin, even the gristle!
  3. it’s super easy
  4. when you get sick or someone in your family gets sick, you will be ready with some nutritious soup to nurse them back to health
  5. it really, truly is a super food, containing loads of minerals and amino acids which are known to improve joint health, soft tissues like hair and skin, and boost your immune system, just to name a few
  6. some folks say that because it has a positive effect on collagen production, it can even help reduce cellulite

Is that enough to convince you of the virtues of bone broth?

I almost always make chicken broth, simply because we eat a lot more chicken with bones than any other meat. Whole Foods sells grass-fed beef bones for about $6 per pound and I think that’s a little high for something they were just going to throw away. There are farmers that are giving them away, I just haven’t had time to reach out to one yet. We used to belong to a meat CSA and with each order they threw in a bag of bones. Most people don’t want them because they don’t know what to do with them.

You have a couple of options for procuring the bones you will use to make your broth: save them from the meat you cook, buy from your grocery or butcher, or find a local farmer and see what they have to offer.

I typically keep a bag of bones in my freezer. Sounds yucky, I know. It’s not really worth making a batch of broth with four chicken leg bones, so I save up every time we eat chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken. All the leftover bones and skin go into a zip top bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of broth – usually about three pounds.

*Just a little side note: if you typically buy boneless and skinless chicken, try buying it with the bones and skin. It is $2-4 cheaper per pound and even more importantly, adds more flavor to your dishes, and you get those valuable bones!

It’s sort of a joke in my house that it always smells like chicken soup. Invariably, whenever I have people over, I have a pot of stock simmering on the stove. I think it’s a very comforting smell. It might smell a little bit like a grandma’s house. I happened to love my grandmas, so that’s a-okay with me.

I hope you’ll make some broth soon, especially if you’ve never done it before. You’ll be surprised how different it is from what you can buy in those cans or boxes. And how many delicious recipes you can make with it!

One more thing: if you’re still blessed with living grandmas, go see them or call them up and tell them you love them! Maybe take over a pot of soup.

Magical Bone Broth
Print Recipe
a nutrient powerhouse that is delicious and amazingly versatile
Servings Prep Time
about 4 quarts 5 minutes
Cook Time
36-48 hours
Servings Prep Time
about 4 quarts 5 minutes
Cook Time
36-48 hours
Magical Bone Broth
Print Recipe
a nutrient powerhouse that is delicious and amazingly versatile
Servings Prep Time
about 4 quarts 5 minutes
Cook Time
36-48 hours
Servings Prep Time
about 4 quarts 5 minutes
Cook Time
36-48 hours
Ingredients
Servings: quarts
Instructions
  1. Place bones, vegetables, salt and vinegar in large stockpot and add enough water to cover all of it. Place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to low. Check to see that your stock is simmering, but not boiling.
  2. Leave at a simmer for 36-48 hours. Check every couple of hours to make sure there is still enough water. You want to keep your pot fairly full, about three inches from the top.
  3. Taste your stock and if it has a nice, rich flavor and is seasoned to your liking. Take your spoon and try to smash the bones. They should have become brittle during the cooking process. If they are still very hard, cook longer. The vinegar is what helps to break them down, releasing all those minerals.
  4. Once the broth is done, strain it through a fine, mesh strainer and store in freezer safe containers. I have heard of people freezing it in muffin trays or ice cube trays. I use quart containers because I almost always use that much each time. Think about how you might use the broth and store accordingly.
  5. Freeze that broth!
Recipe Notes

How are you going to use this broth? Anytime you might cook something in water, use broth instead. It adds nutrition and flavor. All my soups have a broth base. It makes a delicious chicken gravy (recipe coming soon). I am able to tolerate some white rice and I always cook my rice in broth. The possibilities are endless. Of course, you can drink it straight up. It's warm and comforting and I can't think of anything better for an upset stomach.

I'll be honest, sometimes I'm in a hurry or just feeling lazy and my broth consists of bones, water, salt and vinegar. I can't even be bothered to take the five minutes to chop the vegetables. And it's still delicious. It will be a little more pale in color, but the flavor and nutrition is still there.

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