A good broth just might be in my top three can’t-live-without ingredients to have in the kitchen. Use bone broth in your cooking instead of a store bought stock, and you’ll find the dish is taken to a new level with incredible rich flavour, plentiful in minerals and amino acids, as well as collagen which helps to support gut health and skin condition.
The steps to making a beautiful broth are simple, and I really do think it’s well worth the effort as you’ll pay top dollar in stores for a long-simmer broth or collagen peptides. I always try to keep a supply in my freezer, and go into a bit of a panic when I’ve run out of it! First timers — there are a few handy things to know when brewing your first broth, read on below!
Buying your bones
Bones won’t cost you much, and this is an instance where I find it’s worth paying just a little more for the grass fed and raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics to get the best nutrition out of your broth. You can also be choosy with your bones — as the type of bone and amount of meat on them will affect the outcome (I’ve included specifications for this in the recipes!). With bone broth making a comeback, I find I have my best luck to visit the market earlier rather than later in the weekend.
Roast your bones
Roasting the bones will create better flavour, as well as release a good amount of fat from the bones. The fat won’t serve your broth in any good way and can even take away from the flavour. It is however not a bad idea to reserve that fat for other cooking. A red seal chef might tell you that it’s essential to first blanch the bones to ensure a beautiful, clear broth. My school of thought is that if it tastes just as well without this step, to heck with it as I’m happy enough with my perfectly imperfect-looking broth. If the Queen is coming to visit, you might however want to take the extra time…
Begin with cold filtered water
Filling your pot with cold water will help keep your stock clear, as cold water helps to release albumin; a protein which helps to clarify a stock. Using filtered water will also make for a purer outcome.
Don’t forget acid
And by this I don’t mean you should hop on the next yellow submarine. Rather, any type of acid; vinegar, wine, tomato, etc. will help to break down the connective tissue and cartilage so that all that goodness dissolves into your broth.
Skim the scum
For best flavour, be sure to skim any scum off the top of your broth as you notice it forming during your simmer
Save the salt for your final recipe
Sometimes I like to change up how I salt the dish…maybe I’ll use the salty brine from one of my ferments, miso paste, the variety of salt, etc. Maybe you’ll use your broth in something like a smoothie, in which case you won’t want any salt at all! It’s nice to control the salt in your final dish depending on how it’ll best be suited.