You Can Buy Bones for Your Bone Broth: Backs, Necks, and A Shank

BoneBrothBonesSo maybe you don’t have a stockpile of bones in your freezer left over from prior meals, ready to be thrown into a big stock pot for a batch of bone broth. Here’s what I do when my bone provisions are low—I roast up some chicken backs and necks with one beef shank that I buy at PCC Natural Markets. Price for all three should be $9- $10, even for organic. Check with the butcher at your local grocery store to see if they have necks and backs available. If I want to make a big pot of stock, I  will do this on a day when I am roasting a whole chicken, so I can also add those bones. You can’t have too many bones. And if you run out of time, toss the newly roasted bones in the freezer and save for a day when you do. Click here for our full bone broth recipe post.


Turn your oven to 375-400 and roast the necks and backs until the meat is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes.

When I put the roasted bones and meat in the stock pot, I remove the skin from the necks and backs.  Here I’ve added a sliced onion to the bottom of the roasting pan so there is less grease for clean up. Roasting can be also be done on a sheet pan with several pieces of parchment paper for less grease on the pan to clean.

Sometimes I just gather up the edges of the parchment with all the cooked bones, after skin has been removed, and put the parchment “bundle” right into the pot. Then I use tongs to pull out the parchment sheets. Since I am going to be skimming the fat later, it doesn’t matter if some of the fat from the parchment goes into the broth. That way you also capture the marrow from the beef shank which is highly nutritious.

Meatballs with Bonebroth

Having bone broth on hand will give you more options with meal configurations. Here I’ve used bone broth with a bit of marinara to make a cross-over dish, something between a soup and a sauce for our Confetti Meatballs. The meatballs are full of vegetables and plenty of protein with both beef and lamb. Add a touch of grated parm ( I keep Trader Joe’s freshly shredded aged parmesan in my refrigerator; it keeps for months) and you have a delightful dinner for your family with leftover meatballs. Just warm the cooked meatballs on the stove in the broth for a few minutes and add a touch of marinara (or our Easy Tomato Compote). Ready in minutes for a great weeknight dining solution.


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