As winter descends on the northern hemisphere, a new healthy beverage trend is on the horizon. It sits at the intersection of current tendencies toward old-fashioned comfort food, and the lust for primitive paleo diets. And it is most at home in a Mason jar.
Bone broth, which is nothing new to home cooks around the world, is the strained stock that results from boiling animal bones, usually with attached meat, herbs, and vegetables to add flavor. Chefs commonly use the liquid to add flavorful depth and body to soups and stews.
Now celebrity chefs and nutritionists are touting not just the savory, warming appeal of bone broth, but also its health benefits: mood-enhancing minerals, digestion-assisting and inflammation-reducing amino acids, and even collagen for healthy skin and hair. The LA Lakers’ nutritionist, who makes bone broth an essential component of the basketball players’ diets, compared it to a “growth hormone that people inject themselves with” (in a good way).
For the fashion set, bone broth seems to be the new green juice. Gwyneth Paltrow (who calls store-bought stocks “insipid”) included bone marrow broth in Goop’s “winter detox” menu for 2014. The London-based sisters behind the hip foodie empire Hemsley + Hemsley even make tote bags bearing the message: “Boil your bones.” (Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown, pictured here between the Hemsleys, appears to be a fan too.)
Earlier this week, Marco Canora, the James Beard-winning chef and owner of the Manhattan restaurant Hearth and the Terroir wine bars, opened Brodo, New York’s first takeout window devoted to bone broths in the city’s East Village neighborhood—a major green juice zone. He told New York Magazine the stuff has helped him turn around the adverse health effects of “twenty years of eating bread, drinking booze, smoking cigarettes, and working in kitchens.”
At Brodo, a cup of ginger-infused grass-fed beef, organic chicken, or Hearth broth (which comes from two turkeys, 40 pounds of beef shin, and 15 stewing hens) in a coffee-style takeaway cup will cost between $4 and $6.75, depending on the size.
But it’s easy to make at home too. Canora’s forthcoming cookbook will contain recipes for bone broth. Here’s a recipe from Well + Good for a beef bone broth that, like Canora’s, contains ginger, as well as one that’s adaptable for any meat.
And of course, this could be a great way for Americans to make good of all those Thanksgiving turkey bones.