I grew up on bone broth! But from 1991 to 2010 I have not had any. The reason?! We moved to the USA and started eating a low-fat diet.
Bone broth came back into my life 8 years ago, in 2010 when as a nursing mother I was diagnosed with lichen planus (LP), lichen planopilaris (LPP) and OLP. Since then while our diet has evolved and improved, bone broth continues to be an absolutely essential part of our Traditional Food diet (more about it from Dr. Cate.) Our family’s traditional diet from Russia, plus the knowledge I have gained in the last 8 years of research makes for a diet which looks like this – high fat, plant-based, moderate protein, low starch diet, plus fasting! An interesting fact is that soups were huge in my native Russia and growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia every day my grandma would serve a soup made on bone broth. We did drink it plain, we called a “bullion”, but soups were always made with bones!
Back to my bone broth. We have it every single day, especially my kids. They come from school or practice and the first thing they get is a cup of collagen and mineral rich bone broth. It is a tradition of sorts now 🙂 When my oldest who is an athlete and at 19 already has had 2 sport related surgeries (ACL and labrum) feels any pain in her joints, she will actually drive home from college or ask me to bring some bone broth a game I am coming to see. Thankfully she is only 40 miles away from home.
For my kids to love it, it had to taste great, for me to make it every week, it had to be easy enough and finally, it had to be made just the right way to be as nutritious and healthful as possible.
My recipe was created after reading multiple books and recipes on the subject and trying different recipes and methods. There must be a dozen books out there and millions of websites listing some amazing recipes. After 8 years of making it, this recipe in my experience includes all the best ingredients and the easiest to make. I have made it in a slow cooker, in a pressure cooker and in a pot on top of the stove, the latter seems to provide for the best results and a larger quantity.
4–5 pounds grass-fed beef bones, preferably joints, and knuckle bones I also add chicken feet if happen to get some that are pasture raised (I buy them online, could not find these in local stores, the link is on our Favorites page )
1 whole organic lemon* instead of Apple Cider Vinegar**
Filtered water to just cover the bones in the pot about an inch over
1 large ginger root about the size of your palm
1 handful of turmeric roots
2 large handfuls of shiitake mushrooms
2–4 carrots, I just break them in
2-4 ribs celery, including leafy part, coarsely chopped
1 organic onion, cut into large chunks, with skin
1 whole organic garlic with skin
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of cilantro
Any leftover veggies you have***
Cook Time: 24-36 hours. (the longer it simmers the more concentrated and jellied it’ll become.)
Place all the bones in a large pot. Cover everything with enough water to be 1 inch above the bones.
Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat and lower heat to low. Never boil and do not cover****! Use a perforated spoon, a skimmer or just a shallow spoon to carefully skim the film off the top of the broth. Skim occasionally during the first 2 hours, makes for a nice clear broth.
In about two hours, ones there is no more foam forming on top you can add lemon (plus lemon skins leftover from before), ginger, turmeric, shiitake, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and peppercorns (save parsley and cilantro for later) and reduce the heat to low. You want the broth to barely simmer. Cook for at least 24 hours or up to 36, adding water as needed to ensure the bones are always covered with water.
When the broth is done, the last step is to add the parsley and cilantro, just lay the whole bunch on top and in about 10minutes turn the heat off.
I usually remove all the veggies first, using tongs and a large slotted spoon into a colander and let it drain (discard later). Then I also remove all the bones from the pot. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids.
Let cool on the counter and refrigerate within 1 hour. You can skim off the fat easily after the broth is chilled. Save the fat, fat from grass-fed bones is a wonderfully healthy fat to cook with. When chilled, the broth should get gelatinous. The broth will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator or 3 or more months in your freezer.
I fill up silicone muffin trays with broth and freeze. Any time I need some broth for cooking or drinking I just pop however many I need and use them. I also leave some broth in glass jars in the refrigerator to last me for about 5 days. Ones that is gone I go for frozen and when I am running low it is time for a new batch.
*Lemons – I use lemons every day to add to my water, salads and such. I save the ones they are squeezed and freeze to later add to my bone broth. Because I use the skin I only use organic lemons.
**Apple Cider Vinegar – I do not like the smell in the house when adding it to my bone broth, and considering it cooks for 24 hours, I stopped using it. Acid is helpful to force all the minerals out of the bones and so veggies, as well as lemon, provide the same benefit as vinegar without the smell 🙂
***Leftover veggies – I usually freeze the ones that are wilted to save for the bone broth. I also save unusable pieces of veggies and greens left from cooking, like roots, stems, skins (from garlic, onions). No waste in my household! We try to buy mostly organic produce which can get very expensive, so I never throw out any parts of it. If I buy cilantro and it has roots, for example, I will cut the roots off, rinse and freeze. I have a bucket in my freezer especially for things like that. If I am using bell pepper in a salad I will save the seeds and the little stem and also freeze.
***From reading many different recipes and opinions I decided for myself that it was more important to have a more concentrated broth by allowing some water to evaporate. You lose some volume but that’s partly what I am going for. If the water level gets too low, just add back some water. But I have never had to add water, with all the veggies on top, it hardly evaporates and has nice rich flavor. And you can see in the video it gets pretty gelatinous. At night you can cover it partially, making sure to leave enough of an opening that it does not overheat and start bubbling over.
To your health,