By Thea McCarthy, Wangaratta
A regrettable outcome of our rushed, throwaway lifestyle has been a decline in the use of meat stocks whereby bones are simmered for long periods of time. Bone broth is a delicious and nutritious stock that cannot be recommended highly enough.
The modern diet, with food grown in degraded soils and high amounts of processed food can cause mineral deficiencies and inflammation in the gut. Bone broth is a great source of magnesium, potassium, calcium and amino acids. It is also high in collagen which is known for anti-ageing properties.
In ancestral diets, collagen was much more prevalent than it is today. This is because humans used to eat the whole animal, including cartilage, skin, bone marrow and other collagenous proteins.
So bone broth can help heal gut lining, and with the modern inflammatory diet that most people eat, there are a lot of guts out there that need healing. It supports joints, hair, skin and nails due to the high collagen content. It is inexpensive to make and is a highly dense nutrient food
There is no comparison with the commercial versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals. Store bought “stock” isn’t real. Instead it contains lab-produced artificial meat flavours.
Bone broth is easy to make. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. Adding vinegar to bone broth helps to leach the minerals out better. I make a batch and freeze it for soups, stews and braising vegies instead of using oil.
- 2kg of beef marrow and knuckle bones, or chicken necks and carcasses.
- 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- A couple of handfuls of roughly chopped vegies, e.g. carrots, celery tops, parsley, onion, garlic etc. This is optional.
- 3 bay leaves and fresh or dried herbs.
- Enough water to cover the bones.
Put ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Simmer the stock for at least 12 hours, however 24 hours is best.
Let it cool slightly. Then remove the bones with tongs or slotted spoon and strain the rest of the stock. Let it cool and scoop off the fat which you may like to reserve for cooking. After storing it in the fridge you will end up with a rich gelled stock.