I see a gazillion people out there asking about the difference between broth and stock, and another gazillion who think its the same thing. It is, and yet its absolutely not.
See, they both do the same thing in terms of taste and flavour, but thats where the similarities end.
A stock and a broth start out the same way, but where as you would finish off a stock just a few short hours later, the broth keeps going for a day or even two to get all the valuable nutrients out of the bone and in to the broth. Stock is great to flavour soups and sauces, broth can be used in the same way, but oh my goodness (pun intended) the nutrient value is just oh so much better.
Can you buy broth? Not really unless you find a stall that sells it, most broth you find in a supermarket etc is actually stock. I used to make all my own stock anyway, so taking that extra step to make broth was not a big deal at all. The only adjustment I made was investing in a slow cooker, Im just not comfortable leaving stuff on the stove while I sleep or when I leave the house. A slow cooker is a safer option (in my head at least).
There are probably as many versions of stock / broth recipes out there as there are personalities, but here is my version!
In to a large pot or slow cooker, put:
- 1 good quality chicken, organic if you can get it, if not, at the very least get free range.
- 2 small onions, no need to chop, just slice in half
- 3 carrots, if organic, don’t bother peeling, just wash and pop the whole thing in (if not organic, peel and trim the top and bottom off).
- 3 stalks of celery, if organic, pop in as is, if not , trim top and bottom off.
- 1 parsnip. Im not a huge fan of parsnip, so I add only one, you can add two, but be aware if you add 3 the broth will taste of parsnip.
- 3-4 garlic cloves (optional). No need to even peel, just plop them in the pot.
- a good amount of good quality salt, I use himalayan pink salt, use whatever you usually use, if you are a “normal table salt” user, take some time to investigate the health benefits of a good quality salt. You will thank me for it. I promise.
- Black pepper, yum. It needs it, add a good amount.
- Add enough water to cover your chicken.
NOTE: You are supposed to add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help the bones release their nutrients, I don’t always bother doing this with chicken, but for other bone broths you should absolutely do this and let the bones sit in the cold water with the vinegar and bits in for about 30 minutes before turning on the heat.
Set your slow cooker on high, or if in a large pot on stove, bring to a boil. If your chicken is good quality there shouldn’t be much scummy stuff to remove, but look out for it and spoon off as needed (Scummy stuff looks like dirty dishwater, browny bubbly stuff, its the impurities leaving the chicken). Once this is done you can lower the heat if its a pot on the stove, leave a slow cooker on high.
Slow cooker version:
After about 4 hours, remove the chicken from the pot and take the meat off. Add all the bones and bits back to the pot. At this point I also like to taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed. Lower slow cooker temp to low. Add more water as needed. Then give your broth another 12-24 hours. Keep an eye on it and add more water as needed. Once done, strain the bits out and discard (I use a rice strainer for this). If you want to remove the fat you can let it cool in fridge and then remove the fatty top layer. I leave mine in and freeze in small portions.
Stove top version:
After about 1-2 hours, remove your chicken from the pot and take the meat off. Add all the bones and bits back to the pot. At this point I also like to taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed. Make sure your broth is at a very gentle simmer, on my cooker lvl 2-3 is perfect. Add more water as needed. Give your broth another 12-24 hours. Keep an eye on it and add more water as needed. If you need to go out for say 2-3 hours, you can turn the heat off and turn it back on once you return. If you sleep with the cooker going, make sure you add water before bed, and please be careful.
Once your broth is done, strain the bits out and discard (I use a rice strainer for this). If you want to remove the fat you can let it cool in fridge and then remove the fatty top layer. I leave mine in and freeze in small portions.
Boil for 2-3 hours only after removing the meat. This is insanely good still, its just not broth.
How to use it:
Regardless of if its stock or broth you made, you can use it the same way. I add it to anything I can think of! I use it to boil my quinoa and millet, I use it to make sauces and obviously soups. I also drink it in a cup in the evenings, and its actually delicious! Add a spoon of tumeric for even more health benefits.
Use beef, pork or lamb bones (pre roast for yummy flavour). Boil these for 24-48 hours. After discarding the bits you can save the bones and use them for a second batch!
Add herbs, ginger, and other flavourings.
Always use good quality bones, you don’t want the hormone fed on antibiotics standing in the dark animal bones, you want the happy kind, from animals who roam free and eat grass the way nature intended.
I added tomatoes in the one above to see how it would affect the flavour, pretty nice 🙂
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The idea that bone broth (cooked for anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days or more) is super-nutritious has been debunked by lab analysis quite a few times in recent years, yet the myth lingers. It is high in collagen, which is definitely healthful, but there really aren’t a super-abundance of vitamins and minerals, compared to homemade stock or meat-and-vegetable soup simmered for only 3 or 4 hours–which also contains plentiful collagen. Longer cooking isn’t necessarily better. Cooking animal bones until they disintegrate might not be such a great idea since they can harbor harmful elements such as traces of lead, which will then be released into the broth.
Not so sure its a myth. Many are crazy about the stuff. Myself included. Maybe perhaps because of the collagen? Ehler Danlos is a connective tissue disorder where the collagen is faulty. My daughter feels way better with bone broth in her diet then without. As with all things on the internet we all have to do our own research and come to our own conclusions.
And obviously you need to use the healthiest bones you can!