Monday, November 19, 2012

Bone Broth...

Often, in movies that are set in days gone by, if someone is an invalid and bedridden, a caregiver can be seen carefully feeding broth to the invalid.  For instance, in "Little Women," Jo says to Beth, who is very ill, "Drink up all this good broth."

I never understood that until just the last year or so.  It made no sense to me why some watery soup would be considered nourishment.  Now I understand.  In the past, family cooks understood the importance of broth made properly with bones.  Not only are properly prepared stocks and broths delicious and versatile additions to soups, stews and sauces, they have important health benefits.

In Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, there is an excellent article on the benefits of "Stocks."  I will not quote the whole article here, but will just list a few things that are mentioned.

1. "...the use of homemade meat broths to produce nourishing and flavorful soups and sauces has almost completely disappeared from the American culinary tradition."

2." Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow..."

3. "Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth."

4. "...stock is also of great value because it supplies hydrophilic colloids to the diet... Gelatin acts first and foremost as an aid to digestion and has been used successfully in the treatment of many initestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis and Crohn's disease.  Although gelatin is by no means a complete protein... it acts as a protein sparer, allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in.  Gelatin rich broths are a must for those who cannot afford large amounts of meat in their diets."

The article goes on to explain a number of other health benefits of properly prepared bone broth.  So, how can it be "properly" prepared?  Here is how I do it.  Do you recall that last week I ended up with the bones, etc. of 6 roosters that we butchered?  I stuffed all of the bones into my 2 gallon soup pot, covered them with filtered water and added 1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar.  I simmered it for about 24 hours, let it cool, strained it through a cotton cloth and refrigerated it.

Here is a picture of what it looked like when I took it out of the refrigerator:

You can see the lovely gelatinous consistency of it, as I am ladling it there.  

We drank some with our breakfast, some is in the fridge and I pressure canned 3 quarts for later.  Sometimes I freeze broth and stocks, but not this time.  Here is a picture of this morning's breakfast... warm, salted chicken bone broth, hard boiled eggs (still warm - so nice!), goat milk and goat milk kefir.  We both used Realsalt in our broth, to taste.  If you are not familiar with unrefined sea salt, please go to that link and see how good for you it can be!

Yes, I do pull back the table cloth when we eat.  Sigh... ;)

This post is linked to the Homemaker Hop #5


  1. I need to make some more broth. I am almost out. It was almost all lost when my fridge died two weeks ago. So grateful for my deepfreeze. Need to learn to can the broth so if the fridge or freezer die I don't lose it all. How do you can it all?

    1. Autumn, you already know how to use the pressure canner, right? I mean, exhausting it for 10 minutes and all that? After that, and you get it up to 11 pounds pressure, a quart of clear stock only takes 25 minutes to process! That's too bad you lost your nice broths. I do like to freeze mine, but need the freezer space for other things too.

  2. Thanks for the article on stock and bone broth. The chefs make this in good restaurants but it has gone out of fashion for sure. I was only explaining it to someone the other day. Most people are too into fast food or even making food fast (convenience food). Thanks for sharing and passing on what you know! Blessings!

    1. You're welcome and you are right. Cooking properly takes some planning and some time and dedication. I know a lot of folks just feel too overwhelmed to learn to do it, even though it would help them in so many ways. I'm really grateful for what I've been able to learn through the internet in recent years.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!


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