Ham Broth


Ham bones leftover from a city or country ham make a rich and comforting broth that works well as the backbone for rich soups or comforting risotto. You can also try cooking winter greens like collards or kale in ham broth for a tender, flavorful side dish.

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
3 quarts


  • 16 cups water

  • 1 1/2 pound ham bone or ham hocks

  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, halved

  • 1 celery stalk, thickly sliced, leafy top left whole

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, or more to taste

  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 (3-inch) thyme sprigs

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Kosher salt


  1. Combine 16 cups water, ham bone, onions, celery, and carrot in a large stockpot over medium. Bring to a simmer, skimming off scum that rises to the top. Add peppercorns, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low, and cook until ham bone meat is pale and broth is fragrant, 3 to 4 hours. Remove from heat, and season with salt to taste. Let cool. Pour cooled broth through a fine wire-mesh strainer over a bowl. Discard solids.

  2. Refrigerate until fat has solidified on top of broth. Skim off and discard fat. Broth will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.

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