Bone broth is one of the essential keto-friendly foods everyone should know how to make. It's my favourite cooking ingredient that boosts any meals with flavour, healthy gelatine and minerals, and it's also great on it's own, especially during cold winter months. Drinking bone broth is one of the best ways to replenish electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) and eliminate the symptoms of "keto-flu".
Here is why bone broth is good for you:
- rich in electrolytes (magnesium, sodium and potassium) - helps with "keto-flu"
- rich in other minerals (calcium, phosphorus)
- rich in gelatine and collagen (keeps your joints, ligaments, tendons and bones healthy and reduces joint pain, no need to buy expensive supplements for bone and joint health)
- helps with muscle repair (great for physically active individuals)
- strengthens nails and hair and makes them look gorgeous
- helps heal leaky gut
- fights infections (flu, cold)
- great for thyroid health and adrenal fatigue issues
- reduces inflammation (the main cause of heart disease)
If you don't have time to make bone broth or find it difficult to source grass-fed bones, there are a number of pre-made options available. I recommend Kettle & Fire because it's delicious, non-frozen and shelf stable. They also use grass-fed bones and organic ingredients. You can buy their bone broth online (disclosure: affiliate link).
- (Time to prepare depends on cooking method)
Nutritional values (per cup):
|of which Saturated||3||grams|
|Sodium||1104||mg (48% RDA)|
|Magnesium||120||mg (30% RDA)|
|Potassium||528||mg (26% EMR)|
Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (20.2%), fat (75.8%). The RDAs and EMR for sodium, magnesium and potassium are based on the standard guidelines. You requirements during the first few weeks of the ketogenic diet will be even higher. You should eat 3,000 - 5,000 mg of additional sodium, 3,000 mg of potassium and 400 mg of magnesium. You can read more about electrolytes and keto-flu in my post here.
Ingredients (makes 6-8 cups):
- 3.3 lb oxtail (1.5 kg) or mixed with assorted bones (chicken feet, marrow bones, etc.)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium parsnip or parsley root
- 2 medium celery stalks
- 1 medium white onion, skin on
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt (I like pink Himalayan)
- 8-10 cups water, enough to cover the bones, no more than 2/3 capacity of your pressure cooker or 3/4 capacity of your Dutch oven or 3/4 capacity of your slow cooker
The nutrition facts of this recipe are estimated based on comparison of several similar products. The carbs from root vegetables are only partially affecting the nutrition facts, as they are discarded. The same rule applies to oxtail - the meat is not included in the nutrition facts and the fat is only included partially, as it's scraped off the broth when done.
- Peel the root vegetables and cut them into thirds. Halve the onion and peel and halve the garlic cloves. Keeping the onion skin on will help the broth get a nice golden colour. Cut the celery into thirds. Place everything into the pressure cooker (or slow cooker) and add the bay leaves.
- Add the oxtail and bones. You can use any bones you like: chicken, pork or beef, with or without meat. Because I used chicken and turkey bones with some skin on, the fat ended up being quite runny. You can still use it for cooking but I binned it.
Oxtail is rich in gelatin and contains more fat. Although traditional bone broth is made just from bones, especially beef marrowbones, I found oxtail to give the best flavor to my broth. The advantage of using oxtail is that it will yield 3 superfoods: bone broth, tender oxtail meat and tallow. Tallow is great when used for cooking the same way as ghee or lard.
- Add 8-10 cups of water or up to 2/3 of your pressure cooker, slow cooker or Dutch oven, vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice and bay leaves. Make sure you use the vinegar or lemon juice – this will help release more minerals into the broth.
- Add pink Himalayan salt (whole or powdered). While adding vinegar to bone broth helps release the gelatin and minerals from the bones, pink Himalayan rock salt adds extra minerals, including potassium!
Pressure Cooker: Lock the lid of your pressure cooker and turn to high pressure / high heat. Once it reaches high pressure (either you have an indicator or in case of old pressure cookers, see a small amount of vapor escaping through the valve), turn to the lowest heat and set the timer for 90 minutes.
Dutch oven or Slow cooker: Cover with a lid and cook for at least 6 hours (high setting) or up to 10 hours (low setting). To release even more gelatine and minerals, you can cook it up to 48 hours. To do that, you'll have to remove the oxtail using tongs and shred the meat off using a fork. Then, you can place the bones back to the pot and cook up to 48 hours.
- Pressure cooker: When done, take off heat and let the pressure release naturally for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid.
- Remove the large bits and pour the broth through a strainer into a large dish. Discard the vegetables and set the meaty bones aside to cool down.
- When the meaty bones are chilled, shred the meat off the bone with a fork. If there is any gelatine left on the bones, you can reuse the bones again for another batch of bone broth. Just keep in the freezer and add some new pieces when making bone broth again. Use the juicy oxtail meat in other recipes (on top of lettuce leaves, with cauli-rice or as omelet filling) or eat with some warm bone broth.
- Use the broth immediately or place in the fridge overnight, where the broth will become jelly. Oxtail is high in fat and the greasy layer on top (tallow) will solidify. Simply scrape most of the tallow off (as much as you wish).
- Keep the broth in the fridge if you are planning to use it over the next 5 days. For future uses, place in small containers and freeze.
Tips for Instant Pot/ Pressure Cooker
I love my new Instant Pot! Apart from slow cooking, there are 6 other functions. It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer and can also be used for sautéing & browning.
My favourite way to prepare tasty chicken stock and shredded chicken in less than an hour is in my Instant Pot. Simply place whole chicken into the Instant Pot and add water (no more than two thirds of the capacity of your Instant Pot). Press the "poultry" button and let the magic happen :-)
When it's done and the lid can be released, pour the chicken stock through a sieve and set aside to cool down. Shred the meat off the bones and keep them for quick keto meals such as BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup, Cajun Chicken Stuffed Avocado, or Curried Chicken Hand Rolls. I keep the meat in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days - or freeze for up to 3 months.
You can store the cooled chicken stock in the fridge and use just like bone broth - or you place it back in the Instant Pot, add the bones, skin and cartilages, and run through another 1-2 cycles. This way you will extract more flavour and healthy gelatine!