We’ve been drinking bone broth for years. Although, truly, if you want to get technical about it, we’ve been eating it for decades, because we grew up on soups of all sorts, most of them divined — alchemical-style — out of a pot full of water, some vegetables, and a big pile of bones. Bone broths have sustained us through childhood sicknesses, broken hearts, and most recently, through some nasty bouts of autoimmune crises. In so many ways, bone broth is life-sustaining.
This is one of many reasons we’ve been ecstatic about Chef Erwin Tjahyadi’s new Pasadena restaurant, Bone Kettle. You might recognize Tjahyadi from his Komodo restaurants, and like the flavors there, Bone Kettle is also about creating something new out of the familiar.
Bone Kettle is a return to Tjahyadi’s Indonesian roots, so his broth is bursting with garlic, ginger, and almost herbal-tasting Indonesian spices. He boils it for 36 hours, creating a rich, deeply flavorful broth that glistens with gelatin.
Although there is only one broth as base, Bone Kettle offers a number of protein options to add in. There is prime top sirloin, ginger seared chicken breast, prime fatty brisket, braised ox tail, and crispy tempeh. The chicken, brisket, and ox tail are all customer favorites, and we’d be hard-pressed to choose our own favorite from those three.
The broth at Bone Kettle is made gluten-free and celiac-friendly. It’s served with wheat noodles, but it’s easy to sub those out for rice. The restaurant has recently updated their menu to include even more GF options, and we find ourselves going back for the spicy papaya salad, the beef ribs, the steak tartare, and (at lunch) the rice plates (with chili roasted corn, poached egg, fried onions, cucumber tomato salad, sautéed mushrooms and protein).
But What If You Can’t Get To Pasadena?
We realize not all of our readers live in the Los Angeles area. For you, we suggest to you a cookbook (brodo: a bone broth cookbook, by Marco Canora), and we offer you a recipe (from Dr. Mercola):
- 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
- 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 quarts filtered water
- 3 celery stalks, halved
- 3 carrots, halved
- 3 onions, quartered
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Sea salt
- Place bones in a pot or a crockpot [ed. note: the Instant Pot works great!], add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
- Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
- Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
- Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you’re not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
- During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
- Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
- Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.
*Just remember, while you’re drawing vital minerals and nutrients out of the bones in the slow-cooking process, you’re also leaching out heavy metals. Buy your soup bones from quality vendors, and ensure they’re organic and pasture-raised/grass-fed.
Don’t have the 8 – 18+ hours to whip up a batch yourself? When we can’t get to Bone Kettle or make our own broth from scratch, we like the bone broths from Kettle and Fire. Unless we’re in a huge rush, we spice them up with a huge chunk of sliced ginger, some extra garlic and turmeric, and an added pinch of sea salt.