Tag Archives: food

Instant Pot & Stove Top *Bone Broth

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If you plan to use all of your bone broth within a week, a mason jar is perfect for storing it. For longer storage, freeze it flat in a zip-lock bag. I prefer quart bags rather than gallons so that I can use up all of what I defrost.

Bone Broth

Each week as I finish my Monday batch cooking, I start a fresh batch of bone broth. This is an economical step as well as habit that is wonderfully health enriching for my family. It also makes my heart happy since I’m continuing a tradition of the eternally simmering pot that was never absent from the back of my Grandpa Clarence’s stove.

The benefits of bone broth are a popular topic! This amuses me because it is not really a fad, but the resurfacing of a practice that goes back innumerable generations.

It’s popular for good reason. Bone broth is rich in vitamins and minerals to nourish you and your family.  It also contains one amazing element that is generally missing from the Western diet; gelatin!   Gelatin aids in digestion by actually attracting the digestive enzymes to the surface of cooked food particles.  This is a unique benefit because in most cases cooked foods actually repel digestive juices.

Bone broth heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, improves joint function, increases the strength and flexibility of bones, and gives us energy and strength.  It is a perfect staple food that can be used on its own, as a nutrition packed ingredient in many recipes, or to enhance the nutrition of grains and pasta.

To prepare to make bone broth, follow the poached chicken recipe here on my blog or save the bones from a whole roast chicken.

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For variety, every few batches of broth, I roast my bones. After I’ve removed all of the meat from the chicken (pictured above), I place the bones in a casserole and put them under the broiler on low. Turn the bones every few minutes so that they become toasty brown on all sides. Be careful removing the casserole from the oven. It will be very hot!

You can also add the vegetables that you used to flavor your cooked chicken to the broth if you don’t plan to eat them. In addition, save all of the peels and cut ends of vegetables that you use throughout the week in a zip-lock. Any veggies that are just passed their prime for serving fresh but not spoiled are a great addition to your broth. You can even add wilted herbs and lettuce. Change up the flavor of your broth by adding chilies, ginger, citrus zest, cloves or allspice… really anything that sounds delicious. Just remember that the flavors of what you add will be concentrated and will end up in other dishes you cook with bone broth like rice.

Ingredients

bones from 1 organic chicken

cold filtered water

1 cup wine (optional)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice OR 1 lemon cut in half

1 large onion, quartered

2-4 carrots, roughly chopped

3 celery ribs, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf, fresh if possible

all of the veggie scraps and nearly expired produce you’ve saved (remember that cruciferous vegetables add a strong flavor so use them sparingly or leave them out)

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Stove Top Method

Place all of the ingredients in your largest stock pot and cover with cool water and optional wine.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer covered, for 6-24 hours.  The longer you cook the stock, the more nutritious and flavorful it will be. I cook my broth until the medium sized bones crush easily when pressed with a fork.

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Remove your finished stock from the heat and allow to cool until it is safe to handle.  Strain the stock through a colander or cheese cloth into a large bowl to remove the vegetables and bones.  What you have now is an unsalted broth. Do not add salt to your broth until you are ready to use it so that the amount can be adjusted perfectly for each recipe.

The broth can be stored at this point or simmered to reduce it’s volume (I’d rather keep two mason jars in the fridge than 6 or 8!) and make it richer. To reduce it, place the broth back into the stock pot and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 of it’s original volume. The amount you actually yield will depend on the size of your original cooking vessel and how much water you used. In this state, the broth is wonderful to add to sauces but will be too strong to use alone as soup base or to cook rice or pasta. If using the reduced stock in these applications add about 1/2 stock and 1/2 water to your recipes.

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I like to store the broth in different amounts so that I can use or defrost it easily for various recipes.  I freeze larger amounts to use as the base for soups and stews.  Smaller one and two cup amounts can be frozen for making rice or pasta or for single servings of soup, making a ramen style dish that is dramatically healthier than the packaged stuff.  If you use a Ziploc bag for freezing, the bags can be stacked flat when frozen so that they take up the least freezer space.

Instant Pot Method

After much experimentation with the Instant Pot, I have decided it is my preferred method for making bone broth. It is not necessarily quicker but there are other benefits.

First, I don’t like having an open flame on the stove going while I sleep. If I am going to simmer my broth for more than one day, this means I have to refrigerate it multiple times and then heat it again. It’s a pain! I have tried a crock pot as a solution to this open flame problem but I don’t get soft bones and broth that gels as well when I do it this way. Actually I’ve found that Instant Pot broth gels better than both stove stop and slow cooker broths.

I also don’t love the way bone broth smells when it’s cooking, and Audree flat out hates it! Having it contained during preparation keeps the time the house smell like broth to a minimum. One other little note about smell… You will want to invest in a second sealing ring for your Instant Pot if you want to make things like yogurt or sweets in your pot along with bone broth. Because this has a strong flavor, it will imbue your sealing ring with a meaty flavor that does not cause a problem when making stew or beans but is not Delicious in my Greek yogurt. I use my clear ring that came with the pot for savory foods and a blue one that I bought on Amazon for mild tasting foods and desserts.

The last benefit is that my Instant Pot broth comes out much more clear. This is an aesthetic benefit, but something I like as opposed to the cloudy broth that results from long simmering.

To make your broth, place all of the ingredients in your instant pot and cover with cool water and optional wine. You can use a 6 or 8 quart pot without adjusting the amount of ingredients but your yield will be different.  Cover the pot and move your valve to seal. Now set the pot to high pressure for 4 hours using the manual pressure button. Once the 4 hours have passed, press cancel to turn off the pot. Now without allowing any pressure to release, set the slow cook feature on normal for 12-20 hours. It will natural release during slow cooking, but leaving the pressure in the pot for as long as possible helps break down the bones.

When the slow cooking time has elapsed, I always test the bones with a fork. If the smaller to medium sized bones crush easily, your broth is done. If they are still quite stiff, I pressure cook it for a few more hours before straining it.

Strain the finished stock through a colander or cheese cloth into a large bowl to remove the vegetables and bones.  What you have now is an unsalted broth. Do not add salt to your broth until you are ready to use it so that the amount can be adjusted perfectly for each recipe.

The broth can be stored at this point or simmered to reduce it’s volume (I’d rather keep two mason jars in the fridge than 6 or 8!) and make it richer. To reduce it, place the broth into a stock pot and simmer until reduced to about 1/4 of it’s original volume. In this state, the broth is wonderful to add to sauces but will be too strong to use alone as soup base or to cook rice or pasta. If using the reduced stock in these applications add about 1/2 stock and 1/2 water to your recipes.

I like to store the broth in different amounts so that I can use or defrost it easily in various recipes.  I freeze larger amounts to use as the base for soups and stews.  Smaller one and two cup amounts can be frozen for making rice or pasta or for single servings of soup, making a ramen style dish that is dramatically healthier than the packaged stuff.  If you use a Ziploc bag for freezing, the bags can be stacked flat when frozen so that they take up the least freezer space.