When I visited Brooklyn Sis for Thanksgiving last month, instead of seeking out Black Friday sales we went in search of bone broth. That is correct. Beefy beverage > new clothes. The impetus? This article. So off to the East Village we went, looking for a window through which someone would hand us a cup of steaming broth.
We found the tiny window. We ordered the broth – both of us getting a small (8 oz.) gingered grass-fed beef broth ($4.75)– and we loved it. It felt nourishing & the flavor was subtly beefy, but well-balanced by the ginger; it kept us warm as we headed to the Museum of the City of New York's Mac Conner exhibit. The next day I headed back to Boston and forgot about bone broth.
Until I got bronchitis this week. And while chicken noodle soup is the classic healer of all ills, I wanted bone broth. But I didn't know how to make it. So I enlisted the help of someone with far greater culinary prowess than myself, and 6 pounds of bones and 16 stovetop-hours later, a beautiful pot of bone broth emerged. "It's actually just stock. I don't know why everyone's calling it bone broth," aforementioned cooker-of-the-broth informed me. But bone broth just sounds so much catchier.
And because I want to be able to replicate that bowl of delicious gelatinous goo (which is the form bone broth takes when stored in the 'fridge), I asked for the recipe. Which follows. Enjoy!
- Bones - enough to fill whatever pot you're using. I have a 5.5qt dutch oven, and I bought about 5 pounds of assorted bones – pork, chicken, veal. Beef is fine too. Chicken feet, backs, necks, pork hocks, necks, oxtail. All of that works.
- Aromatics - a small carrot, a medium onion, a small leek, a medium sized waxy potato (red potato is fine), fresh thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns, tomato paste, ginger, parsley.
- Vinegar (apple cider recommended)
- Put all the bones in a single layer on a tray. Heat your oven to 450. It doesn't matter if the bones are frozen. Put the bones in the oven and roast for about an hour, until they smell roasty but not burnt. Yes, roasty is a word.
- When finished roasting, put the bones in your pot, just barely cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to just enough so that a bubble or two breaks the surface now and then. Simmer for at least 4 hours, up to 24.
- About 2-3 hours before you plan to stop cooking the stock, cut the onion into chunks (6-8 pieces - skin is OK, but trim the top/bottom), and add it to the pot with the thyme, bay leaves, a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, and about two tablespoons of tomato paste. Try not to stir too much, but make sure everything is submerged.
- About an hour and a half before you're done, add the carrot, leek (wash this well!), and potato (all cut into big chunks), and about 1/4 pound of ginger, cut into slices. You don't have to peel anything, just toss it in there.
- When finished cooking the stock, strain it once into a large metal bowl. This is just the first pass - I usually use a colander. Press on the solids to get as much liquid out as possible. Dump the stock back into the cooking pot, and rinse out the metal bowl. Strain the stock again into the metal bowl using a fine-mesh strainer.
- Cool down the stock using an ice bath - get a bigger metal bowl, fill with a lot of ice and enough water to cover the ice, and place the bowl with your stock into the ice bath. Stir your stock constantly, and it will be ice-cold in about 10 minutes. (You can also skip this step and let the stock cool on its own, though it will obviously take longer.)
- Put the cooled stock in the fridge for a few hours. All the fat will rise to the top. Skim off this fat with a spoon.
- When you're ready to serve, heat up the stock in a pot. Add a few more slices of ginger and some parsley stems. Squeeze half a lemon into it. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and vinegar (cider vinegar works well here).