If you follow food trends of any stripe these days, you may have heard people talking about the many wonders of bone broth. When Joy and I went to the Natural Foods Expo last fall, we spotted several companies selling versions designed for sipping (though I tend to be skeptical of such things, I must say that Noma Lim was quite delicious).
I recently got a pitch for a kit hoping to make homemade bone broth even easier (though truly, it’s not that hard even without a kit and it’s far more affordable). And there has been a steady stream of books trying to help guide you towards doing it yourself.
For those of you who don’t mind flying without recipes, you don’t need anything more to make bone broth (or stock, or regular broth, or whatever else you want to call it) than a big stock pot, some meaty bones (sometimes roasted, sometimes not), vegetables, and tasty, clean water.
However, if you like to have a bit more guidance, may I suggest the book Brodo, by Marco Canora? He’s a New York-based chef who started a bone broth take-out window in his restaurant Hearth and has created a lovely, smart book on the topic of making delicious, savory broths.
One of the reasons I like this little book is that it offers so much more than just a handful of broth recipes (there are actually 15 distinct versions). It also features bowls (I have the ginger beef bowl on my meal plan for next week), soup add-ins (I need to make the Infused Coconut Milk immediately), and risotto recipes.
Now, just one thing. As much as I’m pleased that people are returning to the act of making their own stocks and broths, I do think that there’s a danger of becoming too precious about the process once it becomes as hot and trendy as bone broth has.
It is important to use good ingredients, but remember that the act of making broth or stock was originally intended to be one of frugality and making the most of your food. Don’t think you need to break your budget in order to add it to your homemade pantry. And don’t feel like you have to be bound to a specific recipe. Work with what you have.
Oh, and don’t forget! If you’re short on freezer space and you’ve got a pressure canner, you can make your broth shelf stable!
I have to admit, I’ve always found the term “bone broth” a bit odd, since technically the difference between stock and broth is that stock uses bones and broth doesn’t (also meaning, technically, that vegetable stock doesn’t exist).
I’m with you on not getting too picky about how it’s made. For my everyday stock that will get mixed into recipes, I actually keep a container in my freezer and collect peelings and trimmings, slightly past-prime veggies, giblets, etc. When the container gets full, I dump it in my dutch oven, and off we go. I usually end up with a darker color than a store-bought stock, but a much richer flavor, and best of all, it’s free!
Spent last weekend in Burlington, Vermont, and tasted some amazing takes on broth at the local farmer’s market. One vendor’s interesting variation was a milk broth – created because her son wouldn’t have anything to do with milk to begin with. Slightly odd, but very yummy.
“I do think that there’s a danger of becoming too precious about the process once it becomes as hot and trendy as bone broth has.”
Oh, I think it’s way too late for that. 🙂
I just bought an Instant Pot pressure cooker and one of the things I am hoping to make is good homemade stock. I tend to run out of motivation when it comes time to make it and end up falling back on the commercial stuff.
I now make my bone broth in my latest and greatest kitchen appliance….the Instant Pot. I load it up with 2 to 3 pds of bones, onions, garlic, and anything else I think of, plus water to cover and then turn it on for 90 mins. Yes, 90 minutes plus the time to come to pressure plus the time for a natural release. I do not have to baby sit this pressure cooker at all. It does it all. Makes great bone broth, too.
The essence of broth/stock making is frugality. I, like Emily M. above, I save veggie and meat scraps/bones (in separate bags!) and make broth as I have enough. Happily, my dad now has a pressure canner that we’ve put to great use for stock.
My 2 cookbooks I learned from for stock making were “Nourishing Traditions” and “A Long Way On A Little”. Plus a dash from the former “heywhatsfordinnermom” blog.