Broth

Homemade broth is a mainstay. Strained, it is used as the liquid for cooking vegetables, fish and meat. Broth is also the base for soup. Drink a cup of broth every day.

Broth is one of the most nourishing foods you can make. No matter how far back you look, you’ll find people making bone broth. Many use it for medicinal as well as gastronomical purposes.

This recipe uses beef bones. When we can get them we use bison, elk or deer bones. With butcher shops disappering, finding bones has gotten more difficult. Some supermarkets sell them, but you have to ask. Since grass-fed beef has the best fats and the best flavor, we try to always get bones from grass-fed animals. If you can’t find them locally, they can be bought online at Slanker’s Grass-Fed Meats or U.S. Wellness Meats.

Slow cooker

A slow cooker is perfect for making broth. The long, slow cooking at a low temperature is the best way to extract the minerals from the bones and makes a broth that is a nutritional powerhouse. Not surprisingly, this is close to the traditional way of making broth.

If you don’t need a built-in timer, the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go 6-quart slow cooker is under $30. For a programmable slow cooker, the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker is about $40 (on sale it’s been about $34) or the Hamilton Beach 33969A Set ‘n Forget at about $50.

Pressure cooker

A pressure cooker can make mineral-rich broth in an hour. This is the method used by chef’s in restaurants. The Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker with Steamer Basket is about $40 and is Cook’s Illustrated’s “best buy.” For electric models, Cook’s picks the $70 Cuisinart CPC-600 6 Quart 1000 Watt Electric Pressure Cooker. The most popular, however, is the Instant Pot, which is about $80. Electric pressure cookers can be set and then left to complete the cooking; stove-top cookers have to be watched. The pressure cooker produces a quality broth because it heats water to a temperature around 250°F without boiling, which rapidly converts the collagen on the bones into gelatin.

Ingredients

3 or 4 marrow bones
1 to 2 pounds of ribs, neck bones or soup bones
1 onion, sliced 
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 to 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 piece dried kombu or 1/4 cup dried sea vegetables
Several sprigs of oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 2-ounce tin anchovies (optional)

Instructions

Put all the bones into the slow cooker. Optionally, you can cook athe bones in a covered dish in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. This browns the bones, inducing a Maillard reaction, which adds flavor to the broth.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, then fill with water.

In a slow cooker, put on low for at least 8 hours. It gets even better at 12 to 14 hours. Can be left cooking on low for 24 to 48 hours.

In a pressure cooker, cook under high pressure for 1 hour on the stove top, or an hour and a half in an electronic pressure cooker.

Cool and refrigerate.

Don’t leave out the vinegar. It’s the acid in vinegar that extracts the minerals from the bones. Lemon can be used instead of vinegar, giving you a similar result.

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