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Bone broth is incredibly simple to make and has amazing health benefits. If you follow me on Facebook, you got to bear witness to my delightfully awkward, yet hopefully entertaining and informative live video of making bone broth last month.
What I realized I didn’t cover was where you actually find bones for bone broth. Living in my nutrition bubble, I forget that not everyone has a cow in their freezer. WEIRD, I KNOW RIGHT.
Four Places to Get Bones for Bone Broth
The simplest and most economical way: save the bones from your dinner. Buy a rotisserie chicken and save the carcass. Eating T-bone steak or bone-in pork chops? Save the bones! This way, you get dinner and you can avoid waste by saving the bones for broth. Simply, pull the meat off the bones (you don’t have to be thorough), and put the carcass/bones in the freezer until your ready to make broth. You can mix and match bones, and save them in the freezer for up to four months.
Soup bones may also be found in the freezer section at most health grocery stores or co-ops. You may need to ask the butcher if you can’t find them. Both New Seasons Market and Whole Foods typically carry: chicken backs and necks, chicken feet, beef marrow bones, beef knuckles and fish bones. All of these are great options for making bone broth.
Check out your local farmers market! Some meat vendors will also have freezers of soup bones for sale. You can mix and match chicken, pork, beef, bison etc.
Buy farm direct! Consider buying a beef or pork share from a local farm and ask that the bones be saved during processing. This way you are using the whole animal, supporting local farms and you know exactly where your food is coming from. We buy our share from Kookoolan Farms in Yamhill, OR and they allow us to take home as much organ meat and soup bones as we’d like when we pick up our share. You can find a list of farms in your area at eatwild.com
Whatever route you decide to go, prioritize quality ingredients. Opt for organic, pasture raised whenever possible.
Simple Autumn Bone Broth Recipe
Bone broth is packed with important minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, as well as gut-healing collagen. With ginger and turmeric, this nourishing broth is perfect for warming up and fighting colds.
1 thumb size piece fresh ginger, chopped (no need to peel)
3 cloves garlic, peel and smashed
2 Bay leaves
1 TBLS turmeric
Place bones in Instant Pot or slow cooker and sprinkle with salt.
Allow bones to brine while you chop veggies. There’s no need to peel the carrots, onions, or ginger.
Add the chopped veggies, spices and herbs to the pot.
Fill pot with water, covering the bones and veggies, but not to exceed the max fill line.
If using an Instant Pot, which I highly recommend, pressure cook on Soup function for 90 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally and then switch to slow cook(leave the valve open!) on low for 6-10 hours. I usually let it go overnight.
If using a regular slow cooker, allow to simmer on low for 15-18 hours. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
When your broth is done cooking, remove from heat.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bones, veggies and herbs from the broth and set aside. You can save the bones for another batch of broth (you can typically get 2 batches out of one set of beef bones) but discard the veggies.
Once the majority of the bones and veggies have been removed, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through. This will catch any remaining grit.
You can drink the broth at this point, but I prefer to de-fat it first.
To do that, allow broth to cool on the counter, then cover and place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. The fat in the broth will rise to the top and the broth underneath will solidify (thanks gelatin!). Use a spoon to skim the fat off the top of the broth. If you used grassfed or pasture raised animal bones, you can reserve this fat in the fridge for cooking! If you used conventionally raised animals, discard the fat.
The broth will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days or freezer for up to 6 months. I typically pour the broth into silicone ice cube trays, freeze, and save the cubes for soups and stews.