Birdsong’s Bone Broth
After making this almost every week for family and clients and being asked by so many people to share the recipe and technique I have finally decided to sit down and make a blog post about it.
Bone broth is a stock made from bones (beef, chicken or fish), vegetables, herbs and spices. It is deeply nourishing and also delicious. I recommend it to every client I serve in birth, postpartum and fertility. I drink it myself almost everyday and so do my kids. It’s one of my mama-cheats (future blog post about this to come) that helps me to feel good about what’s going into my kids bodies.
We eat meat and it is called bone broth so if you’re vegetarian or vegan please note the bottom of this post where I include adjustments for you. The broth I make most frequently is chicken based. We purchase a whole organic chicken usually once a week and roast it. (If you just wanted to make it with grass-fed beef bones though you can usually get those from your local butcher.)
We pull all of the meat off of the chicken and eat that for dinner or sometimes save it to add into the broth later to make a chicken soup. Or sometime we turn it into turmeric chicken salad (which is so yummy and anti inflammatory – will need to post that recipe soon too!) After I’ve removed all of the meat I add the bones into my stock post (we call it our cauldron around here) and bring to a boil. I add sautéed carrots, celery, white onion, ginger and anything from our stock bag.
Ok, about the stock bag…during the week as we cook, any scraps like the end of an onion or the end of an asparagus stalk or the bottom or the broccoli goes into a stock bag in our freezer. When we’re making our weekly stock we add all of these parts to the stock pot. It makes the stock you make each week a little different and we like that change since we have it almost everyday.
After adding the veggies and stock bag I also add a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. I bring it all to a boil and then turn the heat way down and let it simmer. At this point I add astragalus root slices (usually three – this is a tip I learned from the infamous green witch Susun Weed) and nettles (the dried herb.) Ok, here’s where you’ll think I’m crazy…we let it simmer for a long time…like a DAY! Sometimes 2!
This makes some people nervous to cook overnight but we know our stove and our home and feel fine about it. Another option you could use is to do it in a crock pot, which I’ve done many times when I’m making this at the home of a new parents I’m serving.
After it simmers for a while (a long time) I strain out the liquid, allow it to come to room temp and store half of in quart sized jars in my fridge and the rest in quart jars in the freezer (pro tip: remember to leave a lot of room, at least two inches, at the top of a mason jar if you are freezing it, otherwise it will crack. Put the jars in with loose lids and tighten later after the broth has frozen all the way.) I also sometimes freeze stock into a silicone ice cube mold so i can use it in small bits to saute just a few veggies or use it to reheat some rice or something.
“BUT WHAT IF I’M VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN?!”
No worries, you can make broth too! It’s even more important for you to add nettles to your broth as nettle will provide some of the things that you won’t get by omitting the bones. Nettles have nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, calcium, iron and lots of protein!
I also recommend you add some sea vegetables such as kelp, kombu and wakame, and immune boosting mushrooms like shiitake, chaga, reishi and cremini. These additions can take your broth to the next level with or without bones.
I’m excited to share this recipe and add to it as it changes for me. Over the years I’ve learned the ins and outs of what I like and what I don’t. One thing I can say is, if it tastes flat, it probably needs more salt (I know that’s basic but thought I’d mention it anyway.) Frequently I make it without salt at all and add a crack of himalayan pink salt and a dash of turmeric to my mug right before drinking.
Pleas post your experiences with making it in the comments. I’d love to hear things that work for you and what you’re adding to your broth.
Birdsong's Bone Broth
1 whole chicken bones (or 2lbs grass fed beef bones) roasted
1 gallon water
1 white onion chopped & sautéed
4 carrots chopped & sautéed
4 celery chopped & sautéed
1 stock bag full of your weekly goodies
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup dried nettles
3 strips astragalus root slices
1 nub ginger peeled & sliced
1 handful shiitake, reishi, chaga and/or cremini mushrooms
2 strips sea vegetables like kelp or wakame
Combine bones, water, onion, carrots, celery, stock bag veggies, bay leaf, vinegar and salt and pepper in stock pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 4 hours (but up to many.) Strain and store in fridge or freezer.
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