You’ve undoubtedly had at least one kind of broth in your life, but to be clear, broth is a liquid made by boiling water with vegetables, meat, or fish, and/or bones from proteins. In fact, you’ve probably used broth or stock (similar to broth, but with a higher proportion of bones used in prep) while cooking. Stocks and broth provide a ton of added flavor in myriad dishes, and are frequently added to soups, stews, and sauces. Broths are also often served simply on their own, as a glistening bowl of comfort with or without added ingredients.
In the past few years, diets recommending that people return to the meat-heavy diet of paleolithic times forbidding grains, dairy, legumes, and a host of other ingredients have come to the forefront. Suddenly, bone broth—a simple preparation involving boiling meat and bones in water with an acidic component to help dissolve and loosen the bones’ contents—has become widespread, even though it has long been a mainstay in restaurant kitchens and many international cuisines. In New York, chef Marco Canora even opened a takeout window called “Brodo” next to his East Village restaurant Hearth; they sell varieties of bone broth with mix-ins like chili oil, herbs, and even bone marrow.
It should come as no surprise that we love taking the homemade route here at Plated, so we’ve compiled a few different recipes for making your own! They take time, that’s for sure, but are definitely worth it.
2 whole chickens
1 pound chicken feet (skip if you can’t find them. They are often available in Asian markets)
1/4 cup apple cider, white, or white wine vinegar
6 to 8 quarts cold water, or as needed to cover ingredients
4 cups ice cubes
3 carrots, peeled and halved
4 onions, peeled and halved
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the wings, thighs, drumsticks, and breasts from the chickens.
Place the carcasses, wings, necks, and innards that came inside the chicken on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Roast until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. For a lighter flavor, skip this step. If you’re planning to drink the broth by itself, or with herbs or seasonings, this step adds a nice depth of flavor, umami, and richness our tongues can’t get enough of.
Place the bones, feet, and vinegar in a stockpot or slow cooker, at least 10 quarts in size, and cover with the cold water. If using a stockpot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. If using a slow cooker, turn the temperature to high. Once simmering, reduce heat to low, cook for 30 minutes, skimming and discarding the scum that rises to the top. Add the ice and skim off any fat that congeals on the top along with any other scum or impurities. Simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 hours, adding more water as necessary just to keep the bones covered.
Add the carrots, onions, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves and simmer for another 5 hours. Continue to skim off any impurities; add water as necessary to keep the ingredients covered.
Gently strain or ladle the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a container. Fill your sink with ice water. Place the container of broth in the ice bath to cool for about 1 hour. Use the broth right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 year.
Remove any fat that has solidified on the top before using. You may discard this fat or use it as you would any other cooking fat.
1 ½ pounds bone-in beef short rib
2 ½ pounds beef shank or oxtail
2 pounds 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.
2 pounds pork leg bones, chopped into 3 to 4 pieces
2 tablespoons Shaoxing, or other cooking wine
1 thumb ginger
Add bones, Shaoxing wine, and ginger into a large pot (or dutch oven). Add water until the pot is 4/5 full. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir the bones a few times during cooking to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Skim the foam from the surface until the soup turns clear, about 5 minutes.
Turn off heat. Use a pair of chopsticks (or tongs) to transfer the bones to a plate. Place a strainer over a large bowl. Strain the broth and discard bones and other fragments. Rinse the pot to get rid of any extra foam. Transfer the broth and bone backs to the pot. (The broth and pot will get very dirty the first time you bring the water to a boil. Straining the broth and rinsing the pot will help with get rid of the extra foam, so you can get clear stock in the end.)
Bring the broth to a boil again. Cover and cook over low heat (medium heat if using an electric stove) for 3.5 to 4 hours. The broth should continue boiling throughout the cooking. You don’t need to add water during the cooking, but remember to check the broth every 20 to 30 minutes. If the water runs too low and no longer covers the bones, add boiling water, 2 cups at a time. Don’t add any water during the final hour of cooking.
At the end of cooking, the broth should be reduced to about 1/3 (or less) of the original volume. Transfer the pork stock to a bowl to cool off.
Leave the bones in the pot and cook another batch of stock. Add water until the pot is 1/2 full. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and cook for another 2 hours to get more stock. The broth should get quite concentrated again, but won’t be as thick as the first time. You can use this broth to cook soup directly, without adding water. To store, transfer the second batch of broth to a bowl to cool off. Discard ginger and pork bones.
You can use the stock to make soup and noodle broth and add it to stews and stir-fry dishes to enhance the flavor. If you use it to cook soup, don’t forget to add water to the stock to adjust it to taste. I used my first batch to cook four meals for two people, using the stock to cook exclusively soup.
Wait until the stock cools off completely. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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