One for my gym nerds, health divas and zero-waste warriors: bone broth is a nutrient-dense drink that your system will celebrate.
It’s like a pot of flavour and fireworks. I can almost feel my body’s gratitude tap dancing through my veins with its own Morse Code.
The glucosamine and chondroitin in bone broth can help stimulate the growth of new collagen, reduce inflammation and repair damaged joints, says Dr Mark Hyman of The Doctor's Farmacy podcast. The gelatine and amino acids alone are apparently attractive for enviable yoga moves.
To make it affordable, I recommend collecting veggie scraps from your weekly kitchen prep, and storing them in a freezer bag (easy on the broccoli, cauli and kale, which contain industrial amounts of honky sulphur).
Scraps might include carrot and apple peels, unloved herbs, half an onion, butt-ends of ginger, parsley stalks, asparagus stems, half a chilli, fennel chimneys, celery leaves and leek tops. It’s all good.
For 3 litres
You will need:
1 higher-welfare chicken carcass or 1kg beef knuckles
3 onions, sliced in half
1 whole head of garlic, sliced in half
Any vegetable scraps in your bag of freezer trimmings (see introduction above for suggestions)
Finger-sized piece of fresh ginger or turmeric, chopped
A few bay leaves or fresh herbs loitering in your fridge or garden. (You can also use aromatics such as coriander seed or star anise)
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon good sea salt
1 If you are using a chicken carcass: put the carcass and all the remaining ingredients listed above into your largest stainless-steel stockpot. Cover them with just over three litres of filtered water. Bring to a very shy simmer and cook for about eight hours. Slow cookers are perfect. However, I usually transfer my stockpot into the oven on a really low setting, which does the job too. Do not let the stock violently boil. Prolonged boiling can destroy the beneficial properties of the bones’ natural collagen.
2 If you’re using beef knuckles: blanch them first to remove impurities. To do this, cover the bones with cold water in your largest kitchen pot. Bring to a quick boil, and remove any foamy joy floating to the surface. I use a slotted spoon for this. These impurities, such as dried blood, won’t harm you but they taste gross. After removing any impurities, some people like to roast the bones in a hot oven for 40 minutes to intensify the flavour. But I rarely have the time. Instead, I strain the bones and discard the cooking liquid. Then I add the remaining ingredients listed and simmer for eight hours (as described in point 1, above). If preferred, the veg scraps and aromatics can be added during the final hour of simmering, to better maintain their bright flavour. (I find this unnecessarily demanding, but I know others who find the end result preferable.)
3 Once the chicken carcass or the beef bones, whichever you’re using, have simmered and your broth is ready, strain it with a large kitchen sieve. Taste and see if it needs a bit of soy sauce or chili powder for oomph. (These are my go-tos for quick fixes.) Once you are happy with its taste, leave to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer. As it sets, you will notice a jelly-like consistency. Good job! If not, bring to a simmer and reduce the broth to concentrate the flavour and gelatine. Bone broth is an utterly glorious elixir for cold weather and despondent moods. Expect it to serve your dimples and your toes!