In this installment of her Eat Ireland column, Deputy Editor Jocelyn Doyle makes use of this wholesome bone broth to create her ultimate cure for the winter sniffles.
I was suffering with a sinus infection when I discovered Sadie’s bone broth. I’m a big believer in the “feed a cold” mentality and an eager advocate for wholesome comfort food; restorative, nourishing meals are as important as medicine, in my book, and I was determined to eat my way out of my ailment. Weak as a kitten, draped in a blanket and working at an embarrassingly slow rate, I made the fiery Thai broth pictured above. I wanted the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of garlic, the anti-inflammatory powers of fresh ginger, and plenty of heat to sweat out the sickness and clear my sinuses. I also wanted a more powerful base than regular chicken stock, a liquid with oodles of goodness for my noodles, and my freezer was lacking in homemade options. In this, my hour of need, Sadie’s Kitchen stepped in to fill the void between convenient and made with care.
Sarah Kiely worked in marketing and PR before she embarked on her own broth-based journey. “I discovered bone broth while suffering with digestive discomfort, and began making my own about four years ago. I started to see a dramatic difference in my digestive health and immune system. However, as much as I loved how it made me look and feel, it was incredibly time consuming, and I was finding it harder to source quality bones from the butcher.” When she was unexpectedly made redundant, the proverbial light bulb went off. “I had an opportunity to share this comforting, nutritious product with the world.” Sadie is a nickname of Sarah’s, and her friends already referred to her regular dinner parties as Sadie’s Kitchen — and so a new artisan brand was both born and baptised.
Bone broth is an ancient food that’s been enjoying some time in the spotlight in recent years, thanks largely to New York-based Brodo, which opened in 2015 and marked it firmly on the hipster map. While it’s related to stock, it’s much more intense, in terms of both nutritional profile and flavour. “You can make a decent stock in 90 minutes,” says Sarah, “but bone broth takes almost 10 times as long and has a much more silky mouthfeel. When it’s cool, it should be gelatinous and melt upon any contact with heat.”
In prehistoric cultures from Greece to Asia and indigenous America, broths were one of the very first, most effective forms of nutrition, and an integral part of the practice of using the whole animal — an attitude I’m happy to see on the rise once again. The healing powers of broth mean that it has been used through history not only as a source of nutrition, but as medicine, too; in some areas it’s fondly known as ‘Jewish penicillin’.
While I prefer to cook from scratch wherever possible, I also have a full-time job and a busy personal life, and simmering bones for days just isn’t something I can reasonably add to my schedule — especially on a regular basis. That’s where Sadie’s Kitchen steps in: a convenient ready-made option, but made from real, high-quality foods with no worrisome additives. Aside from the sheer umami-packed pleasure of the bone broth, what really makes me smile is the care that goes into producing it.
For her broth, Sarah uses only free-range chicken, something that I feel strongly about in my own kitchen. “From a nutrition perspective, it is imperative to use free-range, hormone-free poultry. The flavour is better, and the health benefits too. You can’t expect to feel good from consuming meat that was not treated properly as an animal.” The bones are roasted using a technique unique to the brand, then simmered slowly for over 12 hours, extracting as much flavour and collagen as possible; as Sarah explains, “you should aim to have bones that quite literally dissolve upon being touched.”
Sarah now drinks bone broth every day. “I had tried every supplement and treatment available and it was only through adding bone broth and a good probiotic into my daily diet that I saw real change in my digestive symptoms. I went from being on antibiotics almost every three months to not having taken one in three years. I firmly believe in the healing and restorative powers of a good, authentic bone broth. However, we always recommend trying it as an adjunctive to whatever your GP has prescribed, as we don’t and won’t make any medicinal claims.” Her favourite way to enjoy the broth is as a nourishing hot drink, garnished with a pinch of Irish sea salt and some chilli flakes.
So what’s a typical day in Sadie’s Kitchen? “It’s so varied! We have a team of three, which I lead, but my main role is product development and innovation. It’s really important to me that I have full creative control, because I know how important it is to keep things consistent. I have a hand in everything from designing the packaging to sourcing ingredients to working with manufacturing, always making sure that the product is the best it can be.” Sadie’s Kitchen also has a brand partnership with Freshly Chopped, so Sarah spends time speaking at events and working on new product and recipe development with them. “I live for creating new products and being involved in every aspect of that,” she continues. “I get a huge amount of satisfaction out of it. We were the first in Ireland and Europe to launch a bone broth brand for retail, so the fact that we’re disrupting the industry like that is really exciting. I also really enjoy working with other brands on collaborations and partnerships; getting to work together on the same messages about health and nutrition is amazing.”
Not one to rest on her laurels, Sarah has plenty of new products in the pipeline and will be launching new lines before the end of 2018. I’m diligently testing her new Super 7 Greens Bone Broth as I write this, fortified with seven vegetables, turmeric, lemon juice and flax seed, and can report a very warm, happy tummy. This has quickly become my go-to for those times when I’m feeling under the weather; not only is it full of goodness, but it provides real comfort, too — the perfect way to feed that cold.