How to Make Pork Broth Two Ways: Classic and Thai Flavors
You don’t see pork broth much in the aisles of your grocery store. Most traditional European-style cooking calls for chicken broth or beef stock, but pork broth is a tasty alternative.
Pork broth has its own unique flavor and can serve as a base for a number of Asian dishes, including soups, stews, and stir fries. A homemade batch of pork broth can last in your refrigerator for a week or so (or you can freeze it for longer) and can add flavor to rice or sauteed vegetables, or even braise a larger cut of pork.
Whether you’re a master chef or a novice in the kitchen, adding pork broth to your list of go-to ingredients will kick your kitchen game up a notch. We’ll share some broth basics, standards for high quality broth, and a simple recipe to help get you started.
If you’ve made chicken stock or beef bone broth at home before – whether in a slow cooker, on the stove top, or in a pressure cooker – you’re most of the way there if you want to make pork broth.
But let’s back up one step and talk about terminology. You might be wondering about the difference between stock and broth. The short answer is that broth is made with animal meat and veggies, while stock is made with bones. Most store-bought stocks and broths you’ll find are runny and watery, lacking the Jell-O-like consistency of a high quality bone broth.
This begs the question about the term bone broth: is it stock or broth? It’s actually a hybrid, as often meat scraps are included in its cooking. But the main and most critical difference between bone broth and the others is the cook time. For real homemade bone broth, the cook time is much longer than for typical broth and stock, and an acid like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice is added at the beginning of the process to leach healthy nutrients from the bones into the liquid.
We know that bone broth is a rich, delicious component of a gut-supporting diet, and the reason for that is collagen and gelatin found within. Collagen and gelatin play a key role in sealing the gut lining, strengthening our immune system, and protecting us from leaky gut syndrome. You won’t find these health benefits (which result from the longer cook time) in the thin, watery stuff at the store. Throughout this post, when we refer to broth, we are talking about bone broth. The pork broth recipe we’ll share today is prepared just like a chicken or beef bone broth.
An animal’s connective tissue (especially a joint) is the most potent source of collagen and gelatin in the body. To make beef broth, you use beef knuckle, often roasting it in the oven first. Roasted bones create a deeper color and richer flavor. To make chicken broth, you use chicken feet or wings, as both are rich with pliable connective tissue. For pork broth, we recommend using pig feet and neck bones. If you freeze your bones after enjoying a meal (which we always recommend, regardless of the type of broth you’re making), you can also toss in your pork rib bones.
We emphasize quality for both the bones and the veggies you’ll use to craft your homemade bone broth. It’s easy enough to find organic vegetables, but finding pastured pork bones or grass fed beef bones might be a little more challenging, depending on where you live.
The first place to look is your local butcher; ask for high quality bones. Start there rather than a grocery store if you can. Another option is to research local farmers in your area to see if they offer direct-to-consumer meats or bones. This way you’ll know exactly where your pork bones are coming from, and they might even be more affordable that way. If your only option is a larger chain market that doesn’t carry pastured pork bones, shoot for organic bones as a second best option.
For the Bone Broth-Making Newbie
If you’ve never made real homemade bone broth before, don’t fret. It’s an easy process requiring just a bit of prep before you turn up the heat. In addition to the bones we’ve already mentioned, most standard chicken and beef broths have a few basic ingredients for flavor: carrots, celery, onions, and garlic.
You can use these same ingredients to make pork broth, but you can also add a few additional ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, and cilantro to a create flavorful base for a thai noodle soup or various other Asian dishes.
We’ll share a simple recipe to get you started.
Pork Broth Recipe
- Large pot (ideally 2-3 gallons)
- Mesh strainer
- Mason jars or airtight containers for storage
- 2 pounds pork bones (ideally feet, neck, and/or rib bones)
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 head garlic, smashed to release flavor (no need to peel)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Filtered water, filled 2-3 inches from the top of the pot
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
Optional ingredients for a Thai flavor:
- 4 scallions, chopped (instead of the yellow onion)
- 2 inches fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, outer layer removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 large daikon radish, chopped
- Rinse the pork bones and add to the pot.
- Add apple cider vinegar and fill with cold water.
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes before turning on the heat.
- Add all other ingredients and turn up the stove to high heat for 20 minutes.
- Once the liquid is at a roiling boil, turn to low heat.
- Allow to simmer partially covered for 6 to 24 hours, skimming the top with the mesh strainer a few times throughout the process to remove any foam or scum that rises to the top.
- When finished, strain broth into jars or containers. Allow the broth to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing for later use.
Switch It Up With Pork Broth
Cooking with pork broth can easily become part of your kitchen routine. The simpler version of our recipe (without the additional Thai herbs and spices) can serve as a healthy base for veggies, eggs, and braised meats. You can freeze small portions using an ice cube tray for ease of use. The Thai version of the recipe works great in noodle, veggie, or seafood soups, and will bring an added sophistication to your home cooking.
Try making pork broth next time you plan to make your own bone broth at home. You’ll be surprised at how delicious it is!
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