“Good broth will resurrect the dead.” –South American Proverb
“Stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done.” –Escoffier
In an ever-changing culinary landscape, I have come to depend on my daughter-in-law to keep me abreast of the latest food trends, which seem to be driven largely by her millennial generation. Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, paleo, organic kale, “The Organic Kitchen” and “Wellness Mama” blogs, microbrews, sustainable wine, house-made sodas, artisanal coffees and bacon-flavored chocolates, cara oranges, coconut oil, almond milk, ghee and sriracha are just a few of the things I have learned more about when visiting her kitchen over the past couple years.
Most recently, she served up a hot bowl of egg drop soup made with what she referred to as “bone broth”, a new trend that has been simmering for the past few years and has bubbled over onto the stove tops across the culinary landscape. Marco Canora, the chef behind “Hearth” restaurant in New York City, is credited with getting the “bowl rolling”, opening a broth window in the city called “Brodo” where they serve three different “chef-crafted broths” in a cup to go.
“We feature three core broths – Grass Fed Beef with Ginger, Organic Chicken, and Marco’s signature broth, Hearth,” it says on the website. “In addition we have specialty broths such as seaweed vegetable and a line-up of add-ins so you can customize flavor while adding nutrition.”
“Broth” in English, “brodo” in Italian and “bouillon” in French, “bone broth”, like so many other old food items, has been resurrected from the ancient past when pots of broth were always kept simmering on the back burner for road weary travelers. With its earthy, tribal and paleo-sounding name that would make our great grandmothers chuckle, bone broth has been referred to as the “magic elixir du jour.”
Considered the first ever comfort food from the hunter-gatherer time of cave men, bone broth is made by boiling the bones of healthy animals along with vegetables, herbs and spices for long periods of time, usually 24-48 hours. It is the long simmering of the bones that creates a dense and nutrient-rich stock or broth that is high in protein and minerals, rich in collagen with beauty benefits for the skin, hair and nails and known to boost the immune system and improve digestion.
Below are two recipes to help get your bone broth bowl rolling:
Egg Drop Soup (made with bone broth and taken from The Organic Kitchen)
1 ½ cups homemade chicken stock*
1 tbsp. sliced green onions (greens not bulb) or baby kale, spinach, etc.
Avocado, sliced (optional, but delicious!)
- Place broth in a small pot on high heat, bring to a boil
- While broth is heating, slice onions. Add onions to broth.
- Slice avocado.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl, use a fork to break yolk and mix egg just a little.
- When broth boils, turn down to a simmer, gently pour egg into broth while stirring
- Wait 60 seconds turn off heat. Pour into a bowl, add avocado. Serve
*For our egg drop soup we whisked in a flour-butter paste (2 tablespoons each of butter, flour and sour cream smoothed into a paste) into the homemade stock, giving it an added flavor and then proceeded with the directions above. It was delicious!
Brodo Beef Broth (taken from Wall Street Journal’s: “Beef Brodo Recipe: Adapted from Marco Canora of Hearth, New York”)
3 pounds bone-on beef stew meat
1 turkey drumstick
4 quarts cold water
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
¼ bunch parsley
½ tsp. black peppercorns
1 cup canned, crushed tomatoes
- Place beef, turkey and 4 quarts cold water in an 8-quart lidded stockpot and bring to a boil, covered, over high heat, about 20 minutes. Decrease heat to medium and move pot so it is partially on burner and broth bubbles just on one side. Continue to simmer broth, uncovered, until clear, about 30 minutes, skimming fat and impurities from surface every 5 minutes.
- Add celery, onions, carrots, parsley, peppercorns and tomatoes to pot and simmer, uncovered, until flavors develop, about 2 hours. Strain broth, discard vegetables and reserve meat for another purpose. Salt broth to taste and serve warm