I make stock almost every week, not just because our family flies through quarts of it so quickly, but also because keeping a ready supply of mineral and gelatin rich broth in the freezer for when illness unexpectedly hits is important in order to facilitate rapid recovery without meds.
Getting sick and realizing there is no homemade bone broth to be found in the freezer gives quite the sinking feeling, I can assure you! Simply running out to the store to pick up some canned or tetrapack soup or broth is not going to solve the problem – not by a long shot! These industrially produced products even if organic are just water and MSG with little to no nutrient value and certainly no gelatin!
There is nothing worse than a tummy bug striking your children and knowing that a pot of gelatin rich stock that will halt the illness in its tracks is a full 24-48 hours away. Unless, of course, you can quickly source the right kind of fishheads, then a pot of stock can be ready in as little as 4 hours.
With plenty of stock on hand for whatever your cooking or wellness needs might be, the next question is how to source quality bones at a price that is within a typical family’s food budget.
The highest quality pastured pork bones for making homemade stock tend to cost between one half and three quarters as much as grassfed beef bones or pastured chicken in my experience, particularly if you source an entire hog.
Some might question how pork bones could make good pork broth given the fattiness of the meat. Culinary purists consider soups and sauces made with fatty stock to not yield the best results, but this problem is easily remedied by chilling pork stock in the refrigerator which will allow the congealed fat to be removed from the top of the container of stock with a spoon.
If you’ve never tried pork broth or pork stock before, why don’t you give it a try? Here is a very simple and basic pork broth recipe to get you going, inspired by the beautiful book Beyond Bacon, Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog, by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry,
Basic Pork Broth (Pork Stock)
3 lbs pastured pork bones
Put all of the bones in a stockpot and add enough filtered water to cover.
Cook on high until the water comes to a boil and scum rises to the top. Cook for 5 minutes.
Dump the entire pot of water and refill with fresh filtered water, enough to cover the bones. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and bring the water to a boil once again.
Carefully skim off any foam that comes to the top. It should be minimal given that the water with most of the scum was dumped in the previous step.
Reduce heat and simmer on low for 9-24 hours.
Remove the pot from the heat, strain and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Let cool and then refrigerate in one or more airtight containers. Skim the congealed fat off the top of the chilled pork broth the following day. Use this clarified pork stock as the base for soups and sauces the same as you would use chicken or beef stock.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist