Recommended by Dr Elise Boyar

Bone broth is highly nourishing to the Kidneys and is perfect for the winter season as a base for all your soups and stews. The prolonged cooking of bones in water results in a broth rich in nutritional constituents that promote strength, tonify blood, nourish in times of sickness and rehabilitation, and help to prevent bone and connective tissue disorders. The bones and cartilage of most meats can be used, including poultry, beef, lamb or fish. Quality bones are recommended, such as those from organic meats, and natural, grass-fed beef, with the fat and most of the meat trimmed off.

Place the bones in a stockpot and just cover with cold water. Add a “splash”, or about 2 tablespoons, of vinegar per quart of water or per about 2 pounds of bones. An acid such as vinegar is necessary to extract the minerals and nutrients from the bone into the soup. Garlic, onions and ginger may be added for increased flavour, as well as coarsely chopped pieces of celery, carrot, parsley and other vegetables.

Adding Chinese herbs such as Huang Qi (Astragalus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) will increase the medicinal properties of the broth. These herbs not only enhance the nutritional status of the broth but are flavourful and add to the sweet taste. Huang Qi and Dang Shen tonify the qi, support digestion, build energy, and strengthen immune function. Gou Qi Zi (goji berries) may also be added for additional blood tonification.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Roast bones, uncovered, until brown on all sides, turning every 20 minutes (approximately 1-2 hours, depending on amount and type of bones)
  3. Add bones, vinegar and Chinese herbs (optional) to stockpot with 1 1/2 quarts of cold water, or enough to cover the bones.
  4. Slowly bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer gently
  5. Add peppercorns, garlic, onions and other seasonings of your choice
  6. Cook half-covered, for 4+ hours (12 hours for chicken and 24 hours for beef)
  7. Add more boiling water if necessary when simmering, to keep bones covered
  8. Skim surface to remove scum and impurities if present
  9. Strain and cool broth and store away in the fridge or freezer for when you’re ready to enjoy!

You can use the broth for any recipes that call for stock or enjoy a mug all by itself.