Making Bone Broth
Makes 3-4 litres depending on your pan size
2–3 kg beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones (usually free from the butchers) or use the saved bones from a roast, such as chicken, lamb shoulder or bone marrow bones
OPTIONAL: A generous splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)
2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
1 tbsp black peppercorns
A few dried bay leaves
- Place the bones and any optional ingredients into a large stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by 5 cm whilst still leaving room at the top of the pan.
- Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for at least 6 hours for chicken and 12 for beef or lamb, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. We like to boil the chicken carcass for up to 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and keep beef bones going for 24 hours until they look as if they were washed up on a beach.
- Fresh chicken carcasses from the butcher usually have a fair amount of meat on them. We tend to poach the carcasses for 20 minutes, then pull off the meat (and save it for another meal like a chicken salad or chicken pho) before returning the carcasses to the pot and continuing to simmer to make broth.
- Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing. Bone broth will keep in the fridge for several days or up to a week if you leave it undisturbed, as a layer of fat will form on the surface and keep it sealed from the air.
- You can also use a slowcooker. Just turn to high and cook for 12 hours or more.
- Freeze it in batches for use during the week – use glass containers and leave a few centimetres at the top for expansion. Small portions are great for cooking up quinoa or braising vegetables and larger containers are great for making batches of soups, curries and stews.
Extracted from The Art of Eating Well by Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley. (Ebury Press, £25)
Photography by Nick Hopper.