On a homestead, the connection to the land and the animals that inhabit it is profound. One beautiful way to honor this connection and make the most of every resource is by crafting homemade bone broth. This versatile elixir, rich in flavor and nutrients, not only enhances your culinary creations but also embodies the homesteader’s commitment to sustainability. In this step-by-step recipe guide, we’ll walk you through the simple process of making bone broth on your homestead or at home. Get ready to savor the goodness of this nourishing tradition.
- 3-4 pounds of high-quality bones (chicken, beef, pork, or fish)
- 2-3 carrots, chopped into chunks
- 2-3 celery stalks, chopped into chunks
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Optional: A handful of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary
- Water, enough to cover the ingredients
- Salt and pepper to taste (add after cooking)
- Large stockpot or slow cooker
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Airtight containers for storage
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Begin by collecting all the necessary ingredients. Choose bones from animals that were raised ethically, preferably on pasture, to ensure the best flavor and nutrition in your bone broth.
Step 2: Preparing the Bones
If you’re using raw bones, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the bones on a baking sheet and roast them for about 30-45 minutes until they turn a rich golden brown. Roasting enhances the flavor of your broth.
Step 3: Assemble Your Ingredients
In your large stockpot or slow cooker, combine the roasted bones, chopped carrots, celery, quartered onion, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and optional fresh herbs.
Step 4: Add Vinegar and Water
Pour in 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This acidity will help extract minerals from the bones. Then, add enough water to cover all the ingredients in the pot.
Step 5: Begin the Simmer
Place your pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, maintaining a gentle simmer. Cover the pot but leave it slightly ajar to allow steam to escape.
Step 6: Skim Off Impurities
As your bone broth simmers, you’ll notice foam and impurities rising to the surface. Use a ladle or a fine mesh strainer to skim off and discard these impurities. This step helps keep your broth clear and flavorful.
Step 7: Let It Simmer Slowly
Allow the bone broth to simmer slowly for an extended period. For chicken or fish bone broth, 6-12 hours is typically sufficient, while beef or pork bone broth may require 12-24 hours. Longer simmering times yield richer flavor and more nutrients.
Step 8: Customize Your Broth (Optional)
About an hour before you plan to finish simmering, you can customize your broth by adding fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, for extra flavor. Feel free to experiment and tailor the broth to your taste.
Step 9: Strain the Broth
Once your bone broth has simmered to perfection, remove it from the heat. Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the liquid, separating it from the solids. Discard the solids or compost them if possible.
Step 10: Cool and Store
Allow your freshly made bone broth to cool slightly. Then, transfer it to airtight containers. Be sure to leave some space at the top of each container to allow for expansion when freezing. Label and date your containers for easy identification.
Step 11: Refrigerate, Freeze or can
You have three storage options for your bone broth:
- Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator for up to five days. This is ideal for immediate use in soups, stews, or sipping.
- Freezing: If you’d like to enjoy your bone broth over a more extended period, freeze it in portions. It can last for several months in the freezer, ensuring you have a supply of homemade goodness at your fingertips.
- Canning: Follow instructions provided by your canner manufacturer. This is the best option for long-term storage.
Step 12: Season to Taste
Before serving your bone broth, warm it up and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that you didn’t add salt during the cooking process, so it’s essential to season your broth to your liking.
Conclusion: Savoring the Homestead Tradition
Homemade bone broth is a timeless tradition that reflects the essence of homesteading – resourcefulness, sustainability, and a deep connection to the land. Crafting this nourishing elixir on your homestead or at home not only enhances your culinary creations but also honors the animals and ingredients you’ve carefully selected. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy the delicious and nutritious rewards of this homemade tradition. So, whether you’re simmering a pot on the homestead or in your kitchen, raise your ladle to the golden goodness of homemade bone broth. Cheers to the rich flavors and wholesome sustenance that make the homesteading lifestyle truly special.