Bone Broth brilliance with the Blocks

These past few weeks, the discussion on bone broth surfaced again in the FIRE Circle.

Bone broth is, for some, a staple food in their kitchens. It can be used in many recipes as bases for soups and stews, and it is a perfect go-to for a little energy perk when you are doing a long fast.

Read our original bone broth circular where we discussed the types of broth, health benefits, and some excellent recipes.

Liz Block, a long time FIRE Circle member and Alongsider, has been making bone broth on a regular basis.  I can remember walking into Liz’s kitchen with the counter covered in all sorts of ingredients, ready for the process of turning it into wholesome nutritious broth.

Now Liz has been making broth long before her FIRE Journey. So, I decided to ask Liz a few questions, and let her explain how she manages the “brothing” process in her home.

When did you start making bone broth?

My journey with bone broth began several years ago when my husband came home with this recipe, given to him by our GP, who insisted that he have a cup of this every day for his painful knees. Well, it was that or more medication. So, it was way before my FIRE Journey that our family started using bone broth.

Bone broth-making day is a huge event in this household, and one that is planned for carefully. Firstly, the right bones must be sourced, loads of vegetables bought, but most importantly, it must be made on a day when I am home, and the rest of the family are not.

The reason for that is because my husband and sons are reviled by the smell of bones, boiling for 7-12 hours, even though I dutifully add Star Anise to ‘sanitise’ the smell.

What do you put into the broth?

When I want to make broth, I first order some bones from our local butcher. He then sources the best quality bones for me to use. We only use free-range beef bones, or a full free-range chicken. (I absolutely love taking those fatty bones after making the broth and boiling them for a short time with curry and onions. Yummy to eat, but not a pretty sight as eating with one’s hands is necessary.)

Interestingly enough, the GP who gave my husband the original broth recipe, recommended using joints from grass fed animals. This may be a problem, as large food retailers will most likely not be able to help you. We have to order specifically from our local butcher. Lamb is more likely than beef to be grass fed. The butcher must saw through the joints to expose the trabecular bone, this is the bone that looks like ‘Aero-chocolate’. It has a fine honeycomb appearance.

Marrow bones come from the shaft of the bone, which is different from the trabecular bone, so try to use the trabecular bones if possible . The ‘honeycomb’ bone contains L-glutamine which is the specific amino acid to heal leaky gut problems. This is why you need the joints, and why they must be sawn open. You will also want to retain the cartilage, sinew and any meaty bits attached.

For the vegetables? You choose the green list vegies you want to add. It took me a long time to realise that mine is not actually broth, but quite a thick soup as I pulverise everything together at the end.

If the budget is tight, use spinach and cabbage as well as anything that is about to go rotten – I have added a cucumber or two if I’ve bought too many on a special.

Be very careful of the turmeric not getting onto your clothes – it’s tough to remove. (I’m thinking of getting my husband a few baby bibs for this purpose…)

Many recipes include some acid, such as apple vinegar (2-3 tbs), which helps with leaching the minerals from the bones into the liquid, but I don’t do that.

Here are my basic recipes – one for beef, and one for chicken:

Beef Broth (more like soup)

Get joints of grass-fed animals. I use Wagyu if I am able to source them.

Boil bones in a pressure cooker for at least 90 minutes or on the stove at medium heat, for 7 – 12 hours. Add Star Anise pods (they ‘sanitise’ the smell of boiling bones and add to the taste.) Cover bones with water and keep filling every hour or so.

Once bones have ‘cleanly’ boiled, remove them from pot and add vegetables of your choice.

I use ‘green list’ vegies and some herbs (of your choice). Examples are: Celery; Spinach; Leeks; Pumpkin; Cucumber; Cabbage; Baby marrows; Tomatoes; Onions; Garlic; Brinjal; Parsley; Basil.


  • Spices with gluten
  • Stock or thickening agents
  • Legumes

Once vegetables are soft, take out the bones and blend using a food processor (I use a stick hand blender).

Calculate how many cups you have made. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of coconut oil per cup. Add black pepper (enhances taste and improves absorption of turmeric).

This makes quite a thick soup as I blend in all the vegetables, rather than broth.

Chicken Broth

1 free-range whole chicken
8 cups of water
4-6 stalks of celery, chopped finely
2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 inch ginger root, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
Ground pepper
3 Bay leaves
(Sometimes I add baby marrows, brinjals and carrots)

Place all the above ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or do on the stove top for 1.5 hours.

How do you store the bone broth?

I generally make a month’s supply and freeze, so about 15 litres at a time.

I freeze the soup in 500 ml containers. We defrost one every second day.

Any special tips that you can give to our Circle members who want to make bone broth for the first time?

Look at the price of buying bone broth – that should motivate you to make your own!

And now for the final question: I heard somewhere that you don’t drink bone broth yourself. Is that true?

Well, you heard correctly. I don’t like the taste and find it far too rich. Plus, I don’t have sore knees… But, of course, chicken soup is a different story! I love that.

If anything, this is simply a ‘labour of love’!

It takes time and effort, but my husband loves it, and the pain relief is worth it.

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