We know from traditional diets that broths made from long slow cooked bones were consumed. These broths were rich in minerals extracted from the bones and gelatin which is a natural component for building collagen within the body. Collagen is a structural protein found within the body which helps to form bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscle, teeth, hair, skin and nails
As many modern diets are low in both minerals and gelatin I believe that there is a significant place for bone broths within the modern diet.
The practise of continuous bone broth making is present in many cultures. For example traditional Chinese often keep a pot of broth simmering on the stove during the day. Broth is extracted when required for soups, rice dishes etc. By adding additional bones, leftover vegetables and water to the original broth new broth is created. This broth is re-boiled and then simmered throughout the day.
Continuous Bone Broth Recipe
1 kg bones
1 small onion
1 inch cube fresh ginger
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp clarified butter
1-2 stalks celery
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 Bay leaves
left over vegetables (carrots peelings etc)
- Slice onion and place in a pan with a little clarified butter
- Lightly fry onions with garlic and ginger. Then add bones and stir until bones have browned. Browning the bones helps to cut down on smell.
- Cover bones with cold water and add vinegar
- Add bay leaves, celery and left over vegetables (avoid bitter tasting vegetables like peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower etc).
- Bring to boil and skim off any foam developing on the surface
- Turn down heat to the lowest setting and simmer for up to 12 hours. Alternatively simmer in a slow cooker (stock pot)
- After cooking for 12 hours strain off the broth and leave it to cool. Store the cooled broth in the fridge or freezer. A layer of fat will develop on the top which you may remove. If storing broth in the fridge keep the fat layer which acts as a seal and will help the broth to last longer.
The first extraction of broth is rich tasting and ideal for soups, stews or drinking. When cool the broth should gel indicating that it contains gelatin.
The broth making process does not stop here as further minerals and gelatin may be extracted from the initial batch of bones.
2nd and Subsequent Batches
- After extracting the broth remove any vegetable matter from the bones and return the bones to the cooking pan.
- Add enough cold water to cover the bones
- Add any additional vegetables, herbs and/or spices of your choice and bring to the boil
- Turn down the heat and simmer for 12 hours.
- After cooking for 12 hours strain off the broth and leave it to cool. Store the cooled broth in the fridge or freezer. A smaller layer of fat will develop on the top which you may remove. If storing broth in the fridge keep the fat layer which acts as a seal and will help the broth to last longer.
This process is known as continuous broth making and may be repeated until the initial bones have become soft and easily disintegrate or until the broth no longer gels when cold. How many batches of broth you get depends on the bones you have used.
Subsequent broth extractions are less flavourful but will be still mineral-rich. Consider using these later broth batches to cook grains and legumes.