Perhaps you think of bone broth as a hip trend, or perhaps you reminisce about your grandmother’s chicken stock as an age-old cure for ailments. Either way, bone broths, stocks, and broths are perfect for giving our systems a boost in the face of recent erratic weather that has wreaked havoc on immune systems and allergies.
What is the difference between bone broth, stock, and broth? Interestingly, there is no agreed-upon set of definitions to distinguish them from one another. Epicurious provides some rules, but it’s clear they’re up for debate: broth is cooked for a short time (maximum of 2 hours), with a high ratio of meat to bones, and the goal is to create a light, flavorful liquid for making soups. Stock can be a mix of meat and bone and is cooked for a medium length (4–8 hours), and the goal is to extract the collagen to create a thick base for sauces, soups, and other dishes. Bone broth is usually made from roasted bones and is cooked for a long period of time (15–24 or more hours), and the goal is to extract as much collagen and minerals from the bones as possible — bone broth is intended to be consumed on its own. All three are made with aromatic vegetables and water, in addition to the meat and/or bones.
If you decide to make any of them from scratch at home, your first step is to decide if you want a thinner broth that you can make quickly or a thick stock/ bone broth that takes a longer time. Next, decide whether to use chicken, beef, or another source of protein.
From there, you can add any combination of aromatic vegetables and herbs. Think onions, carrots, celery, and garlic as just a few examples of aromatic vegetables (for more, read this past article of ours.) Some bone broth purists would tell you to include no herbs and a minimal number of vegetables, but a whimsical home cook might recommend adding anything from apple cores to carrot tops to cilantro.
Visit your meat farmers at market to ask them about their packs of soup bones and get their recommendations. Check in with your vegetable growers for their suggested aromatics and herbs.
No matter how you choose to prepare your broth, stock, or bone broth, you can make it in large quantities to stock-up on; divide and freeze it for later use!
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.