Make a large pot of this deliciously rich elixir: there's some for now and freeze the rest
Bone broth has been getting alot of press these days as a superfood that's great for what ails you. It's recommended for a variety of health benefits such as: immune boosting, bone health, digestion, repair of GI mucosa, improved sleep, sharper mental focus, weight management and more. While this may seem like the trendy thing, the fact is that bone broth has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Using bones with added herbs and spices, that most people have in their cupboard, can transform a soup into a serious therapeutic tonic. This is powerful medicine that can truly transform your health. The bonus is that you get to enjoy a delicious, soothing, warming and energizing soup that you will look forward to enjoying often.
Base Recipe: This makes a large pot of broth that you can easily freeze. Tip: leave out enough broth for 2-3 days max. As the nutrient content is high, the broth will begin to ferment more quickly in the fridge so keeping it fresh via freezing is a good choice.
You can make this recipe in a stove top pot or use a large crockpot for a set it and forget it brew. If you use a crockpot, you may have to cut the recipe in half as most crocks have a smaller capacity. Experiment and see what method works best for you.
Start with 8-10 lbs of bones: I like to purchase 4-5 lbs of marrow / femur bone and for the remaining 4-5 lbs, a combo of more meaty bones like: neck, short rib, knuckle or ox tail . **Note: it is important to purchase quality, bones. This translates as sourcing from pasture raised, grass-fed (may be organic but some local farms cannot afford the "organic stamp" although their products are certainly in accordance with such standards). Just be sure it's pasture raised
1. Blanch the bones in boiling water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
2. While bones are blanching, prepare vegetables: 4-5 large carrots cut up into 2 inches bits, 4 large garlic cloves cut in half, 4-5 stalks celery cut into 2 inch bits, 2 medium onions quartered.
3. Remove bones from water and place on 1-2 large sheet pans (cover it with foil for easier clean up). Scatter vegetables around bones.
4. Roast bones and veggies in 400 degree oven for @40min total: 20 minutes on each side
5. While bones & veggies are roasting, prepare herbal ingredients
6. Soak @12 lotus seeds, 10 Chinese dates (jujube), 6-9 grams Dang Gui aka Angelica and 12 grams Bai Zhu aka Codonopsis in water during the 40 minute roasting period.
7. Remove bones and vegetables from oven, drain soaking herbs and add them all to your stock pot or crock pot. Fill pot with water to cover the bones/veg/herb mixture and fill pot (leave about 2-3 inches of room at the top)
8. Add the following to the mixture: 2 teaspoons pink or other quality salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 stick cinnamon or 1 teaspoon powder, 3 whole star anise pods and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is ok if you don't have ACV but it doesn't have the same flavor).
9. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover but leave a slight crack for reduction. Allow to simmer on stove top for 8-10 hours. If using a crockpot, turn on high for first 4 hours then reduce to low for additional 10 hours (can leave it overnight).
10. When broth is done, let cool then strain into a large clean pot. Sift out large bones and remove meat and any marrow in left in the bone and add it to the broth.
****you can buy the herbal ingredients at a quality Asian market or, online. Try to purchase organic where possible
Use the base broth to make a soup: add fresh chopped veggies like carrots, celery, mushrooms and simmer for 30-40 minutes to soften veggies. Add chopped cilantro or parsley for extra flavor. Add more salt to taste.
Add interesting cooked noodles: buckwheat soba, red lentil spaghetti, cellophane rice noodles, sweet potato flour noodles or straight up thin spaghetti.
Add a chopped hard boiled egg
Top with chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, sesame seeds or a bit of quality parmesan.
Special Note: for the hard core among you…
You can simply forage from the original cooked broth and consume the herbs and veggies along with the broth without having to strain. That's a personal choice that is perfectly acceptable....However for freezing, it is easier to strain and freeze any broth that is not consumed within 2-3 days of making it.
Enjoy! It's worth the effort!!!!