5 brilliant broths your body will love

Bone broth is extremely nutrient dense – everything from the bones is boiled into a delicious and nutrient dense liquid; marrow, collagen, minerals, amino acids, (proline, Glycine, Glutamine, Alanine) gelatin are all in abundance in a properly made stock.

It is really simple to get into the habit of making it and freezing it in batches. Below are some basic stocks and rules, but you can experiment with what you have to hand too.

The stock can be used to bolster sauces, cook rice or vegetable risotto as a base for soups or even just drunk straight up from a cup with a little Thai spice as a winter warmer. It’s rich golden colour is really heartening.

To cook a stock you simply add all the ingredients into a pan with water and cook on a low heat for 4-12 hours. On the stove you need to keep an eye is doesn’t boil dry in an electronic pressure cooker the moisture is sealed in making it easier and safer.

Broth can be thought of as a protein supplement, and a calcium supplement. The chemical ingredients extracted from broth are glycine and proline (collagen/ gelatin), calcium and phosphorus (minerals), hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate (GAGs) (Glycosaminoglycans), and other minerals, amino acids and GAGs in smaller amounts.

Making it a super effective food for supporting body structures and recovery.

Here’s some black rice cooked in stock served with tuna. Black rice cooked in bone broth is a favourite recovery meal.

The nutritional profile of your stock will depend on the lifestyle of the animal whose bones you are using, so source wisely – lots of butchers will give away veal bones, lamb bones and aged beef bones and charge minimally for free range chicken carcasses and wings, or a collagen-rich pigs trotter or veal knuckle. Lamb or beef shanks, and oxtail ends contain good deposits of nutrient-rich marrow. Equally a fishmonger is likely to give you heads and bones for a stock. Fish heads are a rich source of iodine

Stock and Broth tips:

Add a few tablespoons of cider vinegar to help extract the minerals from the bones
Water should just cover the bones – top up if you need to during the simmering but don’t add too high a ratio of water or you will have a very diluted stock

Roast the bones first

Try using a slow cooker or pressure cooker – in a slow cooker make sure water comes to the boil on a high setting before leaving on the lowest setting for 6 hours. With pressure cookers refer to your manual normally a slow cook option is best.

 

Bring liquid to a boil then reduce immediately to a very low simmer
Use filtered water if you can
Include skin, feet, wings etc
Try making stock from game birds – pheasant, partridge, venison bones, wild boar bones, rabbit, duck…
Use white fish rather than oily fish for fish stock and cook for only a short time.
Add prawn shells and crab and lobster shells to fish stock – you can store them in the freezer until you need them.
Veg to use: celery, onions, carrots, garlic, leeks, fennel/fennel tops, peas, mange tout, sugar snap, rocket, lettuce, watercress
Veg to avoid: cruciferous – broccoli, cauli, cabbage, brussels, - radish, turnip, green bean, citrus pith, artichoke
Herbs: thyme, bay, parsley, lovage, fennel, rosemary, savoury
Extras: Seaweed, peppercorns, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon stick, saffron, ginger, turmeric, celery seed, star anise, lemongrass, citrus zest, apples, grapes

5 basic stock recipes:

1. Pure, light and clear chicken stock
  • 2 free range chicken carcasses
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 head of gem lettuce
  • 1 roughly chopped peeled white onion
  • 1 bay leaf

Put all of the ingredients in a large pan, and add water to cover. Let this sit for an hour, then bring it slowly to the boil and turn immediately down to a simmer for 3 or 4 hours. For the first 20 minutes or so, visit the pan and left off any scum which rises to the surface with a spoon. You can continue to do this periodically for the whole cooking time. When your stock is ready, drain off the liquid and if you like, you can pass it through a coffee filter.

Tip: Try adding a simple pinch of saffron to this stock.

Intense chicken stock

  • 2 free range chicken carcasses
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 roughly chopped white onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • Handful of grapes
  • Tbsp. peppercorns
  • Handful of parsley stalks
  • Few sprigs of thyme
  • Leek tops

If you are using chicken carcasses from the butcher, give them a 10 minute roast on a high heat before adding them to the pan. If they are left over from another meal, just add them as they are.
Cover all the ingredients with water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours and strain.

Tip: Try substituting the thyme, grapes and parsley for an inch of root ginger and a stick of lemongrass

Rich beef stock

  • 3 kilos good quality beef bones, or a mixture of beef and veal bones
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 carrots
  • Tbsp. peppercorns
  • Handful of parsley stalks
  • Few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 roughly chopped white or red onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves

Roast the bones for 15 to 20 minutes in a hot oven (you may want to drain off any dripping to use in another recipe).

Cover all the ingredients with water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours and strain.

Tip: Try adding Seaweed to this stock. This stock is great to drink with a tbsp. miso added.

 

High gelatin pork, chicken and veal stock

  • 2 pigs trotters
  • 1 free range chicken carcass
  • 1 kilo veal bones
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 roughly chopped white onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 apple
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Put the pigs trotters in a stockpot with all the other ingredients bar the chicken and veal bones, cover with water and let stand for an hour. Roast the bones for 15 to 20 minutes in a hot oven. After the standing time, add the roasted bones to the pot, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 to 4 hours and strain.

Fish stock

  • 1 large white fish carcass
  • A few extra fish heads
  • Prawn shells/crab/lobster shells if you have any around
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 finely chopped white onion
  • 1 finely chopped celery stick
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 1 handful parsley stalks
  • Twist of lemon zest.

Chop the vegetables finely as they are going to simmer for a shorter time. Add everything to a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes, standing by to scoop off any scum that may form. Strain through a coffee filter.

 

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