The Truth About Stock & Broth: Simple and Healthy Use for Bones

We've all been there! We've just spent hours baking or roasting a whole chicken or a turkey and then in 10-15 minutes the meal is done, and you're left with the dishes to wash, the kitchen to clean, and the leftover carcass to deal with.

I don't know about you, and in all honesty, I've been known to throw away the chicken or turkey carcass in the past. It just felt like too much hassle to do anything else with it.

And when you decide to start growing your own chickens, and other meats, all of a sudden there's all these bones you don't know exactly what to do with!

So, when I started trying to feed my family more nutrient dense food, I started throwing the carcass/bones in a pot with a little garlic, celery, carrots and sea salt, and left it to simmer down to a lovely broth. I would use the broth I made in recipes and my son loved having a mug full when he was coming down with something.

For years I assumed that 'stock' and 'broth' were interchangeable terms for the same thing: liquid flavored with vegetables, meat scraps, and bones, used as the base for soups, sauces and other dishes.

Primary Difference Between Stock & Broth

It turns out there is a slight difference between stock and broth. Both start off the same way: scraps of vegetable, meat, and bone are slowly simmered to extract as much flavor as possible. But there is technically a difference between the two.

  • Broth: is any liquid that has had meat cooked in it. Of course, now broth really is a catch-all for any flavored cooking liquid, including broths made by simmering fish, vegetables, or even legumes.
  • Stock: always involves bones, simmered for a long time to extract their gelatin and flavor. The thick, often-gelatinous nature of stocks is only possible when bones are present. Roasting the bones makes for a richer, more deeply colored stock, but it's not essential to the process.

Seasoning Makes a Difference

Another difference is the seasoning. Stock is a liquid that is left unseasoned for cooking with. But broth is usually seasoned and can be drunk or eaten on its own.

For the most part, a stock should be an unseasoned liquid. Broths, on the other hand, get some seasoning. We add salt; some other spices, like black pepper; and perhaps a splash of wine — all for the purpose of making this neutral stock taste delicious and drinkable on its own.

Get First Hand Experience

There's nothing like seeing, smelling, touching, and eating to experience a new recipe or way to do something new in the kitchen. (It was a HUGE 'click' for me when I started homeschooling my daughter that we all learn differently- some of us are tactile, auditory, visual, etc... or a mix of all. I'm definitely a visual and tactile learner. She was auditory- anything in a song stayed in her brain for ages.)

We are putting on a class at the ranch to teach and show you the difference between stock and broth.

It's really just an excuse for me to tidy up the house and have you over and spend a lovely afternoon smelling wonderful aromas, and visually seeing the recipes take shape, and sampling the goodness that is stock and broth!

And its a reason for you to come spend a lovely afternoon out in the country, to hear the quiet, and see our progress (or lack thereof) on all of our projects!

We'll be in my kitchen, making three recipes, while we chat, share experiences and funnies, and then you'll be able to take a jar of each recipe we made, as well as the recipes.

The class will be held on April 29th from 2-5 pm.

Registration will close on April 21st. We will only be able to take 6 people due to the size of the kitchen, so please make sure to sign up before the deadline.

Click here to register.

We'd love to keep you posted on our other events.

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