Bone broth has been used by many cultures over the years as a healing food, but nobody really looked into why.
In fact, the scientific world is still waiting for research to prove that bone broth meets the recent health claims made in the media (that it can heal the gut). Whether you believe it or not, there is no arguing that bone broth contains lots of minerals, amino acids, and collagen which are nutritious, and there is just nothing more soothing for the body and soul than a bowl of warm broth.
It is the perfect accompaniment to many meals, and I usually freeze a small amount in ice cube trays so that when I’m stuck for a healthy quick meal, I whip it out and can instantly make a healthy noodle soup for the kids. It’s a winner for my family every time. So I am a fan even without the heavy-duty scientific evidence to prove its goodness.
You can make bone broth using any vegetables but I like to add herbs that are good for the digestion/gut to give it even more goodness:
- cloves – great for digestion, and rich in antioxidants (fights tissue and free radial damage)
- black peppercorn – again fabulous for digestion and also increases bioavailability of lots of nutrients, helping the body to absorb them
- star anise – antifungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant
- cinnamon – anti-inflammatory (helps body repair any inflamed or damaged tissue), improves insulin sensitivity, reduces heart disease
3 lb (1.3Kg) marrow bones (grass fed beef preferably)
18 cups water
5 pieces of cloves
2 pieces of star anise
1 piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
1 whole onion
1 whole bulb of garlic
1 inch segment of ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce (substitute with salt if seafood allergy)
1. In an oven or over a grill, char the onion, bulb of garlic and ginger – I normally put it on a top rack in the oven and put on full heat grill. The onion and garlic will char first – remove these, and let the ginger char slightly. Let it cool down, and remove the burnt bits.
2. In a pan over the stove, roast the cloves, star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns – low heat for about 2-3 minutes (be careful not to burn them) this brings out their flavor When cooled, place into a spice bag (you can get these in asian supermarkets, or make them yourself from muslin/cheese cloth. If you don’t mind the odd bit of peppercorn in your soup, you can also just drop these loose into the broth pan.
3. Parboil the bones – put the bones in a pan and cover with just enough water, and bring to boil with lid on. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and wash all the scum that have come out in the boil with water.
4. Put parboiled, cleaned bones back in a stock pan with about 18 cups of water, add the spice bag (or just drop the spices in loose of you don’t mind it floating in your soup) and the fish sauce.
5. Bring back to boil. Then switch to low heat and leave on stove for at least 8 but up to 24 hours ( I normally do 10, by that time you really start to see the broth turning cloudy which indicates all the amino acids, collagen being boiled into the soup).