Bone Broth: Superpowered Soup for the Soul

When a new superfood started making headlines in The New York Times, it wasn’t surprising that famously health-food-conscious Gwyneth Paltrow would advise using it. But Kobe Bryant?

It’s true: NBC Sports and ESPN both report that Bryant sees broth as “a healthy fountain of youth” that helps with energy and inflammation. And he’s not the only one. Paleo dieters are singing the praises of broth on blogs like Nom Nom Paleo, while New Yorkers are getting their broth to go from Brodo, chef Marco Canora’s new storefront broth shop attached to his restaurant Hearth. Broth is being featured everywhere from Forbes to The Wall Street Journal to People magazine to the Washington Post.

For those who want to detox, re-energize, or just soothe a cold without trekking to Manhattan, Rebecca Wood’s book The Whole Bowl is perfect. The author of The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia and the James Beard Award-winning The Splendid Grain, Wood knows all about the healing properties of whole, natural foods. Take a look at her recipe for bone broth, which she calls a “protein-rich energy tonic that increases endurance [and] strengthens the gastrointestinal tract, veins arteries, muscles, tendons, skin, and bones.” The broth can be eaten on its own or used in other soups such as her Cold Quell Soup—perfect for banishing wintry ailments. iStock_000018351309_Large

Bone Stock

Makes about 3 ½ quarts stock

2          pounds raw or cooked bones (buffalo, beef, lamb, pork, poultry, or game)

4          quarts water

1          small whole onion, peeled

1         carrot

1          garlic clove, peeled

2          bay leaves, or 1 celery stalk with leaves

2          tablespoons traditionally aged vinegar or ½ cup wine (any type)

1 to 2   tablespoons spices of choice, such as allspice berries, chopped ginger, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, dried chiles, black mustard seeds, or a combination

1 or 2   whole cloves (optional)

Unrefined salt

Place the bones and water in a 6- to 8-quart nonreactive stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid off. Skim off and discard any foam (which is soluble protein) that rises to the surface. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, and spices and season with salt. Return to a simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting so the stock is at a bare simmer.

The cooking times are approximate, as extraction from larger bones and/or older animals takes longer than extraction from smaller bones and/or younger animals.

Beef bones—simmer for 8 to 10 hours (pressure-cook for 2 hours, or cook in a slow cooker for 24 hours).

Pork and lamb—simmer for 3 hours (pressure-cook for 1½ hours, or cook in a slow cooker for 18 hours).

Poultry bones—simmer for 2 hours (pressure-cook for 1 hour, or cook in a slow cooker for 6 to 12 hours).

When the stock is cool enough to work with, strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a layer of cheesecloth, reserving all but the dregs. (Optional: Reuse the bones by adding fresh water, vinegar, and seasoning agents and cook for a second or third extraction. Or let the bones cool and freeze them to make another round at a later time.) Refrigerate the stock, tightly covered, for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months. To use the stock immediately, remove any excess fat. Season with salt to taste and seasonings of choice and drink hot, or use in soups, sauces, and grain dishes, anywhere stock is called for.

Variations

Add meat scraps, raw or cooked, to heighten flavor and nutrition.

Roast the bones until browned for increased flavor before making your stock.

The Whole Bowl: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Soups & Stews was published by The Countryman Press in January 2015, and can be bought for $16.95 on www.countrymanpress.com, or at bookstores and online retailers.

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