So maybe it doesn't quite feel like winter yet, but it's certainly the right time to start diving into the tasty world of bone broth. Sure, you can call it stock, since bone broth is basically the base of soup made from delicious, nutrient-filled bones that simmer for hours and hours until magic happens. But why should you jump on this trend?
"It's an elixir of sorts," says Kate Kavanaugh, CEO and co-owner of Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe. "Bone broth is rich in collagen and gelatin, both of which are crucial to repairing and maintaining healthy gut function as well as beautiful skin and healthy joints. The amino acids and trace minerals found in bone broth are great for your immune system, mood, sleep cycles, and reducing inflammation in the body."
Aside from the health aspects, bone broth is great for warming up on a cold morning, providing a little protein snack during the day and filling your belly when you don't necessarily want to eat any more holiday ham. Not too many places offer real, pure bone broth à la carte, but these four places do it right.
1606 Conestoga Street, Boulder
At this Boulder butcher shop and market, guests can buy two types of bone broth. The first will be made with either lamb, bison or beef bones, all depending on what's in stock; the second is a poultry broth. "The bones from beef, bison and lamb are the most dense in nutrients and popular," says chef/owner Hosea Rosenberg. "But we also do bird broth with chicken, duck and turkey bones that are roasted separately and then put together in the same pot to simmer. That version is secretly my favorite.”
No matter what flavor you choose, each batch gets made with roasted bones, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorn and a sampling of other organic, seasonal vegetables such as parsnips or leeks, then simmers for 48 hours. Order a cup of bird or beef broth for $4 or a quart for $12.
Just Be Kitchen
2364 15th Street
Jennifer Peters offers a healthy cup of beef-bone broth at her paleo-friendly restaurant for those looking to get a boost of Omega-3s and protein without filling up. "We cater to so many people who have food allergens, so we have a true broth," she says. "We don't season it at all since there are so many people who can't have onions and other ingredients." Instead, if customers want to amp up the flavor of the liquid they can take a spin at the restaurant's bone-broth bar. This includes two choices of healthy additions such as scallions, garlic, ginger, sea salt, butter, jalapeños and tallow.
To make the bone broth, Just Be starts with bones from grass-fed steer, which simmers for around 48 hours. "I think that the process of how we get the marrow out of the bones is part of what makes it so good," she says, adding that it's so collagen-rich you don't even need to add the toppings. "I think it's really tasty when you extract everything from the bones." Just Be's beef-bone broth sells for $6 for a cup, $8 for a pint or $15 for a quart.
1420 East 18th Avenue
You will find bone broth on the drinks menu as a specialty item at this City Park West eatery. Owners Terese and Mark Nery tap into their Chinese-American and Filipino roots for their original recipe. Each batch is made with bones from roasted, free-range chickens and turkeys, which simmers overnight with roasted onion, ginger and star anise. The next day the broth is finished with Red Boat fish sauce and salt.
"I haven't had bone broth at any restaurant in town, but have had some store-bought," says Mark, who also uses the broth as the base for the restaurant's congee. "What makes ours different is that we use a lot of bones, which give body, not just meat, which gives flavor. Plus, ours will solidify when cooled because it has more collagen."
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Next time you're in for breakfast or lunch, you absolutely should add it to your meal in either a 12-ounce or 16-ounce mug, for $3.99 and $5.99, respectively.
Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe
3326 Tejon Street
3350 Brighton Boulevard (inside the Source)
If you could drink velvet, it might taste like the luscious bone broth from this butcher shop, and we mean that in the best possible way. The liquid coats the tongue with creamy fat, while remaining restorative and satisfying. The reason this bone broth proves so darn good is because of, well, the bones of the operation. Each batch simmers for at least 48 hours and is made with two pounds of roasted, 100-percent grass-fed, local beef joint bones for every quart of water. The smallest dash of apple cider vinegar is added, which, says Kavanaugh, helps release the minerals in the bones.
"When you're using 100 percent grass-fed beef bones, it means that any fat in the broth is also going to be high in Omega-3s," she says. "It's one of those foods that fires on all cylinders, a sort of catch-all to help your body function at its best." Not only that, but it's delicious. Get it year-round at both the LoHi and RiNo butcher shops for $15 a quart or $6 a cup. When you buy the latter, you can also add a booster such as lemon-ginger-turmeric or mushroom-thyme. Or, for $1 extra, throw in a cube of rendered bone marrow. Just don't be surprised if it comes in the shape of a Star Wars character.