When you’re feeling weak and tired, bone broth is the #1 best cure. Real broth tastes delicious and is easy to simmer for hours or overnight while you’re doing other things. I learned this traditional Italian recipe in Venice. It is different from American bone broths in that it uses plenty of vegetables, and focuses on the flavorful tail bone or “coda”. Tail bones are high in cartilage and tasty spinal meat, which must be boiled to extract. There’s nothing like homemade soup from real tail bones. Commercial broths are usually made from animal skin with sugar or MSG. However real bone broth is far more delicious, deeply satisfying, with an off-the-charts nutritional profile. Since bone is alive, it is nutritionally similar to an organ. And the longer it is simmered, the more nutritious it becomes. Many people take expensive supplements from cartilage and bone extracts. But living food is the best approach to healing.
I could write pages about the benefits of bone broth. Rich marrow in the long bones helps the red blood cells transport oxygen, the #1 essential for cellular health. Marrow promotes healthy white blood cells for a strong immune system. Beef knuckles, chicken feet, and ribs are rich in cartilage, which helps rebuild healthy bones, joints, intestines, and strengthens the immune system. Collagen, or gelatin increases the ability to assimilate a variety of proteins. It forms strong bones, cartilage, and mucus membranes throughout the body. It speeds healing of soft tissue and wounds, preventing bruising and bleeding gums. Most importantly for people with gastro-intestinal issues, collagen or gelatin can help heal the mucus membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. For this reason bone broth is critically important to gluten-intolerant folks, because of its ability to heal the lining of the digestive tract. This makes it a key to other inflammatory conditions such as irritable bowel and “leaky gut syndrome”, which often go hand-in-hand with gluten reactions.
I recommend grass-fed, grass-finished beef bones, and organic pasture-raised chicken from any healthy grocery. Once you find good bones, the rest is easy, and you can vary this recipe as you please. I like to freeze the broth in small BPA-free containers, and use as needed. Or freeze it in ice cube trays. Add the broth to soups, risottos, and stir-fries. Enjoy a cup of hot broth as a pick-me-up instead of coffee or tea. Take it in a thermos, or use broth in place of water in any savory recipe. You’ll need avery large soup pot, a medium soup pot, and a large colander or strainer. Yield: 3 quarts broth.
- 1 - 2 lbs. beef tail bones – grass-fed, grass-finished
- 1 lb. organic chicken feet, or backs & necks
- 2 lbs. beef long bones or knuckles, sliced crossways
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely cut
- 2 stalks celery, washed and coarsely cut
- 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons unprocessed salt
- parsley 1/2 bunch
- 1 gallon filtered water or more to fill pressure-cooker 3/4 full.
- Put the ingredients in the pressure-cooker and add filtered water. Heat on high with the lid open until it barely begins to boil. (See photos below.)
- Just before it goes into a full rolling boil, turn the heat down. Use a large flat spoon to remove the surface foam. Called “schiuma” in Italian, this contains impurities, and is best removed to make your broth pure and clear. The foam is removed before it goes to a full rolling boil, otherwise it will go back into the broth.
- Cover and lock the lid tightly. Keep the flame high until you see the pressure indicator on the lid indicate it has reached desired level. Then turn down the flame and allow the pot to do its work - 2.5 to 3 hours. Watch the indicator and adjust accordingly to maintain high pressure. After 3 hours, turn off the flame and allow the pot to cool. This can be overnight. When you open the pot, the broth will be rich and flavorful. The bones will be disintegrating. Strain it into another pot.
- The finished broth will be beautiful and clear with a layer of fat on the top.
- Chill it in the 2nd pot 4 hours or overnight. Then using a large flat spoon, scrape the fat off the top. If the animal is grass-fed and properly raised without toxins or GMO grains, you can use the fat in other dishes.
- Spoon the gelatinous broth into storage containers. Or freeze in BPA-free ice-cube trays, and then store the cubes in plastic freezer bags. Frozen broth cubes can be used in a hundred ways, in any savory dish just as you’d use water. Maybe you deserve a delicious bowl of hot broth right now!
Traditional Italian bone broth ingredients: beef tailbones, knuckles or long bones, and chicken. Favorite vegetables are carrot, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, and bay leaf.
Put the ingredients in the pot and add filtered water. Heat on high until it barely begins to boil.
Just before it goes into a full rolling boil, turn the heat down. Use a large flat spoon to remove the surface foam. This contains impurities that are best removed before it goes into a full rolling boil. The result is a clear, limpid broth.
Cover and simmer on very low heat from 8 to 72 hours.
When finished the broth will be rich and flavorful. The bones will be disintegrating.
Allow it to cool a bit and then strain it into another pot.
The finished broth will be beautiful and clear with a layer of liquid fat on the top.
Chill it in the pot 4 hours or overnight. Then using a large flat spoon, scrape the fat off the top.
If the animal is grass-fed and properly raised without toxins, you can use the fat in other dishes.
Spoon the gelatinous broth into storage containers.
Or freeze the broth in BPA-free ice-cube trays.
Frozen broth cubes can be used in a hundred ways in any savory dish just as you’d use water.
Store the broth cubes in plastic freezer bags.
Perhaps you deserve a delicious bowl of hot broth right now!