Since day one at Brodo, we’ve been committed to cooking our broth in open kettles. While it’s not the quickest way to do it, for us, there is no other way. Here’s why:
Our chef and founder, Marco Canora, is committed to techniques he’s learned during his 25 years as a chef. The levels of taste, clarity and nutrition you can achieve with an open kettle just don’t happen with closed top.
You can’t skim a closed pot!
In the beginning stages of cooking broth the bones and vegetables give up impurities. For that first hour of simmering, foaming coagulated protein bits and gunky brown things collect on the top. Those are things Marco doesn’t want in his broth. No lid on the kettle makes careful hand-skimming and watchful cooking by a real human person possible.
Removing those impurities early (and often) keeps our broth very clear, clean and delicious. If you use a closed kettle and don’t skim your broth, the boiling and agitation that comes from the cooking will distribute these undesired flavors and lead to a murky (in both color and flavor) broth. A very slow bubble with an open top allows the fat to get separated and not emulsified back in which results in a pure, low fat broth.
Evaporation = Concentration of Flavor and Nutrients + “The Angel’s Share”
Our high bone and fresh vegetable to water ratio, combined with our low and slow cook time, generates flavor that concentrates, but also nutrients. With an open top, the only thing that boils away is water. It’s similar to the idea of an ‘angel’s share’, that missing amount of volume between what goes into the barrel and the finished product, in whiskey making. It’s considered to be a gift to them.
Between the skimming and long simmering open kettle cook time giving up that angel’s share in return for a clear, clean, concentrated nutrient rich broth feels like a fair trade.