- Allow Plenty of time for the nutrients from both the bones and vegetables to incorporate into the broth, all broths should be cooked for a long time.
- Generally, aim to cook your broth for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The exact cooking time depends on the amount and density of the bones: for example, for a couple of fish carcasses, 12 hours is fine; for a few pounds of buffalo bones, 24 hours is better. When the length of cooking time is given as a range, it’s preferable, for maximum nutrition and flavor, to cook the broth for the longer amount of time; that said, the shorter cooking time will still yield a broth rich in both nutrition and flavor.
- I prefer to make bone broth in a slow cooker, but you can cook the broth on the stovetop in a large stockpot over very low heat (barely simmering.)
- A properly cooked bone broth, one that’s filled with healthy collagen and gelatin extracted from the bones over a long cooking time, will become gelatinous when chilled. Once the broth is heated, it will return to a liquid consistency.
- Larger, sturdier bones can be reused up to three times for broth-making, although the resulting broth will be less nutrient-dense and flavorful each time. When you notice the bones significantly soften or even disintegrate, they’re spent and should not be used again.
- Once the broth is chilled, a layer of fat may form across the top. The amount of fat depends on the type of the bones used (beef and lamb bones, for example, have more fat than chicken or fish.) You can incorporate this fat layer back into the broth by heating and stirring, or you can simply skim this layer off the top before reheating if you don’t want a high-fat broth. It’s generally not recommended to use this fat for cooking since it has high moisture content and won’t be easy to work with
- To reheat broth, gently warm it on the stovetop over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Avoid bringing broth to a rolling boil when cooking with it or reheating it to enjoy as a hot beverages, as boiling can break down the proteins in the bones too quickly and essentially boil away much of that rich, fatty goodness–and some cooks say it can impact the flavor, too.
- Have fun with the add-ins and flavor combinations! Use the spices and veggies you like in your broths, and experiment with new ones, too. Consider combinations that optimize health (turmeric and black pepper, for example) as well as add-ins that taste delicious. And, of course, if you have food sensitivities or follow a specific eating protocol, such as low-FODMAP, omit any vegetables or hers as needed to suit your dietary needs. Make it your own!
- Season the broth to taste (usually with just a pinch of salt) before enjoying it as a hot beverage.
To understand the differences between stock and broth, go here.
Information and recipe excerpted from It Takes Guts by Ashleigh Vanhoute and can be purchased here.