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Old Fashioned Bone Broths still the best.

by Tammera J. Karr, PhD

Over the years, I have tried a number of broth mixes for convenience, but they all fall flat compared to the hearty rich and nourishing broths made by my mother and others back in the day.

“Good broth will resurrect the dead,” says a South American proverb. “Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” Said Escoffier

I have conversations with clients recovering from major surgery’s, the early spring upper respiratory bug, truck drivers working the night shift, clients with sleep issues, anxiety and folks just trying to stay healthy. Pretty much a normal – but the one thing that stands out in my mind is how all of them feel better or do better on old-fashioned bone broths over all the other modern chemical marvels on the market.

Bone broths are a cure-all in traditional households and the most critical ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers. For chefs, stock is the foundation for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces. Julia Child spent pages and pages on making broths and consommé.

Science validates what our ancestors knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. I cant help but wonder how many of my clients would regain their flexibility with a regular cup of bone broth each day over something else.

The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. Gelatin was probably the first functional food, dating from the invention of the “digestor” by the Frenchman Papin in 1682.

Papin’s digestor consisted of an apparatus for cooking bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin. Just as vitamins occupy the center of the stage in nutritional investigations today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food research. Gelatin was universally acclaimed as a most nutritious foodstuff. Every culture has a basic broth recipe and countless ways it was used, all of them used it liberally with those who were ill or elderly. Often times the old ways especially when it comes to food are still the best ways.

So here is a broth recipe to help you take back control of your health in 2015, enjoy.

Poultry Stock
Makes 7-8 Cups
This stock can be used anywhere stock is required. Using just bones is fine, but birds’ bones are hollow lacking the marrow. To make up for this lack of marrow, meaty pieces like wings, backs, and necks are usually added to poultry stock. The finished stock is the building block for hundreds of soups.

This recipe can be used with any meat bones, so don’t think you have to have a different one for each critter.

4 pounds poultry bones and backs, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces (or any other kind of marrow bone)
2 medium carrots, sliced or yams
2 celery stalks, sliced or lovage
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, cut into wedges
2 leeks, trimmed and quartered lengthwise or scallions
6 flat-leaf parsley stems or watercress
3-4 mashed garlic cloves
1 large thyme sprig
1 large sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
Celtic sea salt, to taste

1. Rinse the bones and backs under cold running water, then place in a large stockpot, along with the herbs and vegetables. Pour in enough cold water to cover the bones, about 12 cups, and bring slowly to a boil. As soon as the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat so that it simmers. Using a soup ladle, skim off any scum that has risen to the surface (rotate the bowl of the ladle on the surface of the stock to make ripples: these will carry the scum to the edges of the pot, and you can then use the ladle to lift it off). Add, tumeric and peppercorns, and simmer uncovered for 5 hours, skimming from time to time.

2. Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the debris left in the sieve, and cool the stock quickly by placing the bowl in a larger bowl or sink filled with ice water; stir occasionally as it cools. If you will not be reducing the stock, add about 1 teaspoon salt.

3. Refrigerate the stock for 6 hours, or overnight, to allow the fat to rise to the top and the debris to sink to the bottom. Remove the fat before using (and discard the debris at the bottom of the bowl). Divide it into 1-cup quantities and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
To Your Good Health and Real Food –

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