I’ve been experimenting with bone broths recently, was off doing research on auto-immune issues and bone broths were being repeatedly recommended. The theory is that by slow cooking bones (from any animal) for an extended period of time, nutrients are released from which the bones, ligaments, cartilage and marrow are made e.g. amino acids (particularly glycine, beneficial for reducing inflammation), minerals (such as calcium), chondroitin (beneficial for cartilage issues such as osteoarthritis), collagen and hyaluronic acid (necessary for good skin).
Ask at your local butchers for bones, a bagful cost me 50p and any sort is fine although marrow bones or oxtails seem the most beneficial. The frugal amongst us will love[more] it even more as it gives us a reason to keep and freeze carrot peelings, celery heads, onion skins and bones from previous meals (e.g. chicken carcasses, chop bones etc). In particular the outer part of onion skins are richest in quercetin, another brilliant anti-inflammatory and recommended for intestinal or inflammatory issues.
To make it just chuck bones, vegetables, herbs, into a slow cooker (or large saucepan), cover with water, add a couple of tablespoons vinegar and just leave for a couple of days (keeping an eye on water levels) at a low temperature. At the end strain and discard the lumpy bits. The fat could be skimmed off but there is really not that much and this too is beneficial anyway.
The broth can be drunk as it is but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do that so I use it everywhere I’d use stock.
By Saffron Rogerson
18 June 2014