If there’s one thing to switch from store-bought to homemade that will yield both endless flavor and provide deep nutrition–it’s bone broths and stocks. Learning how to make these (which in essence typically means just learning to save up the bones from meals you have throughout the month!) is a simple process, with high return on investment. Bone broth provides our bodies with an easily digestible source of gelatin, collagen, minerals and more–nutrients our bodies need and often do not encounter as regularly as we all might hope! From a nutritional standpoint, this is why we add the apple cider vinegar into the cooking liquid; it helps the initial breakdown of the bones and joints, so we can have as efficient of a cooking time as we can while the pot bubbles away.
Beef Bone Broth
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: Crockpot: 12-24 hours | Instant Pot: 90-120 minutes
SERVINGS: 3 quarts
- 2-3 pounds of beef bones, trying to get a variety such as beef marrow, knuckle, rib or neck bones
- 3 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- up to 1 onion, either whole or saved up scraps from other meals
- up to 2 carrots, same as the onion
- up to 2 stalks of celery, same as the onion
Combine all ingredients in either a crockpot or an Instant Pot. If in the crockpot, fill to cover with water (can add more or less to accomplish this), turn to low and allow to cook for 12-24 hours. If in the Instant Pot, make sure you haven’t filled past your max fill line (noted along the inside wall of the cooking vessel), set the pot to manual and allow to cook for 90-120 minutes. Once done cooking, you can quick release (might spew some liquid along with the steam) or simply let the Instant Pot naturally release. Transfer to glass mason jars to store both in the fridge or freezer. You can also pour into ice cube trays and freeze, so you’ll always have 1 ounce frozen cubes of the broth to quickly add and melt into any dish (my personal favorite!) Use in soups, braises and stews, or heat up and drink by the mugful with a pinch of sea salt.
If I had read this recipe before throwing together the ingredients from the fridge, I don’t think I would ever try it. Where’s the chicken broth? Isn’t water soup a little.. depressing? Not hearty enough? Wrong-o, little brain of mine. This soup is pure delight.
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon herb(s) of your choice (thyme, rosemary, basil, etc.)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 quarts water (or yes indeed, chicken stock or vegetable stock)
1 cup coconut milk (optional)
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except the optional coconut milk. Bring soup up to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat and cook for 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk. Puree until smooth in a blender (slightly cooled, please. Third degree burns are so declasse) or with an immersion blender. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed, then serve to 4 or 6 of your friends.
I mean, I have the recipe for post-Thanksgiving turkey stock, which is very similar… but I thought I should treat one of my favorite fridge and freezer staples to it’s own recipe. If you use chicken feet, it is very likely your stock will gel once it is cooled–and that’s cool.
1 to 2 pounds chicken bones (feet, head, leftover carcass from this week’s roast, saved wing bones, drumettes, what have you and what fits in your stock pot or crock pot WHEW!)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium onion, cut in half
2 carrots, broken into a few pieces
3 stalks celery, same as the carrots
12 whole peppercorns
fresh or dried herbs, if you desire (1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or maybe 2 sprigs fresh thyme, you get the point)
2 to 3 quarts filtered water
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, or a pot on the stove. If using the slow cooker, let cook on low for 1 to 2 days, until the bones are soft. If on the stove, bring up to a boil then let the stock simmer at a low heat while you are home. If in an Instant Pot, set to manual and cook at pressure for 30-45 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Stock is done when you feel ready. Strain through a sieve to catch all stock bits, bottle, refrigerate or freeze. It can also be helpful to freeze in ice cube trays and store in a plastic bag in the freezer–then you have 1 ounce cubes of stock to use in dishes that call for just a little stock. Makes 2 to 3 quarts.