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I’ve had a lot of requests lately inquiring about how I make my bone broth, so I thought I would share my method for those of you who are curious. I believe consuming bone broth an integral part of the Autoimmune Protocol, because it is a nutrient-dense, gut-healing food. Bone broth is a rich source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, as well as gelatin and collagen. In addition to drinking in the morning with breakfast, I like to have broth on hand to add extra nutrients to a lot of my recipes.
I always make my broth in a pressure cooker, simply because it is the quickest way to do it. Originally, I simmered a large stockpot on the stove for a couple of days straight, but I didn’t sleep well knowing the stove was on. Also, more often than not my broth would not gel when cooled (a sign of the concentration of gelatin in the stock, which we look for due to its gut-healing properties).
Once I started to experience the effects daily broth consumption was having on my health, I decided to invest in this pressure cooker in order to make the process a little easier. I’ve used this cooker every week since I bought it two years ago, sometimes more, to make broth. There are many things you can make with a pressure cooker, but honestly, I only use mine for broth, and I found the expense well justified! Other people like this cooker, which is a combination pressure/slow cooker–I’ve never tried it, nor do I own a slow cooker, but I have a couple friends that have it and love the flexibility.
Once you have a pressure cooker, you need to source some bones. Bones from healthy animals (pastured and/or grass-fed) can be easy to come by if you know where to look–sometimes its as simple as asking your butcher or farmer if they have any they are willing to sell you in bulk for a good price. If you can request certain types of bones, beef knuckle bones make great broth, but don’t get caught up if they are not the “right type”–any bones will do, as long as the source is good. I always save bones leftover from cooking bone-in meat and throw them in a bag in my freezer. I never worry about keeping the same types of bones together; everything eventually makes it into the pot!
Fill the pressure cooker to the fill line with water, add a bay leaf and a splash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is necessary to help draw the minerals from the bones. I don’t salt my broth–I like to leave it unsalted so that it does not impact the saltiness of the dishes I add it to later.
A big tip I learned after making broth for awhile, is that you don’t need to use fresh bones every time you make broth. This blew my mind the first time I read it, but it made sense, especially with the larger beef bones that don’t seem to break down after one cooking. I pick through the bones after each batch, and save the ones that are still intact. Every time I make a new batch, I’ll add a fresh bone or two to the others that I have saved in the freezer.
I think the best advice to get broth that gels consistently, is to make sure you have as many bones as you can fit in your pot. I like mixing large beef bones as well as smaller chicken bones because you can get more in there, plus the flavor is more complex. The less water, the more concentrated and stronger your broth will be. If you get a batch that doesn’t gel, don’t worry–stick it on the stove and let some of the water boil off. Some people are purists and like “beef broth” and “chicken broth” to add to specific recipes… for me, broth is broth, and I try not to get too hung up on the details!
Using a pressure cooker, let the broth cook at high pressure for three hours. When it is finished, I let it depressurize naturally and then strain the liquid. This is when I pick through the bones and save the ones that are intact, and toss the ones that have turned to mush. I like to store the broth in glass mason jars in the fridge. If it is particularly fatty, I will remove some of the solid fat at the top of the jar when I go to use it, but I usually leave a little, and it helps the broth keep longer. Generally, broth is fine for a week or two in the fridge. You can also freeze it, but be cautious if you use glass jars–I have definitely had some explode on me. It is safer to use BPA-free plastic containers, if you are going to freeze any.
Of course, this is not the only way to make bone broth–you can either make it on the stovetop the old fashioned way, or use a slow cooker. Hopefully, if you were looking to troubleshoot your broth making, this article has helped you get some ideas!
Ask me your bone broth questions in the comments below!