Food Lovers’ Fridays: I’m a big fan of bringing classical cooking methods and recipes into the home kitchen. Today’s post is part of a series meant to highlight those traditional techniques and recipes that can be used in or adapted to paleo cooking.
In my continuing quest to keep the creeping crud away, I decided to revisit one of my favorite foodstuffs. It seems weird to consider broth a food, because I have always used it as an ingredient, but lately I’ve gotten into just cups of bone broth on its own. Apparently this makes me trendy: the chef of Hearth restaurant in New York has opened a to-go shop just for bone broth.
Trendy or not, homemade broth or stock– the difference is that broth is made with meat, instead of just bones — has been my go-to, never-fail solution to sick for years. My kids all know the drill: if you’re sick enough to stay home from school, you’re getting broth for your meals. (Incidentally, this has prevented more than one case of “too sick to go to school.”) It’s the perfect base for making soups or for braises. If you eat/can tolerate rice or beans, they are so much tastier when cooked in broth rather than water.
Things to note: I’ve taken a tip from several other paleo bloggers and started making my bone broth in two phases. First, I cook the bones until they are softened:
Then I add the vegetables, and cook the mixture even longer.
A few broth tips: Though I haven’t yet tried it, Simone Miller of Zenbelly recommends adding egg shells to your broth if you happen to have them for extra calcium. I always use cooked bones — some cooks prefer a “white stock”, where they blanch the bones, but I like the deeper flavor of cooked ones — and let the mixture go for days on end. In my experience, it takes between 24-48 hours to get the bones crumbly.
The broth here was made with turkey, but two or three chicken carcasses would produce about the same volume of broth. I like to add a little bit of salt when I add the vegetables, but because my broth is usually incorporated into other dishes, I don’t use much. Finally, some people like garlic in their stock, while others say it has too domineering a flavor. I add a couple of small pieces, but I think it is just as good without — cook’s choice.
- Poultry carcass (I used one from a cooked 18-20 lb. turkey)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 large onion, quartered, peels left on
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1-2 small cloves garlic, peels left on (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using a meat cleaver or other strong knife, breakdown the carcass so that it fits into a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and then add water to cover the bones. Program slow cooker to longest setting; cook until the drumstick bones become softened enough to easily break. [This takes at least 24 hours in my cooker - you may need to reset the cooking cycle more than once.]
- Add carrots, onions, celery and garlic (if using) to the slow cooker; cook for at least another 8 hours. Allow to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, strain solids from the broth and refrigerate immediately. If desired, broth may be frozen for later use.