What’s old is new again.
"Bone broth," the clear, concentrated meaty elixir that home cooks and chefs have traditionally referred to as "stock" (not broth, which is typically simmered for a shorter amount of time made with primarily meat), has officially become a trend.
Sipping nutrient-dense "bone broth" has become increasingly popular, especially for those observing a paleo lifestyle. Among its proponants, claims about bone broth include the reduction of joint pain and inflammation; prevention of bone loss; improvement of digestion, allergy symptoms, immunity, and brain health; and the promotion of healthy skin, hair and nails.
But, you don’t have to sit behind a hot stove, waiting for the minerals to seep from your steeping bones. Plenty of restaurants around town are already doing that for you.
In fact, if you’re looking for your bone broth fix, here are five spots to fulfill it in Milwaukee:
- The Pfister
Although the Pfister Hotel has been making bone broth for more than 120 years, it has recently embraced the trendier side of the coin, now offering the powerful tonic straight up at Café Pfister. The housemade broth, which is made from beef bones, is uniquely served in the style of Victorian tea in 12- and 16-ounce portions ($4 or $5) with a menu of spice blends. For an additional charge, guests can customize their broth with herb sachets, including orange thyme, black pepper bacon and garlic bay leaf.
- Ramen shops
Ever wonder why ramen is so nourishing? In some cases, it’s because the popular broth and noodle dish is made from bone broth. For centuries, broth from bones has played a key role in the cuisines of many cultures. And today's chefs still pay the technique homage. The tonkotsu ramen at The National Café, 839 W. National Ave. feaures bone broth made from pork trotters and chicken bones, while both the tonkotsu and shoyu broth at Tochi, 2107 E. Capitol Dr. are made with a long-simmering bone broth.
French technique often calls for "double stock," so a high percentage of dishes at Sanford, 1547 N. Jackson St., actually contain bone broth, including most meat-based sauces and reductions. If you’re looking for a more straight-up way to get your broth, try the signature Provençal fish soup made with fish-bone stock.
- The Soup Market
Just head to any one of the Soup Market’s five locations and you’ll find yourself in "bone broth" heaven. The market makes all of the stocks for its soups from scratch (most simmer for at least 10-12 hours, often more) and you’ll find bones in every one (except the vegetable). Your stock options include chicken, turkey, beef, veal, fish and lobster.
- Just about any restaurant that makes their own stock
You may not be able to walk into most restaurants and order a cup of bone broth (and you shouldn't, unless it's offered on the menu). But, you'll find it in a load of dishes from area eateries. Bone stock has always been a chef’s staple. And, in recent years, as more chefs have taken up butchery, the number of kitchens brewing up their own bone-based stocks has only increased. The result? Lots and lots of bone broth just about everywhere.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.