The more James and I delve into the world of natural eating -- into Paleo eating the way our ancestors did long ago -- the more we keep learning about the health benefits of bone broth (which you can read about at Balanced Bites). Bone broth isn't just for sick people, but it sure does go down well with a sore throat.
A week or so ago, we made up some broth -- chicken and beef -- and then canned them up using my mother-in-law's pressure canner. Today, I busted open a jar, warmed some broth in a mug and drank that stuff up. It was gooood. Now James is coming down with this virus, and Dr. Amber is prescribing some mineral-rich bone broth to the rescue.
When we cut up a whole chicken for grilling, we freeze the extra parts, like the back, and then use those to make a flavorful, nutrient-rich broth. We also do the same for some beef bones in a roast if we don't need them for our original recipe. Beef shanks and oxtail are generally inexpensive cuts of meat to use for this recipe.
Makes about 4 quarts
2 lbs leftover chicken bones with any remaining meat(see note) or beef shanks or oxtail 1 Tbsp lard or bacon fat
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 stalk celery, cut into large pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat lard or bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add chicken or beef bones and cook until browned. Flip over and brown on other side. Be sure not to overcrowd pan, leaving at least 1 inch of space between bones; this process is best done in batches.
2. Put all of the bones in the pot along with the onion, carrot, celery and thyme. Add enough water to cover all of the chicken/beef, leaving about 3 inches to the top of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to low and continue to cook at a low boil for 4-6 hours.
3. After broth has been cooked, allow to cool for about a half hour. Cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit over a colander. Fit the colander over a large bowl and strain the broth through the cheesecloth and colander. Squeeze remaining solids to extract more broth. Then with a fresh piece of cheesecloth, strain the broth one more time. Salt to taste. Serve.
**To freeze, divide broth into containers, refrigerate overnight, then freeze.