- 2 kg of bones – (beef and lamb knuckle bones or marrow bones, chicken necks, whole or carcass from a roast. You can have different bones together or separate, depending on the flavour of stock you’re after)
- 8 litres of filtered water
- 1 x whole bulb of garlic; cloves, separated, peeled and crushed
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered)
- 2 x carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 x celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 x onions, halved and peeled
- 1 x can whole, peeled or diced tomatoes (optional)
- 2 x bay leaves
- 1 x bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ bunch fresh or dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a large crockpot or slow cooker and set the heat to high.
- Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat setting to low.
- Allow the stock to cook for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24-48 hours or more, (depending on the size of the bones, chicken will need less, lamb and beef can cook for longer). The longer the bones brew the better! Remember to keep topping up the water you as you don’t want it to boil dry.
- Turn off the cooker and allow the stock to cool slightly.
- Strain the stock through a fine mesh metal strainer and throw away all the debris (I often keep the chunks of meat if they’re easily removed, and add them into a soup)
- Place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge (for up to a few days) or pour into freezer-safe containers for later use. I also freeze some in ice-cube trays so that I can add a couple of cubes to cooking as needed.
When the broth is fully cooled, look for a gelatinous consistency. That means your broth is gelatin-rich! Sometimes the gelatin breaks down if the cooking is longer or hotter and your broth won’t appear gelatinous, but it is still full of gelatin and other wonderful minerals. I don’t skim off any of the fat, I heat my broth and drink it warm. If you like, you can skim off any fat that has risen to the top and solidified – this is lard – don’t throw it away use it in your savoury cooking in place of cooking oil. It has been proven not to form cancer causing aldehydes when heated, whereas vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, canola and to a degree, olive oils do.
Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net