There’s nothing I like more than a nice steaming mug of bone broth to get me through the cold winter months. It warms me from the inside out and it’s so good for you: check out why in these great posts by Mark’s Daily Apple and Balanced Bites.
I have a recipe for simmering bone broth in the slow cooker and my mom routinely makes a pot on the stove but sometimes I just want a bowl RIGHT NOW. If you haven’t guessed, patience ain’t one of my strong suits.
Enter the pressure cooker.
According to foodie scientist, Harold McGee:
A pressure cooker is a special pot that seals tightly and traps hot steam to build the pressure and temperature.
In other words, stocks and stews that normally take hours to cook are finished in just 1/3 the time in a pressure cooker. I don’t use my pressure cooker for everything but I do love stewing braised veggies and meaty bone broths in it. Why? Because these dishes just turn out better andfaster. It’s quite remarkable how pressure cooking can transform meaty, collagen-filled cuts like oxtail and cross shanks into fork tender cuts in less than an hour.
(Although the new generation of pressure cookers are safer than the old ones, please read your instruction manual carefully and check out these helpful tips from Mr. McGee. You do need to babysit the pot and you can’t wing it.)
I’ve got great pressure cooker recipes for Welsh Beef Stew and Phở that I share in my iPad cooking app, but here’s a simple recipe for a flavorful bone broth that’ll be ready in less than an hour. And, yes, it does gel in the fridge. Just throw in a few chicken feet or joint bones and your broth will be all jiggly.
Here’s what to gather to make 8 cups of broth:
- 2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut in half crosswise (I buy the pre-trimmed ones from Trader Joes’s)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into three pieces
- 2.5 pounds of assorted bones (I use a mixture of chicken and pork bones from the freezer or cross shanks and oxtails)
- 8 cups of water (enough to cover the bones but not more than 2/3rd the capacity of the pressure cooker)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (Update: I don’t normally add apple cider vinegar anymore)
- 2 tablespoons of Red Boat fish sauce (much better than salt, IMHO)
Here’s how to make the broth:
Dump the veggies in the pressure cooker (make sure it’s at least 6-quarts).
…toss in your bones (frozen is fine)…
..cover with water (make sure you don’t fill more than 2/3rds capacity!)…
..and fish sauce.
Lock on the lid and turn the dial to high pressure. Place the pot on a burner set on high heat. Once the indicator pops up showing that the contents of the pot have reached high pressure, immediately decrease the temperature to the lowest possible setting to maintain high pressure (low is normally adequate).
Set the timer for 30 minutes (I let it go for 50 minutes if I’m cooking meaty shanks or oxtails). If I’m not in a rush, I set my Instant Pot on high pressure for 2 hours—the broth only gets better with more time.
When the timer dings, turn off the burner and remove the pot from the heat. Let the pressure release naturally (10-15 minutes).
Remove the lid…
..skim of the scum (if you desire)…
..and strain the broth.
I don’t parboil the bones to decrease the scum because I’m lazy. Plus, there really isn’t that much left after you strain it.
Faster and more flavorful than other methods. Really.
Looking for recipes and resources? Head on over to my Recipe Index or my Resources page. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).
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