There’s something Japan’s favourite fermented foodstuffs have in common, and you may not have heard of it before.
Asian inspirations is against food waste. Billions of tonnes of food are wasted every year and it costs the Australian economy millions of dollars. But there are ways to reduce food waste, and one of them is to use your left-over meats, veggies and herbs to make delicious stocks and broths.
Broth, bone broth, stock, whichever name you choose to give it, is a mineral rich pot of awesome made from boiling the bones of your animal of choice with vegetables and herbs. It is a traditional dish in western culture and Asian cuisine, and comes in a heap of varieties, the most popular being ramen and pho.
The health benefits of broth have been known for centuries – think chicken soup when you’re sick – and it’s for good reason. On top of all the immune boosting minerals it contains, broth is chock full of collagen (hair and nail health), calcium phosphorous and magnesium (bone and tooth health). Regular broth consumption has even been known to help with allergies and improve mental health.
Look, it’s super convenient to just grab some packet stock from the shelf whenever you need to make soup, but nothing compares to the flavor sensation homemade broth has. And it’s really easy. Whenever you roast anything with bones (beef, chicken, fish, lamb, duck etc), save the carcass for your broth. If you’ve got some onions sitting around, or celery, carrot, any leafy vegetable really, thrown that in too. As far as herbs go, whichever flavours you love will work best for you, but always add garlic.
If you’ve had bone broth before and found it a bit too much, maybe gluggy and fatty and dark and cloudy, then chances are it wasn’t prepared properly. To help you make the most delicious bone broth, we’ve gathered some tips to help your bowl of broth better than brilliant!
Unless you’re using precooked meat or bones, in which case you can skip this step.
Boil the bones before you boil the bones! The best cuts of meat for bone broth (like knuckles, and marrow bones) are high in collagen and will have some yucky stuff still attached. Cook your bones on an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes and then drain them, not reserving the water. This will remove any impurities.
Adding too much stuff
I know I know, we just said it’s a great way to get rid of all your leftovers, but it’s better to make a couple of batches than one big hodgepodge of random stuff. Stick to onion, garlic, pepper and maybe a herb or 2 and a vegetable.
Not using a big enough pot
This is vital! Cover you bones with water, but not so they’re floating. You want a concentrated broth after all. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
Not cooking it long enough
You can never cook bone broth long enough. Boil for 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, as long as there’s liquid in the pot you’re fine. The longer you cook the broth, the more concentrated and delicious the flavour.
Now that we’ve whet your appetite, here are some of our favourite broth recipes for you to try at home. And if you’ve got one of your own, let us know!