It isn't beautiful.
It isn't a shows-stopper.
But it is a game-changer in the kitchen, and for your health.
I'm talking about broth.
Yes, broth. Bone broth, that magical stuff, nourishment in a bowl, made from nothing but bones and water. If you have never made your own broth, this kitchen routine might seem elementary, but really, it is the backbone of your kitchen.
See what I did there?
I promise to stop. Maybe.
The only ingredients needed for bone broth are: bones and water. A few vegetables - onions, celery, leeks - can also go in the pot, if you like. A splash of acidity, wine or vinegar, helps release the minerals from the bones and gives extra depth to the flavor.
It's a Game-Changer
Sadly, in much of the Middle East today, this wonderful practice of broth-making has been replaced by store-bought bouillon cubes. Most home cooks keep a steady stock of these cubes in their pantry and flavor their rices, soups and sauces with a cube or two of these salt-laden and MSG-packing cubes. Not only is this unhealthy, but every dish tastes the same, with the same flat salty-savory taste left in your mouth. Here in the United States, bouillon cubes have largely given way to shelf-stable cartons of broth and stock, which are admittedly tastier, but still far short in flavor and nourishment.
It's Really, Really Good for You
Bone broth has made a serious comeback this year. Step aside kale and quinoa, 2015 is the year of bone broth. Bone broth is popping up everywhere you look, from bone broth takeout windows in New York City to bone broth bowls, served at Panera Bread restaurants around the country. What is this health craze all about?
Bones, when simmered for long periods of time, release protein-rich collagen and gelatin, and minerals, all of which support gut, bone, joint and skin health. When properly prepared, the bone broth contains minerals from not just the bones, the marrow and the cartilage, so that the broth is particularly rich in magnesium, calcium, and potassium. A good, long simmered bone broth will actually gel once cool, showing that it contains plenty of the prized gut-healing gelatin. Gelatin is not a complete protein in itself, but contains amino acids which help the body to more fully use any other proteins ingested. So, gelatin-rich meat broths are particularly favored in traditional cuisines where people could not afford to include large amounts of meats in their diets.
People who are interested in healing their gut, soothing or preventing a cold, or building better bone health are drinking their way to a better future. You can read more about the health benefits of bone broth here and here and here.
My Broth Factory
When I started my journey into traditional cooking a number of years ago, one of the first foods that I became serious about was bone broth. I started buying all of my meats on the bone, and realized that one of the most important things I could do for my families health was to skip the grocery store cartons of broth in favor of the nutrient-rich and healing homemade bone broth. I have been surprised, as well, at how easy it has been streamline this practice in my kitchen, so that I have a steady and simple way to keep a large supply of broth in my kitchen. We have found it to be a healing, economical, and even a meditative practice.
Tomorrow's post is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make bone broth. I hope you will check it out!