Meat Broth


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    2 litres

Appears in

I love to serve broth in a tazza (a large tea cup) just before a meal, like they do in the old-style Florentine restaurants. Or you could make this a full meal with tortellini or other pasta, dumplings or plain rice for a ‘risotto in bianco’ with grated parmesan or grana. I make this with two chicken legs (the whole legs with thighs, not just the drumsticks) and some meat suitable for boiling so that it isn’t too strong and meaty for the kids, but you can do all meat if you prefer a heftier broth. You can leave a bit of fat on the meat but I prefer to remove that heavier layer. Try making meat and chicken croquettes from the meat if your family isn’t wild about eating plain boiled meat.


  • 700 g(1 lb9 oz) beef on the bone suitable for boiling, fat removed
  • 200 g(7 oz) carrots, peeled
  • 2 leafy inner celery stalks
  • a small handful of parsley
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled but left whole
  • about 7 black peppercorns
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 red onion or 2 french shallots, peeled but left whole


Put the beef in a large stockpot with 2.5 litres(87 fl oz/10 cups) of water. Add the carrots, celery, parsley, tomatoes and garlic and bring to the boil. Skim the surface and then add the peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about half an hour. Add the chicken and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours. Add 375–500 ml(13–17 fl oz/1½–2 cups) of hot water after 45 minutes or so to maintain the level.

Turn off the heat and leave with the lid on for 15 minutes to cool down a bit. Carefully remove the beef and any bits that you’d like to keep, then strain the liquid into a clean pot or a bowl, depending on what you are going to do with it.