Health Promoting Bone Broth (For soups or drinking)

The idea with bone broth is to extract minerals from the bones while enriching the liquid with minerals and vitamins from vegetables.  Choose bones that are from organic or 100% grass raised animals and ask your butcher to cut the bones up for you so that you can see the marrow.  Some meat on the bones is a good thing as well.  Ask for knuckle bones as well as long bones cut up.  The marrow from the bones, the collagen from the joints and the gelatin that forms should all be left in the broth for consumption.  For an excellent article on the health benefits and uses for healing go to this link  The article is long and well worth reading.  You may need to order ahead for this type of bone and make sure you are getting animals on pasture without the use of any kind of drug.  These broths have many health giving properties.  Bone broths can be drank warm just like tea and are amazing for healing an inflamed gut or soothing a body with a cold or flu.  They are also indicated for any type of bone problem, after surgery or in recovery from major illness.  People with inflammatory bowel disease benefit greatly from a fast on pure bone broths and then the addition of these broths to their daily diet.  Every person can benefit from this life giving liquid.  They can be used safely in the young and the elderly.  You can’t drink too much bone broth so go for it!

You will need:

Approximately 4 lbs. of beef, lamb or pastured pork bones (pork broth is best used as a basis for soup or stew where beef or lamb broth is also good for just drinking).  For chicken, turkey or duck broth use a carcass left over from a meal or a small stewing hen.  I find that 1/2 a duck carcass is sufficient for a large pot of broth.

2 large carrots cut in big chunks

3 ribs celery cut in big chunks

2 onions, peeled and quartered

7 quarts pure water (no chlorine)

3 to 4 sprigs thyme

3 to 4 sprigs oregano

3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and uncrushed

1 tomato coarsely chopped

2 tsp. salt (unprocessed sea salt)

2 tablespoons vinegar (this acidifies the water and draws the minerals out of the bones which then makes the broth quite alkaline)

Optional is to add a piece or two of kombu seaweed for the minerals it supplies as well as the fiber and salty flavor. I recommend doing this.  I also add a few dried shitake mushrooms to my broths for added immune system balance.

Place the raw beef, pork or lamb bones (see chicken, turkey and duck at the end of this recipe), carrots, celery and onions in a large roasting pan and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until the bones have thoroughly browned.  Periodically turn them over and baste the bones and vegetables with the accumulating liquid and fat.  Pour the bones and vegetables into a very large stockpot.  Set the roasting pan on the stove and pour in 2 cups of pure water.  Heat this to deglaze the juices from the pan and add those to the stock.  This makes for a darker and more flavorful broth but the bones can be used raw as well.

Add the pure water and vinegar along with the herbs tied in a bundle.  Add all the rest of the ingredients.  Bring the mixture to a light boil and skim off any scum that rises to the top.  Reduce the heat way down so that the stock barely simmers and leave it for up to 3 days.  I have actually left it longer but sometimes need to add a little water.  You can add any water from the bottom of pans used to cook other vegetables, throw in the bits and pieces of vegetables you have left over as you cook meals for those few days.  The longer the broth simmers like this the richer it will be.

When done let it cool and then remove the vegetables and discard along with the bones.  Leave the bits and pieces of collagen and gelatin in the pot.  You can cool this down in the fridge and remove the fat from the top if you wish but the fat from the meat of healthy grass fed animals is actually quite healing to the gut so if you are on a gut restoration program leave some of it.  If you are watching your weight don’t.

Chicken, Duck and Turkey Bone Broth

To make these types of bone broth you use the same ingredients and the same procedure except that you use the leftover bones from an organic free range hen, turkey or duck and put the whole thing in the pot.   You can also use raw bones or an old laying hen whole.  These are usually sold as stewing chickens.  Just put the vegetables into this one raw.  Remember to add the vinegar. Duck broth is very strong and makes nice lentil or mushroom soup afterwards. Personally I find it a little strong to drink as a tonic. I boil the liquid down to concentrate it, freeze in ice cube trays and use this reconstituted as an addition to many dishes to add flavor. The flavor of duck broth done this way reminds me of consomme. A little duck broth added to turkey or chicken broth will add a nice flavor as well.

Duck is quite fatty so you will find that there is a large layer of fat on top of the broth once you’ve cooled it. This fat is prized in France as a frying fat and is very tasty when used to fry things like potatoes. Make sure the duck you got was a free range duck allowed access to fresh pasture and the fat from this bird will be healthy in moderate amounts. Any fat from factory farmed animals is a harmful fat for us to eat but pastured animals are a different story. While it is not a good thing to eat copious amounts of any fat, the fat from pastured animals and birds in reasonable amounts is more stable for frying and contains some health benefits.

Go here for an excellent article on fats from The Weston A. Price Foundation

And for those of you with a burning desire for knowledge about the fat controversy, this is an excellent article written by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon Morell

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  1. Excellent recipe Margo. Thanks so much for sharing. I made this for my 86 year old Aunt who is in a retirement home. The food is so horrible that all kinds of “health issues” are showing up on her from a very bad diet, including bowel and digestive issues. Surprized! NOT!! So I froze the broth in icecube trays and told her to just put 2 cubes in a mug and fill with hot water and drink. When she first tried it a few times, she thought it was making her feel queezy so she didn’t like it and wanted me to take it back. Yesterday when I dropped by to see her, I asked her for it and she has tried it a few more times since then and finds it a “comfort food” now and really likes it, wants to keep it and is wondering if I will have time to make her some more when this supply runs out. Marlene :-) )

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