[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] D[/dropcap]o you struggle to get organized to make broth or stock on a regular basis? Well as my friend Rico says, ‘I hear ya honey‘!
I used to be the same.
Having a good supply of home made stock seems like such a great idea because the store bought stuff is never as good. But there’s also the ‘too much effort (and waste) for not enough reward’ perception.
These days, however, I’ve been loving my stock making. Especially with my Monday Night Soup project I wrote about recently.
What Caused the Change?
1. I got a good system for collecting bones.
Basically I have a large ziplock bag in the freezer labelled ‘bones’. Yes, I thought long and hard about that one ;) So now whenever I cook something with bones, they go straight into the freezer bag.
2. I developed a good workflow.
Like most of cooking (and life) having a good system and practicing makes a huge difference. Now that I have my system I look forward to my stock making days.
3. I discovered the ‘remy’.
One of my gripes about broth / stock making was disposing of all the bones afterwards. It seemed like so much waste. Then I discovered the idea of a remouillage or remy for short. Basically, it’s a weaker broth / stock you make with the bones after you’ve made the original batch of full strength broth / stock.
There are still the bones to discard at the end but it feels more worthwhile when I’ve made this extra batch.
What’s the Difference Between Bone Broth and Stock?
There’s a lot of talk about bone broths these days and really the two terms can be used interchangeably. Although for me a broth is something you’re planning to be drinking on it’s own or as a simple soup. Whereas a stock is something you use as an ingredient.
When making stock / broth the bones provide the minerals and gelatine (to give the body) and meat on the bones provides the flavour. So broths tend to include more meat but I don’t get too worried about it.
How I Make Bone Broth (Stock)
Like my recent post on making muesli for my boys, this isn’t so much a recipe as a work flow. There are no right or wrong ways to go about this. Every batch I make is slightly different but that’s part of the beauty.
makes: how long is a piece of string?
takes: 1-2 days
enough bones to fill your stock pot
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
optional extras (see variations below)
1. Place bones in your pot (mine come straight from the freezer). Cover with cold water, leaving about 2 inches from the top so the broth won’t boil over.
2. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. If you can be bothered, skim any foam from the top and discard it. I often don’t bother but removing this fat and protein makes for a clearer stock so I try and do it a couple of times.
3. While the stock is coming to the boil prep your veg and add to the pot.
4. When the stock has boiled, reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered for 4 – 12 hours. Top up with some boiling water if the level reduces too much. Remove from the heat and cover. You can refrigerate in the pot or just leave on the stove top like I do.
1. Remove bones from the pot using a strainer or skimmer and place in another large pot or a really big bowl (like I do) and save for your remy. Bring broth to a rapid boil to kill off any bacteria that have grown overnight.
2. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a heat proof jug (I do this in batches). And then transfer the strained stock into storage containers (I use glass jars about 2 cup capacity). Remember it will expand when frozen so leave some space. Seal jars / containers and pop in the fridge to cool.
3. When the fat has solidified you can remove it and save for other cooking. Or just leave it on (like I mostly do).
4. Broth will keep in the fridge for up to about 5 days (sometimes I leave it longer but I always make sure it gets a good boiling before consumption). Keeps for months in the freezer.
Day 2. The Remy
1. Place your saved bones back in the stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for as long as you’ve got (4-12 hours). Don’t top up with water because you want to concentrate the flavours.
2. Remove and discard bones. Strain remy through a fine sieve into storage containers or directly into a large saucepan to make a batch of soup (like I usually do.). If storing, refrigerate or freeze as per the full-flavoured broth.
optional extras – bunch thyme, bunch flat leaf parsley, can diced tomatoes, vegetable peelings.
more chicken flavour – include some chicken wings with your bones.
more flavour – roast bones in the oven until well browned. 200C / 400F for about 60 minutes is usually enough. I generally don’t bother but sometimes I do and it makes a richer darker stock.
more body / gelatine – add some (well scrubbed) chicken feet!
short on time – You can do everything in the one day if you like. Or skip making the remy at the end.
stronger flavoured remy – add an extra carrot, onion and stick of celery to the bones.
Like to learn more?
The best resource I’ve come across is a little book called ‘Brodo – a bone broth cookbook‘ by New York Chef Marco Cannora. It contains a whole host of broth and soup recipes (including vegetarian broths) and is well worth checking out.
And you might enjoy my 7 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Soup.
ps. Want to win a copy of my print book ‘5-Ingredients 10-Minutes?
I really want to hear from you!
What’s your favourite Stonesoup recipe?
Let me know in the comments below.
The winner for June will be judged on and announced next week.
I have a bone container in the freezer as well. My method is to put the bones and any extras (veggies, bay leaf, etc) in the crock pot and leave it on low overnight. Strain, cool, and freeze the next morning. Easy peasy!
Nice on Laurie!
I think one of my favorite recipes here would have to be your butternut soup recipe. Too hot right now, unfortunately!
It’s wonderful with a homemade broth like this, though, especially with any extra herbs and veggie scraps you might have lying around.
Yum Lauren! It’s perfect soup weather here… need to make myself a batch
Speaking of soup… A couple of weeks ago, I discovered your chicken and brown rice soup – I love how simple it is! My colleagues also loved it when I made it for our weekly team soup day! I have made it with chicken, but also with pork which made for a much richer soup. I also use a combo of brown rice and quinoa in the soup. Delish!!!
Your subscriber email asked for ways to improve stonesoup so I’ll also add that here. I love the regular weekly email and look forward to it each week. I enjoyed this week’s email because there were multiple links to your blog posts – I like emails with lots of interesting links and it is a good way to drive traffic to your site. I get the nytimes cooking emails and there are 15+ links in each and I’ll usually click at least half! No clicking fatigue when it comes to interesting good articles or recipes!
Love that you have a weekly team soup day OS! And thanks for the suggestion – really appreciate it :)
My wife, Kathy, enjoys your recipes as she gets to eat when I make them!
Simple enough that even a bloke like me can make scrumptious meals!
We actually have bone broth every morning and night. :)
Peter and Kathy
Make that home made broth! :D
Lucky you Peter & Kathy!
I really enjoy your website, Jules. The recipes and ideas are simple but very interesting, without huge ingredients lists that would have appealed to me when I used to cook for a husband and frequent guests – who all seemed to arrive hungry.
Then my husband died and I moved to a small condo in a small town and few people come this far out to visit. I had lost interest in cooking and was looking for something to inspire me now that I’m cooking for one. It’s not that easy to find. Then I discovered your website and I am enthusiastic about getting into the kitchen again. Your recipes are just what I needed – appealing without being at all daunting.
It’s still hard adjusting to eating alone, but at least I’ve accomplished the first step – I’m now in the kitchen again!!! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.
Good for you Moira! Cooking for one is certainly different but you deserve it! Glad Stonesoup is helping you :)
Jules, I have a couple of questions – what about the smell of cooking bones? I always find that a bit much, as my kitchen fan is not as efficient as I would like, and it makes the house smell. My podiatrist-who is also a doctor and great cook- says that soup made from bones is actually good for your bones and people with osteoporosis would benefit from it.
My other question is unrelated, how well do we digest nuts and seeds? Thanks for the great recipes, now I’m cooking for one it helps to have the simpler recipes too.
I like the smell Jan! But if it bothers you keeping the pot covered will help. And with nuts and seeds I guess it depends on the individual and different ones will work in different ways
Hi Jules, we use a pressure cooker for the bones and drain with a colander lined with cheesecloth. It makes a neat package of bones to throw out, and strains at the same time. Just a couple of options for your readers. I was not aware of remy. It is is something we will try next time. I also like your no sugar and paleo options. We don’t have any major alergy issues, we are just trying to eat healthier. Thanks Jules.
If you have a pressure cooker it’s a great idea Sue!
Here’s a solution for what us ‘zero wasters’ can do with used up bones: put them in a pan in the bottom of the oven when you’re cooking something else. Do this a few times. The bones will become sufficiently weak and brittle to crush them up and use as a source of lime in the garden (the ‘bone’ in ‘blood and bone’). Start with a hammer and then they can go in my high-powered blender (a Thermomix is what I use).
If you start with clean bones, they can sit in the bottom of the oven until they’re ready without causing smells. I send mine through the dishwasher.
Wow had never thought of that Jacqueleine… thanks for sharing
I love your site. I have been following you for about three years now. You are my go-to when I tell people about great cooking sites. I have always had great experiences with your dishes, and you have made it fun, easy and healthy to cook. I now look forward to cooking instead of dreading it. What a relief since I like to stay health and financially savvy, but would get overwhelmed with cooking and just eat out to eat instead. I LOVE the variations. They make cooking so much easier and have helped me learned to cook with what I already have.
I just made your low-carb, high-fat fudge and it was AMAZING! My boyfriend could not believe the low sugar content. It has also been super helpful for me because I have had a big of a sweet tooth lately, and its helped me get my fix without feeling bad about it. If this recipe impresses my boyfriend and his family here in Austria, it must be a keeper as they have high food standards!
Also, I wanted to throw out a suggestion. I often have certain ingredients I am looking to cook with, so I use your search box on your site, but it just takes me to the Google results that have your site name and whatever ingredients I searched. This takes a long time to sort through, especially since a lot of your posts have several things in it. For example, your post titled, “7 surprising reasons to ear more soup” is a post about eating more soup with a broccoli soup recipe at the end. If I search “broccoli” on your site, it shows up as “7 surprising reasons to eat more soup” as a Google results page, but does not show the recipe. So if I searched “broccoli” on your site, this post would come back, but I would have to open it and read the whole thing before finding out what on the page has to do with broccoli. I highly recommend you optimizing your search option on your site. I also have a blog, and one of my best friends does all the plug-ins for me for situations just like this. It has been amazingly helpful. Please let me know if you would like her info :) I think this would really help people when they are looking for recipes with certain ingredients.
Cheers and keep up the awesome work!
Thanks for the suggestion Ferryn! I’m totally open to a better search option :)
I try to make stock regularly and store my bones in containers in the freezer. I also get more out of the bones by doing the second batch, usually I let it cook in the slow cooker for about 24 hours. I have learnt though that if freezing the stock in glass jars into the freezer, that it’s important not to overfill the jars. Ask me how I know! Lol
Nothing like experience as a teacher Julie!
Hi Jules, not sure which is my favourite recipe, but it would be the one which gives endless energy! My daughter has just had a baby and feels her get-up-and-go has got got-up-and-gone!
So which recipe should I choose?
Good question Sue… but if your daughter isn’t a vegetarian something with red meat would be my choice because pregnancy is tough on iron levels which can lead to that zapped feeling :)
Hands down, it has to be your zucchini frittata. It’s a crowd pleaser.
Hi Jules. I generally have the bones from a roast chicken or two in the freezer (the roast chicken cemetery, my husband calls it). When I have three carcasses, I add water, an onion, bay leaf and the limp carrot and celery inevitably in the fridge and make stock. So easy when you have an afternoon at home. I quite like the smell, it’s like soup cooking.
I like the smell too Kristen!
subject close to my cooking heart.i make heston’s chicken stock recipe.i get frames from vietnamese butcher and couple kilos of wings.the butcher has meat bones as well which i will now try.i turn my stock into iceblock form and freeze in bags.generally a batch last a month of morning pho and other recipes.a stock cube with vermouth is julia childs secret for making great sauce.been some good reads on bones and what to do with them.like returning to garden idea the best.i can imagine the wife going wtf are those bones doing in the dishwater.hahahaha
Nothing like a nice cup of bone soup. It’s great for hangovers too