Q: What’s all this buzz about bone broth? How do I make it?
John S., Grover Beach
A: Bone broth is made from animal bones and connective tissue — typically beef, chicken or fish — that have been boiled into a broth and slowly simmered with herbs, vegetables and spices for 10 hours or more.
In other words, bone broth is essentially a very rich stock.
According to the USDA Food Composition Database for Standard Reference, it is a source of protein containing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Making your own bone broth at home can be quite simple.
Start with soup bones purchased from your local butcher, or leftover bones from a roast or a whole chicken or turkey.
Cover the bones by a few inches with water in a large stock pot and add aromatic vegetables if you like, then bring to a boil.
Alternatively, you can roast some or all the bones and vegetables in a hot oven until brown. This added step provides for deeper color and richer flavor.
Simmer your bone broth for several hours, skimming the fat from the top of the liquid every 20 minutes or so.
You can minimize your time commitment by using a slow cooker or pressure cooker to make your bone broth. But simmering on the stove table allows you to observe the process and skim off the fat more regularly.
Once the broth is done and the fat removed, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to yield a lovely clear, rich stock.
Bone broth can be used at once as a hot beverage or as a base for soups. You can freeze bone broth in portions for later use, or pressure can it to be make it shelf stable.
Want to learn more? Attend the “Bone Broth and Beyond” class on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the UCCE Auditorium, 2156 Sierra Way in San Luis Obispo.
The class costs $10. Register at http://ucanr.edu/bonebroth.
UCCE Master Food Preserver Program
Love preserving your own food? Want to learn more about food preservation? The UCCE Master Food Preserver Program is taking sign-ups for an upcoming volunteer training to be held in Los Alamos beginning in March.
For more information, call 805-781-5944.