Cook the Book

Bone Broth From 'Nom Nom Paleo'

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[Photograph: Henry Fong]

Close readers of this site already know that adding lots of meaty bones to a pot with water will inevitably lead to a rich, gelatin-filled stock. Michelle Tam takes this idea even further in her recipe for bone broth in her new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo. In it, she simmers an assortment of bones with fish sauce (for umami) and apple cider vinegar, which is said to help extract minerals from the bones. Tam also provides directions for cooking the stock on the stove, in a slow cooker, and in a pressure cooker, so the recipe can be adapted to any schedule—this is especially helpful considering that she calls for a full 12 to 24 hours of simmering on the stovetop. After all of that time, the bones will be practically falling apart and the stock incredibly flavorful. Paleo enthusiasts drink the bone broth on its on as a restorative meal, but the broth works well in all kinds of soups and stews, as well as the chili we'll be making tomorrow.

Why I picked this recipe: Do any reading about the Paleo diet, and you'll run across countless recipes for bone broth.

What worked: I've got a low-tech kitchen, so I simmered my bone broth on the stovetop for a long 24 hours. But I didn't mind the long wait, since the broth scented my apartment with a wonderful savory aroma.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: I used a mix of oxtail, short ribs, chicken feet, and pigs feet in my broth. They were all easily available at my (admittedly awesome) grocery store. If you can't find quite the same assortment of bones, you can use chicken backs and wings. The mushrooms, ginger, and garlic are all listed as optional. If you want an all-purpose broth, you may want to leave out the ginger. Paleo-friendly fish sauce is any brand that contains only anchovies and salt (Red Boat is Tam's choice).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Nom Nom Paleo to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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