Like other food trends, bone broth confounds me. It's promoted as a wrinkle and waist reduction vehicle, sold as capable of quelling hunger pains via sips of warm gelatinous meat juice. Hmmmm. Not for me. But maybe for my wife. She's bought into it, and now practices its demanding sorcery, spending hours combining bones, herbs and vegetable trinities (mire poix) and stirring the pot. When I tried suggesting using my Instant Pot, my wife declined, preferring the old school method of reducing the broth slowly, into the wee hours of the night. And often having to set the alarm clock to turn off the flame!
Being inquisitive about this gelatinous craze, I opened the books of Auguste Escoffier, the chef who codified French haute cuisine. Comparing today's bone broth to Escoffier's fond (or stock), I realized the variations weren't far apart, though he surprised me by adding cloves. If you have an actual butcher and are interested in making it, ask them for the cuts of sinew laden beef knuckles. These are the secret to a great gelatinous finish, and are key to a clear stock. Along with skimming and slow simmer… don't forget to tend to the alarm clock!