Want a simple way to boost your immunity and provide your body with numerous nutrients? Bone broth is the answer! Packed with amino acids, collagen and minerals it is a great addition to your diet for many reasons. Bone broth is not something new, in fact it has been around throughout history in many cultures. The gelatin helps with digestion by healing your gut which in turn strengthens your immunity, the glucosamine and amino acids help with inflammation and joints, it can also help strengthen bones and muscle tissue. Bone broth is soothing and supports intestinal health by restoring collagen levels. Amino acids such as arginine and proline in the collagen help build tissue in the digestive tract.
For 25 years in the restaurant industry we always had giant pots of stock simmering for a day or two at a time, it was typical to have chicken, fish, vegetable, veal and game stocks all cooking at the same time. We knew that the gelatinous texture of the stock added great mouth feel to soups and sauces but at the time I don’t think I realized all the healthy benefits. Now I love to sip a cup of bone broth for lunch either plain and simple or adding grains, leafy greens, vegetables or turmeric for a more complex taste experience.
My local butcher happened to have beef marrow bones but oxtail and shin bones also work well. Different people make stock in slightly different ways and add slightly different ingredient but foundationally the ingredients and process are the same. There are a few key things to keep in mind that will guarantee success then you can add your own variations as you like.
For beef stock I like to roast the bones and the aromatics for a fuller flavor but you can do it without roasting. The most important things to remember is do not add too much water, only add water to just cover the bones otherwise your broth will be thin. Remember to start with cold water, this helps extract more collagen then slowly bring to a boil and be sure to lower to a simmer right away as a rolling boil will result in a cloudy broth that will be less gelatinous. Keep a lid on the stock pot so you don’t loose so much water to evaporation and add more water if needed to keep at the level of the bones. You want to do this on a day that you will be around the house and are able to keep an eye on the progress.
Once the broth is finished we will add ingredients like shiitake mushroom, ginger and green onion which all help support your immune system.
As you make a couple batches of bone broth you will get a feel for it and will learn what works best for you and what techniques you prefer, one thing is for sure, your immune system will thank you.
Shiitake Mushroom – Neutral thermal nature and sweet in flavor, benefit the spleen, stomach and liver while acting as a blood and Qi tonic. Helps to detoxify and dispel phlegm and mucus. Can decrease both fat and cholesterol in the blood and helps discharge the excess residues of accumulated animal protein. A good source of germanium, an element that improves cellular oxygenation and enhances immunity.
Garlic – Sweet, warming, pungent and dispersing, garlic tonifies the spleen and stomach while helping to move stagnant Qi and eliminate toxins. Stimulates metabolism and improves digestion.
Ginger – Warming with a pungent taste, stimulates digestion and boosts circulation. Can relieve congestion in the throat and lungs as well as symptoms of the cold and flu.
Scallions – Warming and pungent with a bitter flavor, can alleviate the common cold or flu. Eliminates toxins, supports blood circulation and serves as a digestive aid.
Bone Broth with Flavors of Ginger and Shiitake
About 7 Quarts Broth
Prep Time / Cook Time
20 minutes/ 12 hours
- About 10 Pounds Beef Bones
- 2 pound Pig Trotter
- 2 Pounds Mirepoix (16 oz onion, 8 oz celery, 8 oz carrot, 6-8 cloves garlic)
- 8 Bay Leaves
- 2 Tablespoon Dry Parsley or 2 Bunch Fresh
- 1 Teaspoon Dry Thyme or about 24 Sprigs Fresh
- 2 Teaspoon Peppercorns
- 4 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 12 Quarts cold water
- Shiitake mushroom, fresh ginger and scallion to taste
- Optional: Soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar and white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roast bones for about an hour, pour of most of the fat but leave enough to toss with the mirepoix. Add large diced mirepoix and continue roasting for approximately 30 minutes. Add tomato paste stirring to evenly distribute and roast one last time for about five minutes. The tomato will burn quickly so keep an eye on it. Add roasted ingredients to a stock pot, a 20 quart size will work nicely but it could fit in two smaller pots if that is what you have. Add 1-2 cups water to the roasting pan and scrap and loosen all the roasted bits from the pan and add to the stock pot. Add bay leaves, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and cider vinegar, along with the cold water or enough to cover the bones. Don’t add much more water than you need to cover the bones or you will end up with a thin broth. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, paying attention not to bring to a rolling boil as this will result in a cloudy broth and break down collagen.
Cover and simmer for 12 hours on low occasionally skimming the fat and foam from top with a small ladle. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discard the solids and allow to cool for about an hour before moving the stock to the refrigerator in small portions so it cools down quickly. Freeze as necessary.
For each serving, simmer eight ounces of broth with a little julienne shiitake mushroom, julienne fresh ginger and sliced scallion, just enough to add a nice accent to the broth without overpowering. If you prefer a more robust broth add a splash of soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar and white pepper to taste.
The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Chinese Medicine, each grain, vegetable, meat, fruit, and spice has unique properties that can be harnessed to help us achieve and maintain balance in our bodies. Our recipes seek to incorporate some of the age-old principles of Chinese medicine into the culinary practices more familiar to the West.