By now you’ve likely heard about the bone broth trend that’s taken NYC by storm and is spreading across the country. Bone broth is nothing new but nutrition experts and foodies have only recently begun touting it’s health benefits. But what is bone broth and why is it so good for you?
To back up for a moment, for general kitchen knowledge it’s useful to know the differences between stock and broth:
Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken). Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours) and is very light in flavor, thin in texture, and rich in protein.
Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone). Often the bones are roasted before simmering to improve flavor. Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours) and is rich in minerals and gelatin.
Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first. Bone broths are simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours). This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones. The bones may crumble when removed.
Bone broths are very high in minerals and amino acids. They are low in sodium but rich in collagen. This collagen is said to contribute to joint, skin and hair health. Bone broth has become an add on, of sorts, to the Paleo Diet in which coffee is omitted. In New York, windows and storefronts have popped up that serve broth in to-go coffee cups for your morning commute.
Whatever the health benefits may be, there is no doubt that rich, warm bone broth is delicious. If you are a Vietnamese Pho fan, this is definitely the trend for you.
Bone broth is quite easy to make at home. It takes a bit of time, but the results are well worth it. We tried the recipe from Brodo, NYC’s first take-out window devoted to the sippable broth. We used marrow bones and knucklebones only and it was insanely delicious. While it may not replace your morning cup o’ jo, it just might find a place in your daily routine.
1 ½ lbs bone-in beef short rib
2 ½ lbs beef shank or oxtail
2 lbs beef knucklebones or neck bones, or a combination of both (or add 1 more pound beef shank or oxtail)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 onions, halved and peeled
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (they can be whole, peeled or diced)
1 head garlic, excess skins removed, top chopped off to expose the cloves
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ bunch fresh thyme
¼ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place meat and bones in a roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat, then brush all over with tomato paste. Roast until browned, 30 to 35 minutes. They don’t need to cook all the way through but to just develop some color.
Put roasted meat and bones in a 12-quart stockpot and add vinegar and enough cold water to cover by 3 inches (about 6 quarts). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours. While simmering, occasionally skim fat and foam from the top using a ladle.
Add all the remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 hours. If using knucklebones, simmer overnight, 9 to 15 hours, so the knucklebones have sufficient time to break down.
Remove meat and bones with a slotted spoon or tongs; reserve meat for another use (such as soup). Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Once broth has cooled, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.