I fell in love with ‘bone broth’ long before I found paleo, thanks to the patient teachings of a couple of wonderful French chefs who dedicated themselves to preparing stocks worthy of Carême and Escoffier.
What we paleos call “bone broth” is stock. It’s the foundation of traditional French cooking, and forms the basis of the best soups and sauces. (Brown sauces like Espagnole and Fond Lie are made with beef and veal stock, and can be progressed to demi glace, and to a variety of finished sauces including Charcutiere, Chasseur, Madieira, Colbert, or Robert to name a few. Veal, chicken, and fish stocks are the basis of the white sauces Veal Velouté, Chicken Velouté, and Fish Velouté, which can be progressed to Allemende, Supreme, or White Wine sauce, and then to such wonders as Chaud-froid, Toulousse, or Normandy.)
If you arrived at stock-making through the paleo movement, you’ve discovered a wonderful opportunity for both your health and your cooking. If you ever find you are choking down straight unseasoned stock for the many benefits it offers your health but hating the taste of it, there’s no need! This liquid gold can be easily seasoned, or developed into spectacular sauces and dishes. You might not realize you’ve already gone further than most commercial kitchens these days. You’re racking up culinary points as fast as paleo points!
The rule of the bone:
Your butcher will know how to saw bones for stock. The best stock bones are cut to short chunks, to create more surface area, for better browning and more flavour. Try for grass-fed whenever possible.
Tip for fast cooling:
Rapid cooling is important for food safety once you remove your stock from the heat. I pour the stock into a large metal mixing bowl floated in ice-water and stir until cooled. Then it can be portioned out into containers for freezing.
Seasoning a stock:
Stock is delicious on its own with just a bit of seasoning (experiment with Pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and your favourite herbs or spices OR saute lardons with garlic and fresh rosemary and add this mixture to your stock). I store my stock in the freezer, and I don’t season it until I am ready to use it. That way I haven’t limited its use to any one purpose and I can develop it any way I like after I thaw it out – whether to drink from a mug, or to make a soup or stew, or to make a sauce. When freezing stock, label the container with the type of stock (e.g., “brown” or “fish or “chicken”) and the date. IF you plan to use your stock immediately and you want to season it, season during the last half hour of cooking so the flavour will be retained.