Valley Bounty: Bone Broth

For a long time I used the words “stock” and “broth” interchangeably, until I had the historical definitions explained to me: “broth” is, generally speaking, liquid that has had meat steeped in it, while “stock” is liquid that has had meat and bones steeped in it (so, what we call “bone broth” today would traditionally be considered a kind of stock). Simmering the bones from a whole roast chicken or some local beef for a long time draws gelatin and minerals out of them, making for a nutritious and richer final product.

You can certainly simmer your leftover bones on the stovetop, but using a crock pot really simplifies the process. I usually throw the bones in along with onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, rosemary, bay leaves, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a handful of peppercorns—you can really be creative with flavors and ingredients at this stage. I’ll often simmer the whole thing together for as long as 24 hours—the longer it goes, the more flavor and nutrients are pulled out of the bones. Bone broth is a great base for soups, or it can be eaten as a meal on its own (I do this a lot when I’m under the weather). Make it in big batches and store it in the freezer for later use.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)