How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Broth, Stock or Bone Broth… What is the difference between the three? Is there a difference between the three?

There’s no mistaking what a stock is or a bone broth is but it can become a little unclear as to where a broth stands, here is my interpretation of the three…

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Broth -Think of a broth as the finished product, a soup in a sense… Chicken Soup or Won Ton Noodle Soup all use a broth. It is a gently flavoured liquid that is made by flavouring water with meat, or very meaty bones, carrots, celery, light herbs, onion and most importantly seasoned with salt. It is lighter in flavour compared to the stock and bone broths and is always clear and thin, which is an absolute necessity in asian cuisine. 

The cooking time is much shorter compare with the other two methods, around 40 minutes (unless you are poaching a whole chicken).  There are no added health benefits to an extended cooking time for broths, and it will even negatively affect the flavour of your broth, especially if you are making a fish broth, which will turn bitter if cooked longer than 30-40 minutes. All the flavour and nutrients you want will be leached out into the liquid during this short cooking time.

My favourite broth is a chicken one. By poaching a whole chicken in water with the addition of carrots, onion, celery and seasoned well with peppercorns and salt, you end up with beautifully moist meat and a broth that is delicious and effortless – this method takes about 1 hour 20 minutes as it’s the whole chicken. The benefit of this method is you have a lot of meat leftover that can then be made into pies or a salad through the week along with plenty of chicken broth. As a bonus, the chicken carcass can be incorporated into a bone broth, just freeze till required.

Broths will remain quite fluid as opposed to the stocks and bone broth, which with their naturally high gelatin content, will turn to jelly once refrigerated. 

Vegetable and fish broths do not benefit from long cooks.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Stock – Is a component of cooking, it’s used to add body and flavour to a dish, generally not to have on it’s own, think of risotto, stews or gravy. It is made with well roasted bones –  ideally with quite a bit of meat still left on them for the extra flavour, and vegetables. Roasting the meaty bones is necessary to a good quality stock as you want rich, well developed flavours in a stock, which the roasting of the bones and vegetables will do. Un-roasted bones will leave a slightly odd, unpleasant flavour to the liquid.

Stocks are generally cooked for 6 -12 hours.

As I make quite big batches of stock at one time (10-12 cups worth) I personally choose to keep the added flavours of vegetables and herbs to a minimum, this way I can alter it to lean toward a particular cuisine when I want to. It’s still a very rich stock just not heavily loaded with flavours outside of the roasted meaty flavours.

Remember to keep all your bones from the roasts you make, in the freezer till you are ready to make your stock. My favourite stock combines the meaty bones of various beasts with the addition of a rabbit carcass  – the flavour is magical!

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Bone broth – Think of bone broth as homemade medicine. Made to be drunk straight, especially the first ‘pressing’, it is the holy grail of the stewing liquids. Used for speeding the healing, repair and recuperation time from illness, reduce joint pain, reduce inflammation, prevent bone loss and build healthy skin, hair, and nails. Certain amino acids that come mostly from the bones can assist with a healthy gut and digestion, a balanced nervous system and strong immune system – just as chicken soup (using the whole chicken) has been proven to aide in healing, bone broth takes it that next step further. Made using mainly the bones – as that is where the amino acids and minerals will be coming from, it’s the very long stewing time, combined with a vinegar solution to draw out certain minerals, that makes the bone broth highly regarded for it’s health benefits. If you are making bone broth you are making it because of it’s centuries known health benefits, otherwise you would stick to stocks.

To get the most out of the bones do your best to source organic or biodynamic animals and birds,100% grass fed beef, pasture raised chickens… basically any animal or bird that has been raised well and healthily as you are making this bone broth for it’s health benefits so the bones need to be from the healthiest animals possible… and keep them all! As you come across them, bag and freeze them; accumulate them so you have a nice mound of bones, raw chicken carcasses etc to make your broth or stock.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

To draw out all the minerals from the bones they need to soak in a diluted vinegar solution. If you don’t mind having a mild vinegar taste in your bone broth then you can happily cook the bones in the vinegar solution for the duration, otherwise, soak them in a vinegar solution for about 1/2 hour prior to roasting them (if using raw bones) and then cook them for 36-72 hours.

If you have cooked the bones long enough they will crumble with gentle pressure and then you know you have drained all the nutrients you can from them (give them to your dog as they will benefit from the extra rough fibre) Also, don’t skim the ‘scum’ (or ‘nutrient foam’ as we shall now call it) off the top as it cooks, as that is also a powerhouse of minerals and nutrients. The easiest way to cook a bone broth is to use a slow cooker.

Bone broth bones can be cooked over and over again – think of it as a Chinese Master Stock, as it can be kept on the home burner, turned on and off continually added to and used on the go.

This is similar to stock in appearance, it’s rich in colour and can be viscus in texture due to it’s gelatin content.

Reducing your stock

If you are wanting a more intense flavour in your liquid then reducing it will thicken it and concentrate the flavour and complexity enormously.

The reduction of your stock must be done after your original stock has been made; that is after it has been completely cooked and the bones, meat, vegetables and herbs have been strained from the liquid.

Place the stock on the stove and get it to a rolling boil, leaving the lid off. You are wanting the steam to escape. Leave to boil till it has reduced by half.

You can easily over-reduce your stock so a great little tip is to stick a skewer or wooden spoon into the stock and mark the height of the liquid, now you will be able to gauge the reduction without the guess work.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Below are three of my tried and true recipes: Chicken Broth, Rich Beef and Veal Stock and Bone Broth. These can all be tweaked and altered to your own preferences, there really are no hard and fast rules to making your own amazing stocks and broths… but these are reeeaaallly good!

Blondie’s Golden Chicken Broth Recipe

1 whole chicken

1 carrot, quartered

1 quartered brown onion, skin left on – This gives the golden colour

1/2 tbs black peppercorns

12 allspice berries

3 garlic cloves, squashed with skin on

1 tsp salt

Enough water to cover the chicken

Greaseproof paper to make a cartouche

Large enough pot with lid to hold the chicken

Method

Place all the ingredients into the pot and top with water.

Cut out the cartouche and lay over the chicken then bring up to a slow simmer and then cover with the lid.

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cool and then shred the meat off the chicken carcass

Strain the broth and use as desired. How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Blondie’s Rich Beef and Veal Stock Recipe

3kg mix of beef and veal bones including neck bones with good meat coverage. Any large bones ask your butcher to saw in half so the marrow is exposed

1 wild rabbit carcass*  Not necessary, but a stunning addition.

1/2 pig’s trotter – have the butcher slice it length ways. Use one half now and freeze the other for another time.

1/2 garlic bulb, top 1/4 sliced off to expose the cloves

1 onion, quartered, skin on

1 carrot, quartered

2 celery sticks, chopped roughly

1 tbs tomato paste

70ml red wine

2 bay leaf

1 tbs black peppercorns

4 allspice berries

1 tbs oil

Greaseproof paper to make a cartouche

Enough water to cover the bones

* Poach the rabbit (use Blondie’s Golden Chicken Stock recipe and cook for 25 minutes) Shred the meat off the bones and set aside to use in a Rabbit Pie or a rabbit pasta. Use the rabbit carcass in this stock.

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F

Heat up a large pan or wok and brown the meaty bones. Place them on a roasting pan and then into the oven for 20 mins or till nicely caramelised.

In the wok add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery with a dash of oil and cook till golden brown.

Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook gently till the bones are ready to be removed from the oven.

Place the bones into a large stock pot with the pig’s trotter and pour in the vegetables and liquid.

Add the peppercorns, bay  leaves, and allspice.

Top with water

Place the cartouche over the bones and bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 12 hours. 

Leave to cool, strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate overnight. The fat will solidify on the surface of the stock overnight, which is then easily removed.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Blondie’s Bone Broth Recipe

3kg mix of any bones – leftover roasts, steak bones, anything.

1/2 pig’s trotter or 4 chicken feet – these are for the added gelatin

1/2 garlic bulb

1 onion, quartered, skin on

1 carrot, quartered

2 celery sticks, chopped roughly

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs black peppercorns

Enough water to cover the bones

Method

Place the bones and all the rest of the ingredients into a large stock pot.

Top with water so the bones are only just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and leave.

Skim off the ‘nutrient foam’ as it rises if you can’t bear to have it in your broth, otherwise keep it for it’s added health benefits.

Cook for 24-76 hours.*

*The broth can be turned off at night if you are uneasy having it on, just leave the lid and get it going again in the morning.

Add more water if it seems to be reducing. You want the water level to remain the same as when it started.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Storing your stocks and broths

Simply measure out 1 cups worth and 2 cups worth and freeze in ziplock bags, which can be frozen flat so won’t take up too much freezer room.

How To Make A Broth, Stock or Bone Broth

Enjoy the process and remember to keep all your bones and carcasses for your next amazing batch of stock or broth- Blondie  🙂

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