Last week I finally bought myself a slow cooker with a good ceramic base…..
I’ve got to say, now I’m hooked and I’ve been making the most amazing bone broths and soups to help support and nourish my digestive and immune system. I have always been making my own broths and stocks using my usual 10 litre stainless steel stock pot – but now it’s so easy I just set and forget. Making your bone broth is as easy as making a bowl of porridge – it’s that simple.
Bone broth is not only a winter staple meal, it’s also a key ingredient in gut health. It can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles. I love adding seasonal vegetables of the moment, which makes them more into a complete meal as well as taste purely delicious.
While generally made from organic chicken or beef bones, my full proof version uses grass fed oxtail that provides loads of nutritional benefits that come from its gelatin and mineral rich properties. I remember my grandparents and mum constantly making oxtail or chicken soup for us when we were young – especially when we were unwell. The tradition has been carried on by yours truly and it’s a staple in my kitchen all year round.
WHAT IS BONE BROTH?
Unlike regular chicken or beef stock, bone broth is usually simmered for 24 – 48 hours, giving the stock enough time to extract all the nutrients from the bones to create a magical elixir that does wonders for your health. As a young chef, I remember the saucier at our restaurant used to start his stocks beginning of the week and he would simmer over a gentle heat for around about 2 – 3 days, making sure to extract all the goodness from the bones, meat and vegetables used.
Incorporating grass fed beef in your diet will help you build a strong immune system due to its high antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Grass fed beef contains significantly more antioxidants and healthy fats than grain fed beef, which helps support healthy cell membranes and function.
When slow cooked as in this recipe, this succulent and rich protein source creates a potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting dish that’s brimming with essential minerals including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
4 HEALING PROPERTIES OF BONE BROTH
1. Bone broth is anti-ageing
Bone broth contains high amounts of collagen that forms the structural building blocks of strong skin, giving you a youthful glow. Collagen also supports hair growth, skin regeneration and assists in keeping your nails strong.
2. Bone broth is bone building
Vital minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in bone broth is important to help create and maintain strong and healthy bones.
3. Bone broth supports your gut
Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in gelatin. Gelatin is essential for connective tissue function – it literally acts to heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.
4. Bone broth is anti-inflammatory
The long cooking time for bone broth breaks down cartilage and tendons releasing anti-inflammatory compounds, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, that are found in expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. These compounds keep your joints young and flexible.
HOW TO MAKE MY SIMPLE BONE BROTH
1.8 kg grass fed oxtail, chopped
6 Liters water
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 onions, halved
1 leek, sliced
1 bunch parsley stalks
3 black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
Preheat your oven to 200 / 400 F.
Place oxtail into a baking dish and brown in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until golden.
Remove oxtail from the oven and carefully place them into the stockpot.
Add onion, carrot, celery, leek and water to the pot.
Fill the pot with water and place over a medium heat.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
Add parsley stalks, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme.
Cover the pot partially and allow the slow simmering to begin.
Simmer partially covered over a low heat for a minimum of 6 hours ( the more the better) If you have a slow cooker simmer for 24 – 48 hours, skimming the broth regularly to remove any surface fat and scum. Add more water if necessary.
Remove the oxtail and strain the bone broth through a sieve or muslin.
Discard the solids.
Refrigerate the bone broth overnight and remove all the excess fat that solidifies over the top. Your cold broth should look like a jelly at this stage and be full of goodness.
Heat the broth over a stove and enjoy “au naturel” or as a base for soups or sauces.
Notes + Inspiration
- Add 3 star anis, 3 cloves, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves garlic and 2 sticks of cinnamon and a little tamari to your bone broth when simmering and use as a base for a delicious Pho soup. All you need to do is add oxtail meat from the bone, spring onion, noodles and coriander.
- Use as a base for the most delicious French Onion Soup.
- I don’t add vinegar as it will make the stock cloudy.
- Stock will keep for for 4 days in the fridge.
And that’s it! This bone broth is ready to heal your gut, flavour your favourite risotto or saute your veggies!
Want to know how to heal your gut and re-discover perfect digestive health? Perfect Digestive Health is available from The Healthy Chef eStore HERE.