Are you new to bone broth? And if so, are you fretting over which bones to buy, what recipe to use, and how long to cook your broth?
Then I have a message for you: Relax!
I know that in my books, I include lots of recipes for gourmet bone broths, and lots of tips for buying bones. As a result, you may think that cooking up a pot of bone broth has to be complicated.
However, in reality, nothing could be simpler. After all, the earliest humans cooked their bone broth in animal skins over a fire, which tells you that it doesn’t require a lot of finesse.
And here’s more reassuring news: Even the simplest bone broth tastes just as good as the gourmet versions. So today, I’m sharing my “Back to Basics” bone broth recipe, along with some simple tricks that will guarantee that your broth is a success.
First, here’s the recipe:
“BACK TO BASICS” BONE BROTH
- 2 unpeeled carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, including leafy part, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (optional)
- 3½ pounds grass-fed beef bones (preferably joints and knuckles)
- —OR— 2 or more pounds raw chicken bones/carcasses and additional wings, thighs or feet
- —OR— 1 turkey carcass
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Place the vegetables, garlic, bones, and bay leaves into a stockpot. Sprinkle on the salt, drizzle with vinegar, and add enough water to cover everything by 1 inch. Cover the pot.
- Cook on low for 8 to 12 hours for beef or about 6 to 8 hours for chicken or turkey, skimming the broth occasionally.
- Pour the broth through a fine strainer and discard the solids. Taste the broth and add more salt if needed.
- Chill the broth. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge and 3 months in your freezer.
How easy is that? And here are some more tips to make your broth-making a cinch:
- Out of one of the vegetables? Skip them.
- Out of all the vegetables? Skip them.
- Not sure which are bones have the most cartilage? Ask your butcher for bones with joints and knuckles. Ot ask for help from your butcher.
- Out of vinegar? The vinegar helps to pull more nutrients out of the bones—but if you don’t have any, you can use lemon juice or no acid at all.
- Don’t like garlic? Add less, or none at all. Love garlic? Feel free to add more.
- Can’t afford grass-fed beef or organic chicken? Simply remove extra fat on the beef or the skin on the chicken, and you’re good to go.
- Not enough jiggle? Your broth should be jiggly when you chill it, because that means it’s loaded with gelatin—but even non-jiggly broth has lots of gelatin in it, and it’ll do the trick. (A few troubleshooting tips: Next time you make broth, stick close to the cooking times above, and make sure your broth simmers rather than boiling. Also, ask your butcher to select cartilage-rich bones for you.) If you want to give your broth more jiggle, you can always add a packet of my SLIM collagen powder.
- Allergic to any of the veggies? No problem—just leave them out. You can substitute other veggies to add flavor; just remember to remove any non-starchy veggies after cooking.
- Don’t eat meat or chicken? You can make a fish bone broth (And if you’re a vegetarian, see my link here.)
As you can see, bone broth is a very forgiving recipe, and there’s almost no way to mess it up!
Two easy alternatives to the stockpot
Now that I’ve talked about how simple it is to make basic bone broth, I want to share two ways to make this project fit easily into your busy schedule.
First, you can make your broth in a slow cooker. The water won’t evaporate as it does in a stockpot, so you won’t need to tend the broth.
Second, if you need broth fast, you can make it in a pressure cooker. Here’s how to do it.
- Put all of your ingredients in your pressure cooker and add enough water to cover everything by one inch. Lock the lid of your pressure cooker in place.
- Raise the heat to high until the pressure cooker reaches full pressure (about 10 to 15 minutes). Then set the heat to low and cook for 45 to 60 minutes if you’re using chicken bones and about two hours if you’re using beef bones. (Fish bones cook so quickly that pressure cooking isn’t recommended.)
- When you’re done, turn off the burner and let the pressure cooker cool down until it’s ready to open. When your broth is cool, just strain it and you’re ready to go.
You can also use an Instant Pot to make your broth. Here’s a good basic recipe.
The bottom line: Don’t sweat it!
By now, I hope I’ve reassured you that bone broth is one of the world’s easiest recipes. Even if you’ve never cooked before, you can make it. And after you have a few batches under your belt and you feel confident, you can try some of the fancier recipes in my books.
So relax—you’ve got this!
P.S. If you still have more questions, check out these posts:
Here are my answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about making bone broth.
Read why some people need to ease into drinking bone broth.