Cooking bones in water is the most natural process of using every single bit of an animal so that nothing goes to waste. It’s an ancient technique used all over the world. While this time-consuming process is still part of the daily cooking practices, in Western culture it’s mostly left to the scene of fine dining or hobby chefs. But also in the world of health and wellness, bone broth experiences a big comeback. This is due to its many health promoting benefits:
Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen which is one of our main building blocks of various tissues of our body. Probably most known from beauty products applied to the skin, it also helps to repair tissues inside the body. From gut healing to fighting osteoporosis, collagen is praised all over the board.
While the cooking process takes time, bone broth is actually really easy to make and the ingredients cheap. I like to keep my broth as simple as possible and if then season only at the end of the cooking process. I keep a big bag of veggie scraps in my freezer and like to add them to the broth for the last hour of the cooking process. I also like to keep a part of the broth for a red wine reduction (see notes further down). And usually I keep some broth plain for more Asian inspired recipes.
Note: this recipe requires an extra-large soup pot or it needs to be halved.
- Extra-large soup pot
- 6 kg beef or veal bones knuckles, some marrow bones
- 13 l water
- 2 tbsp black pepper corns
- 8 bay leaves
- Add the bones to an extra-large soup pot.
- Cover with cold water, bring to a boil. Turn down heat as soon as the water boils.
- Skim off any foam that appears on the surface.
- Add black pepper and bay leaves. Simmer lid on (loosely) for up to 16 hours or until all the meat and connective tissue has completely detached from the bones.
- If you would like to season your broth with veggies and spices, the last hour of the cooking process is the moment to do so. You can use vegetables and veggie scraps such as carrots, celeriac, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, ginger and spices like thyme, rosemary and sage.
- Strain the broth through a sieve into freezer-safe containers. Be careful not to pour the sandy residue on the bottom of the pot through the sieve.
- Freeze for up to 6 months or store in the fridge for up to a week. Use for soups, stews sauces and gravies.