Make Your Own Broth? Yes You Can!

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Dear Jamie,

Hi! I'm living in Israel and I just bought your new recipe book. I see that a lot of the recipes require ready-made chicken and beef broths. I contacted Manischewitz and discovered that they do not distribute these items here. I was wondering if there is anything I can substitute for ready-made broth.

Thank you!

Adina, Israel

Dear Adina,

WOW, it’s always so amazing to hear that people from all over the world are enjoying the book – and what better place than Eretz Yisroel? Thank you so very much for your support.

I tried -- and then had my friends try -- and we called Israeli friends and family to see if there are ANY ready-made broths in Israel. We came up with nothing.

But take heart. There are a few simple ways to make your own broth. Let’s start with the easiest first.

1. You can use soup mix (powder or bouillon cubes) that you can buy at the local makolet (grocery). Follow their instructions on how to simply boil up water, add some of the mix and stir. There you have your broth. Quick and easy. They come in chicken, beef and vegetable flavor. I know Osem makes an entire line, as do several other companies. Follow the instructions to prepare the same amount (in cups) as you need for the recipe.

2. Alternatively, for homemade chicken broth, you can use fresh or leftover chicken soup with the vegetables and chicken strained out. You’ll have a rich and savory broth. For a simple beef broth, boil up some beef bones with water, vegetables and seasonings (garlic and onion powders, s&p and anything else you like). For vegetables broth, same deal: boil every vegetable you can get your hands in a large pot and add seasoning to taste. When making any flavored broth, be sure to let it simmer for at least a few hours to really develop a deep, complex flavor. Refrigerate the broth overnight (this helps seal the deal – the overnight refrigeration helps to “marry” all the many layers of flavor), and the next day skim any fat that has risen to the top and congealed. Then strain out the vegetables, bones or meat. Reserve them for another use (How about chicken salad or vegetable puree?) Then you will have your delicious homemade broth.

Now I know this sounds so not Quick (& Kosher), BUT if you spend one day making 6-10 quarts of each broth, and the next day freezing them in individual 2-4 cup batches, you can have ready-to-go broth for MONTHS on end.

All you have to remember is to let the broth defrost before you plan on using it. And here’s a quick defrost tip: don’t fill your freezer container to the brim – leave an inch or two between the broth and lid. When you need to quickly defrost your broth, turn the frozen container upside down in your sink and run hot water from the faucet over the base of the container. The extra room you left in the container will allow your frozen block of broth to release from the bottom and sides of the container and slide down. Flip it back over, take off the lid and place your frozen broth in a sauce pan on your stovetop or in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave and defrost as usual.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the book! And leave a comment and let us know how your broth in the Holy Land turned out. PS – my first book, Quick & Kosher Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing is being translated to Hebrew and should be available in the coming months. We took great pains to not only convert the measurements but replace the ingredients that cannot be found in Israel with easy to come by products. Enjoy and B’teyavon!