Call it Stock, Call it Bone Broth, Call it Animal Soup- But Always Call it Delicious

Many a paleo leader has proclaimed the great virtues of this magical potion called bone broth.  Probably one of the biggest has been Stacy Toth of the “Paleo Parents” found at www.paleoparents.com.  Bone broth provides nutrients otherwise difficult to get into your diet and for us ladies a great amount of collagen to keep those faces looking young.

As someone who always has always preferred a salt lick to a cupcake I find bone broth portable and easy to whip up in British society since it has the same requirements as a cup of tea.  As with many restrictions I have due to my autoimmune condition I am unable to buy most grocery store versions and Whole Foods is well over 40 minutes away.  Instead I have made friends with my local butcher and can get some great pigs trotters or a marrow bone for less then a couple of quid.  There are two main preparations I use- stove top or slow cooker.  When I get my Christmas present of a pressure cooker I will be sure to update and add that as well.

trotters marrow bones

Preparation One- Slow Cooker (best for marrow bones or trotters)

Both of these can be found at local butchers shops in the UK.  If you are in the US and don’t have a proper butcher you can look into farmers markets.  My parents back in New York have built relationships with several local farmers to get these types of cuts that you normally would not find in a store.  I have a larger slow cooker so a trotter will fit easily into it I usually have the butcher cut a marrow bone in half and I only use one half during a cook.

Into a slow cooker I throw some celery stalks, carrots, and a couple of onions.  (You will learn as I write more and more I  am very bad as measuring, but a very good cook).  Add water to cover.  Once this gets up to temperature I turn it to low and allow it to simmer for up to 48 hours.  After the long slow cook separate the liquid portion and simmer on the stove top to reduce.  Here I have my favorite new use for an old tool- a pasta pot.  Part giant pot, part strainer… its perfect for making stock.  Mine is quite large and similar to this:

pasta potbone-broth-in-pot

broth-in-containersAfter simmering off excess water place the pot into the fridge to cool the stock into a gel and solidify the fat on top.  If you have used beef marrow bones you will get a nice amount of tallow and a dark stock.  If you have used pigs trotters you will get a nice amount of lard for later cooking.   I like to separate the two layers and portion into freezable sizes.  Due to the high nutrient content of the broth it is prone to growing molds and yeasts so keep the unused portions frozen until needed.  In your fridge freezer you should have lots of lovely containers as seen below.  Add a scoop of gel to boiling water in a cup and season with salt and herbs as desired.

If you have a furry little friend who you like… you can give them the marrow that will be ooze at this point.  Normally I wouldn’t share marrow but after 48 hours of cooking the texture is a bit off… But my Cobalt loves the stuff!

Preparation Two- Stove Top (Works best for chicken carcasses)

I only make chicken stock when we have roasted a whole chicken at home.  I place remove as much meat from the carcass as I can and place in my formerly known as a pasta pot stock pot.  Add the same random quantities of onions, celery and carrots and top with hot water to cover all.  It should look something pretty like below.  If you want to save the stock follow the same directions as above to reduce until you get a lower amount which is easier to store.  Chicken tends not to gel as well or produce the same nice usable fat layer.  I suggest using the stock to make yourself some great chicken soup with the left over bits.

Remove the top of the pasta pot removing the large pieces and leaving the broth.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and desired herbs.  You can use lime, Coriander leaf (cilantro), chili powder and smoked paprika for a mexican feel or rosemary, thyme and oregano for a more traditional taste.  The vegetables used for the stock will be very wilted so I choose to discard these scraps and add a few new carrots, celery, onion and the chicken and simmer for at least another 30 minutes to warm through.  If you are in need of carbs you can add some cooked rice as well.  One chicken typically makes about six servings of soup.

chicken stockchicken soup

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