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Published January 21, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
The simple flavors in this are fantastic, plus you will have plenty of leftover cooked meat to use in other dishes. You will love how many different recipes you can use this in.
Brodo is Italian for, “broth.” It is used in a myriad of classic Italian dishes and is as foundational as stock is to fundamental cooking. The unique combination of meat and bones in brodo, as well as the option to add in different proteins, gives it an amazing flavor.
The techniques used for brodo are critical to ensure it stays clear, like a consommé. This is a basic principle to making this dish and you achieve it by not stirring it. The meat in the brodo helps to clarify the broth where a basic beef stock uses all bones which creates a thickened gelatinous like cloudy liquid.
Ingredients for Brodo
- Protein: You can make a one protein brodo like just chicken or just beef. However, you can use a combination of proteins, even including ham. It is vital that use a combination of bones and meat when making it.
- Onion: A yellow, white, red, or sweet onion will work.
- Celery: Just a few stalks of celery cut into 2” inch chunks.
- Carrots: Peeled carrots that are cut into large 1” to 2” pieces.
- Tomatoes: I prefer to use Roma tomatoes that are cut in half lengthwise.
- Garlic: A few garlic cloves will work, no need to smash them.
- Bay Leaf: You will only need 1 bay leaf for this recipe.
- Parsley: Always use Italian flat leaf parsley for this.
- Peppercorns: You can use a combination of colored peppercorns or just all black.
- Cloves: Whole cloves add some great flavors to this.
How to Make Brodo from Scratch
Use these easy-to-follow instructions for making homemade brood from scratch:
Add some oil to a medium-size frying pan over high heat until it begins to lightly smoke.
Next, add an onion sliced in half cut side down onto the pan with oil and turn the heat down to medium-high.
Sear the onion for about 2 minutes or until it is very well caramelized. Remove the onion and place it in a large stockpot.
Add the cuts of meat, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, peppercorns, tomatoes, bay leaf, and cloves to the stockpot along with the onion and 1 gallon of water.
Bring the brodo to a boil over high heat.
Skim the scum off the top of the brodo and then simmer on low heat for 2 hours. Return to skim the scum every 20-30 minutes.
Using a ladle, remove the liquid from the brodo one ladle at a time and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into another pot or storage container until all the liquid is strained.
Discard the vegetables and feel free to use the cooked proteins in another recipe.
Cuts of Meat to Use
- Beef: Shanks, neck, oxtail, shoulders, short ribs, bones, and top round.
- Chicken: Back straps, legs, thighs, drums, bone in chicken breasts (skin on or off).
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 3 days ahead of time.
How to Store: Once cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and using.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of brood to a medium-size pot and heat over low heat until hot. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
chef notes + tips
- The leftover meat that is in the brood can absolutely be cut up and used in your favorite recipes. If you have no use for it right away, cut it up and then freeze it for a later date.
- Skimming the scum is when you use a spoon to remove the impurities from the vegetables and protein in the brodo and discarding it. You do this evert 20-30 minutes until the brodo is done cooking.
- Do not stir the brodo, it is to remain untouched other than skimming the scum.
- It is imperative that you ladle out the brodo instead of pouring it through a Stainer to ensure it stays clear.
What to Use It In
Homemade Brodo Recipe (Italian Meat Broth)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 peeled yellow onion sliced in half
- 2 pounds of beef shanks
- 2 pounds of top sirloin
- 2 pounds of chicken parts, thighs and drums
- 2 peeled carrots, cut into 1” to 2” chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1” to 2” chunks
- 2 Roma tomatoes sliced in half longways
- 3 garlic cloves
- 6-8 parsley stems
- 1 bay leaf
- 8-10 peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 gallon of cold water
- Add the olive oil to a medium size frying pan over high heat wand wait until it begins to lightly smoke, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, add the onion sliced in half cut side down onto the pan with oil and turn the heat down to medium-high.
- Sear the onion for about 2 minutes or until it is very well caramelized. Remove the onion and place in a large stock pot.
- Add the cuts of meat, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves to the stock pot along with the onion and 1 gallon of water.
- Bring the brodo to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, kim the scum off the top of the brodo and then simmer on low heat for 2 hours. Return to skim the scum every 20-30 minutes.
- Using a ladle, remove the liquid from the brodo one ladle at a time and pour through a fine mesh strainer into another pot of storage container until all the liquid is strained.
- Discard the vegetables and feel free to use the cooked proteins in another recipe.