While in Ireland, Sally and I made several batches of bone broth. Finding enough bones to place in a kettle and simmer down to a nutrient-rich concentrate was no problem. In the small village where Sally lives there are at least 3 butchers. This always amazes me. Belfast is the largest town near us here in Maine ( 15 miles towards the coast) and is actually a bit larger than the little town I spend my time in while I am in Ireland. There is no butcher shop in Belfast, there are fine places to buy meat, but no actual butcher shop. We raise lamb, pork, and chicken here on the farm ( as well as having several deer hunters in the family), so the lack of a butcher is not so needful on our behalf. Back in Ireland, it seems that most little towns support not just one but several butchers in a small community. Everyone has their favorite, and all of the little shops seem quite busy. There’s also a fish market, providing a locally harvested catch. Great to go food shopping there, every day a great selection of protein to choose from! Now about those bones. At the butcher shop, I ask for several pounds of bones, usually a mixture of beef and lamb. The animals raised in Ireland are mostly grass fed, which is what I prefer. Back at the kitchen, I toss the bones into a large kettle, cover them with water and add about 3/4 of a cup of organic apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps to extract all of those incredible minerals out of the bones. I let the broth simmer for 4-5 hours, afterward, I strain the broth through a fine-meshed wire strainer. Then, I simmer the broth for another hour or so to reduce it into a concentrate. Why am I simmering bones into a rich dark broth? Bone broth is one of the most nourishing things you can add to your diet. It is super high in minerals- calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, and are in a form that makes it easy for your body to absorb. Bone broth is really good for your gut and helps with digestion, it can actually help to heal your gut lining and to reduce intestinal inflammation. Glucosamine, which is a naturally occurring substance found in bones and in bone joints are vital in building cartilage and connective tissue. The amino acids that are responsible for making collagen and cartilage, proline and glycine, are found in bones. Proline helps to break down proteins for use in creating healthy cells. Glycine, another amino acid, converts glucose into energy and aids in the functioning of your digestive system and the central nervous system. The collagen, which is a protein made up of these amino acids, is the gelatinous substance in bones, muscle, skin, and tendons and in our own bodies often diminishes as we get older. Bone broth can help to restore some of this much-needed collagen in our bodies. Bone broth is really a super food….and tasty. It is valuable to maintaining healthy bone structure, healthy skin, it’s good for digestion, for your muscles, heart, and immune system. Once you’ve made your bone broth, you can freeze any extra and add them to your nutrient rich stews later on. We made a broth and added mushrooms, garlic, and spinach. Honestly, it is a nutrient-rich brew your body will appreciate….so, if you have achy bones and achy joints, try making some bone broth, it may very well help to restore some overall vitality.