Bad to the bone

The one thing you should be drinking this winter to keep you in peak condition.

Despite the multitude of celebrities crediting the of-the-moment health-providing potion as a remedy for many a malady, it’s worth noting that the benefits of boiling the bejesus out of bones is not new news, it’s simply a confirmation of the old wives’ remedy of ‘eating what ails you’. In this case, extracting the proteins, nutrients and collagen housed within bones and joints that can replenish and strengthen your own skeletal system, via extended periods of simmering – in fact, timing is the main difference between bone broth and stock/broth.

Stock is typically made by simmering bones that have small amounts of meat on them for up to 3-4 hours, ultimately resulting in an excellent source of gelatin. Broth, on the other hand is made with meat, and some bones. After a light boil, anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, the result is a light, thin and protein rich liquid. Perhaps as a hybrid of the two processes, bone broth is made by simmering meaty bones for as long as 24 hours or until they crumble when pressed – all for the sole goal of releasing the gelatin derived from collagen-rich joints as well as the protein and minerals housed within bones. The true mark of a good bone broth is its gel like consistency when cool. Another major difference is that bone broth, more often than not, is well seasoned with vinegar or wine (further assisting in harnessing the bone-y benefits), while the aforementioned stock and broth is kept mild until the time of use, not over-salted for example, in case it’s going into a saucy reduction.

Unsurprisingly, with its many salubrious benefits, from skeletal protector to healer for the damaged gut, ally in the fight against food intolerances and allergies and an overall immune booster especially welcomed during the season of the dreaded lurgy, while you can boil up your own with the help of this, we’ve ventured far and wide to find a quartet of bone broth specialist, eagerly waiting in the wings to dispense your savoury dose of health on-the-go:

1. Ripe Deli
Renowned for their consistently delectable offerings, don’t look past Ripe’s chicken bone broth. Served warm from their steaming cauldron, a takeaway cup full is a regular accompaniment to our midday meal that we’d gladly consume for the flavour factor alone.

2. Best Bone Broths
A regular at the Grey Lynn Farmer’s Market and La Cigale French Market, here you’ll find handcrafted, small batches of organic chicken and organic beef bone broths with a touch of organic NZ apple cider vinegar to draw out every last nutrient from the boney confines. Also available both in-store at Huckleberry, find out their most current whereabouts here.

3. A & J’s Divine Bone Broth
Based in Ellerslie, Angela and Jean offer a certified organic chicken bone broth as well as a chicken and beef bone rendition, that’s been slowly simmering away for a minimum of 26 to 50 hours, that can be ordered online and picked up or, alternatively, they’ll ship anywhere in the country for a small fee. To find out more, click here.

4. Restore Bone Broth
The Tauranga-made Gutsy Beef is a tasty tonic that combines filtered water, organic beef bones, Bragg apple cider vinegar, Himalayan mineral salt, organic peppercorn as well as a good handful of time, patience and love. To get a litre or two delivered, click here.

5. The Essential Broth Co
Brewed locally using all New Zealand ingredients, this rendition uses meaty bones from duck, organic chicken and grass-fed beef. To find out more, visit their website here.

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