Bone broth or stock? Marketing ploy or timeless tradition? Call it what you will but ultimately, you'll draw the same conclusion from the end product... It's bloody delicious. Not only that, but its nutritional value is a thing to behold. We'd take a cup of bone broth over Lemsip any day as a lurgy-busting drink of wonders.
The concept of simmering bones over a lengthy period, slowly releasing the goodness inside, is one that has been around for centuries. Grannies, nonnas and aunties alike have been relying on the healing power of broth so much that it's embedded in recipe culture; stock forms the basis of dishes from Japanese Tonkotsu and Vietnamese pho, to warming chicken soups and the seasoning of grains. It's truly versatile and just as delicious on its own as it is in a creamy risotto.
First off, when hot steam is inhaled whilst drinking a hearty stock, it loosens the mucus in your nose and helps to clear out any congestion. Besides this, stock contains a variety of nutrients including collagen, amino acids, antioxidants and minerals - it's packed with vitamin C. That's right, you can expect stronger bones and joints, anti-inflammatory benefits and some believe, better skin – thought this has yet to be proven!!! All in all, it's impossible to build an argument around bone broth that doesn't prescribe it's immune-boosting power.
Our steps towards the perfect stock:
This recipe is for a white stock. Use equal measures of each bone and the same weight of veg, depending on the flavour you're after.
- Chicken bones (excess fat removed)
- Chicken feet
- Veal bones
- Marrow bones
- Leeks, carrots, onions and celery
- Parsley stalks, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.
1. Firstly, trim your chicken carcasses of any excess fat and make sure that all your bones are chopped to a right size (approximately 2 inches cuts).
2. Place all your bones in an appropriately sized pan and add cold water, so that it covers the contents of the pan. Bring the water to the boil and immediately add a cup of cold water. This will bring scummy bits to the surface, which you msut remove with a spoon before adding your veg.
3. Add your veg, reduce to a simmer, and leave for a minimum of 4 hours, scraping off any scummy bits that rise to the top as you go. This is fundamental in achieving a clean and clear stock, so don’t be tempted to skip this!
4. Once done, drain your stock into a pan through a colander and sieve, saving only the clear liquid.
5. From here, you can either use your stock straight away, or reduce it further to freeze in concentrated batches.