The witch’s cauldron, a mysterious, sometimes frightening symbol of a witch’s power. Some witches do keep a cauldron to cast spells, but I am not a spell-caster.

I can’t speak for all witchkind, but I can tell you what’s in mine most of the time: bone broth!

Bone broth seems to be trendy now. I’ve heard outrageous claims of people paying $6, $12 and up for a cup of nourishing bone broth!!  What???


Bone broth is extremely easy to make. I make it in my Crock-pot all the time. Sometimes I even have Perpetual Soup going in there, especially in the winter when it makes a fast side dish, a recipe ingredient or even a substitute for a cup of coffee in the evening.
So here’s the big secret to making bone broth:

Hedgewitch Bone Broth Recipe

  • Bones from a recent cooked meal.
  • Water
  • Spices
  • Vegetables

Put it all in your Crock-Pot and cook it on warm for 24 hours. Strain your soup and enjoy!

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Left overs from a chicken and ribs meal as the scratch for bone broth.  Unfortunately, I managed to have most of the bones at the bottom of the bowl in this picture…

Yep. That’s it!

Them Bones

The easiest bones are chicken bones after you’ve had rotisserie chicken. I find they make the best broth. You just throw the whole chicken cage into the pot.

The absolute best bones to use would be collagen -heavy bones (think: knuckles and feet). Amazingly, some butchers will just give you these parts, but make sure you roast them first. You should always used cooked bones for bone broth for full flavour.

Just a note: if you use high-collagen parts, your bone broth will probably be gelatinous at room temperature. Do not worry, that’s actually a sign of very high quality bone broth.

But really, for every day use you can use anything and if you’re making perpetual soup, just keep tossing them in the pot as you have them.

What Vegetables?

Whatever you like. I usually use scraps and leftovers and toss them in as we have them. I also tend to add a carrot or parsnip or two, and turmeric root. The only think I don’t put in are leafy veggies like lettuce and broccoli (but my husband does when he makes it sometimes, and it turns out alright).

Some people are very particular and shun putting scrap veggies in the broth. These people are real chefs, not Hedgewitches!  😆

chef-4
This is a chef.  He will not put those tomatoes into his bone broth.

If you are going for a more hip flavour, the less that goes in, the better.

Spices

You can put in what you like. I almost always put in two bay leaves & some peppercorns. Garlic is another bonne choice.

The Strain

Because the bones have been cooking for so long, they get super-soft and there’s a small risk (especially with chicken bones) that it will leave little splinters in your broth. I often strain it through coffee filters or cheese cloth to get the clearest, purest broth possible. You can pick out some veggies if you like. I often put carrots in whole, so they are easier to fish out. They taste great, having been slow cooker in bone broth for so long.

Storing it

I usually put it in a big jar and keep it on hand in my fridge–if it lasts that long!

You can also freeze it in freezer bags, freezer storage containers or jars (if your familiar with how to use jars in the freezer).

I often just treat it like perpetual soup, adding different things to it as the week goes along, making sure to keep enough water in it to replace what I’ve taken out (you just leave the crockpot on low, it doesn’t expend much energy at all and your house smells amazing all day).

Also, it’s important that you quickly cool the soup to store. Bacteria looooooove broth. Seriously, in undergrad we grew lots of nasty bugs in plain old chicken broth for our microbiology experiments.  And not the good bacteria either. Using a shallow dish helps, you can even stir in a few ice cubes to help cool it down. It really won’t dilute the flavour.

Is Bone Broth a Miracle Food and Cure-All?

No. Bone broth is rich in protein-sourced amino acids, it contains vitamins and minerals, and it comes in a very digestible format. That is it’s trick. It’s not going to magically cure your arthritis or build collagen (where do people get this stuff??), but it’s an easy way to deliver vitamins and minerals to your body where your body will figure out where they are needed most.

I use it a lot when we have sickness in the house because it is so easily accepted by a cranky stomach. Even when a sick person doesn’t feel like eating much, bone broth is a clear fluid that’s gentle on sore tummies that can deliver important vitamin and minerals during a time when it may not be easy to acquire them. (See my article on the HedgeWitch Cure for the Common Cold.)

It can also be very soothing and comforts in when you have a cold, and again, helps to deliver important nutrients in a very easy-to-digest form.

Otherwise, it’s just another simple food that can contribute to overall health. And it’s easy to have on-hand, and versatile for recipes.

And, I find it makes my homemade food taste better than commercial broth.

So there you have it. The secret of the witch’s cauldron–mine, anyway!

And there’s also this business, but we’ll talk about that another time!
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