How to make your own bone broth

Bone broth, or stock as we call it in the UK, is a rich source of gelatin, enhancing protein absorption, plus important trace minerals. For those who can’t eat much dairy, stock is also an important natural source of calcium. incredibly healing and nutritious, it’s worth making and freezing so that there is always some to use for soups, stews, or just on its own as a health boost.

You’ll need bones (either from roasts, or stock bones from butchers’ shops) Large, sawn up beef bones make the best stock. Chuck a couple of whole unpeeled onions, unpeeled carrots, celery stick, and whatever else you like in too – the more nutrients, the better, plus it all adds to the flavour.  Bay leaves, peppercorns, and herbs are great too.

Place all of your ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Stocks benefit the most when cold water is heated slowly, so it’s best not to try and save a minute or two by preheating the water. Place the pot over medium heat until water has reached a gentle simmer. Then adjust heat to its lowest setting and allow stock to simmer for at least 12 hours, though a full 24 hours will draw even more nutrients into your stock (beef generally needs more time than chicken) Remember to only allow the stock to simmer, never boil. Boiling can affect the flavour, texture and nutritional value. You could prepare it at night, refrigerate, then put on for the whole day as soon as you get up,

When your stock has finished simmering, remove it from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Strain it to separate the liquid from the solids. If you want an exceptionally clear broth you can use a fine strainer, but otherwise any strainer will do. Strain the liquid into a large bowl (preferably one with a lid or cover for easy storage). Set aside meat and vegetables to use for soups or casseroles later. If you have left the stock simmering all day, and strain just before bed, leave somewhere cool overnight, covered.

The fat in the stock will harden as it cools, and rise to the top of the bowl. You can skim off as much fat as you like. You can freeze extra stock in an airtight container and keep it for several months, so you can easily save more time by cooking large amounts at once and then storing the rest in the freezer.