How to make bone broth

Craving something warming to build up your immune system and boost joint health? There’s nothing better than a steaming mug of homemade bone broth infused with immune-boosting astragalus.

Bonus: I’ve included two versions of my recipe for Astragalus Immune-Boosting Bone Broth – one recipes uses your stovetop and the another utilizes your slow cooker. Feel free to go with the recipe you find most convenient. The best part – simmering this bone broth for hours on your stove or in the slow cooker makes your house smell like heaven on earth.

The Benefits of Bone Broth

Bone broth has been made by many home cooks for decades – just ask your grandparents – in order to make full use of the bones left over from cooked meat.

This shifted with the appearance of convenient, store-bought stock bouillon, which usually contains more preservatives and artificial flavors than any real nutrients. People started using processed stock cubes in lieu of homemade broth.

Luckily, bone broth is easy to do once you get the hang of it and the health benefits you’ll reap are worth the time.

You’ll boil down animal bones and connective tissue, resulting in a liquid rich in vitamins and minerals that are extracted from the bones and joints over the long simmer time. Most importantly, bone broth is rich in gelatin, which is formed as the collagen in the bones and joints break down.

Bone Broth Recipe

What is Astragalus?

The astragalus root (also known as “huáng qí” in Mandarin) has long been used as an herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Its main health benefits include immune-boosting, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory effects.

In this case, adding astragalus root to your broth as it cooks makes the benefits of the bone broth much more potent.

Note: Don’t use astragalus if you already have a cold, as it might make it worse.

Recipe Tips

  • While this recipe uses beef bones, you can easily use pork bones or chicken bones as well. If you have bones left over from a previous meal, simply freeze them until you are ready to make bone broth. Broth made from chicken bones will require less cooking time than beef bones or pork bones.
  • Adding vinegar is important as it helps to extract the nutrients out of the bones into the water, which is ultimately what we are looking for. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, you can use lemon juice instead.
  • If using as a base for soups, chowders, risottos or other sauces, use broth as it is and add salt once the final dish is ready.
Astragalus Immune-Boosting Bone Broth | Stovetop Version
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Equipment Baking sheet, Large Dutch oven
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds beef bones
  • 2 cups roughly chopped celery
  • 1 cup roughly chopped onions
  • 2 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 5 large garlic cloves, sliced into halves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley (or a mix of both)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup dried astragalus root
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste
How To Make
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Place the bones in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 30 minutes until bones are nicely browned.
  2. Add the chopped celery, onions, carrots, and garlic cloves to the same baking sheet and roast for another 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Transfer the roasted bones and vegetables to a large dutch oven and pour in enough room temperature water to cover the bones by at least 1 inch. Add fresh herbs, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and dried astragalus root. Add in apple cider vinegar and mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to low, and allow to simmer for at least 8 hours, with the lid off, topping up with a cup of water every 2 hours, until broth is thick and has developed a beautiful golden brown color.
  5. Once broth is ready, skim off any foam that has risen to the top, strain the liquid, and allow it to cool before pouring broth into glass jars and sealing tight. Once cool, it is normal for a layer of fat to form on top (this is a sign of a good broth). Skim off the layer of fat before using the broth.
Notes
Storage Broth will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze it, place it in ziplock bags and lay the bags flat. It will keep up to three months in the freezer.
Slow cooker version of my Astragalus Bone Broth recipe, below.

Astragalus Immune-Boosting Bone Broth | Slow Cooker Version
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Equipment Baking sheet, Slow cooker
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds beef bones
  • 2 cups roughly chopped celery
  • 1 cup roughly chopped onions
  • 2 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 5 large garlic cloves, sliced into halves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro or parsley (or a mix of both)
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup dried astragalus root
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste
How To Make
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Place the bones in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them for 30 minutes until bones are nicely browned.
  2. Add the chopped celery, onions, carrots, and garlic cloves to the same baking sheet and roast for another 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Transfer the roasted bones and vegetables to the bowl of your slow cooker and pour in enough room temperature water to cover the bones by at least 1 inch. Add fresh herbs, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and dried astragalus root. Add in apple cider vinegar and mix well.
  4. Cook on low in the slow cooker for at least 12 to 16 hours, until the broth is thick and has developed a beautiful golden brown color.
  5. Once broth is ready, skim off any foam that has risen to the top, strain the liquid, and allow it to cool before pouring broth into glass jars and sealing tight. Once cool, it is normal for a layer of fat to form on top (this is a sign of a good broth). Skim off the layer of fat before using the broth.
Notes
Storage Broth will keep up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze it, place it in ziplock bags and lay the bags flat. It will keep up to three months in the freezer.
PS: If you’re in a pinch and still want the immune-boosting benefits of bone broth, I recommend Broth Masters. The small-batched, artisanal bone broth is cooked for 48 hours and made from grass-fed beef bones, free-range chicken bones, and potent anti-inflammatory veggies and herbs. Use code HBGIFT to get $15 off your order here.

Craving something warming to build up your immune system and boost joint health? There’s nothing better than a steaming mug of homemade bone broth infused with immune-boosting astragalus.

Resources

Samonina, Lyapina, et al. “Protection of gastric mucosal integrity by gelatin and simple proline-containing peptides.” Department of Human and Animal Physiology, School of Biology, Moscow State Lomonosov University. Apr. 2000.

Zhong, Wheeler, et al. “L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.” Departments of Cell and Developmental Biology, Pharmacology, Surgery and Environmental Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mar. 2003

Fu, Wang, et al. “Review of the botanical characteristics, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Astragalus membranaceus (Huangqi).” Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100193, China; College of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Jinlin Agricultural University, Changchun, 130118, China. Sep. 2014.

 

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