As the sweltering summer of 2018 makes way for its cooler seasonal counterpart, Dubliner Sarah Kiely talks to us about the makings of a good bone broth and plans to further develop the range of offerings from Sadie’s Kitchen later this year.
How did Sadie’s Kitchen come about?
My mother taught me how to cook from a very young age, so I always ate well, but when I started my first job in PR, I was really stressed, completely time poor and making very poor choices around food. I began to suffer really badly with digestive issues and I tried lots of different treatments in a bid to get better, everything from elimination diets and over the counter medication to acupuncture and colonic irrigation. Nothing was really working. Then one night while frantically looking online for natural alternatives, I discovered bone broth. It was being lauded for its ability to heal and seal your gut, so I literally ran to the butchers, got my hands on some really good free-range chicken carcasses, and started to make it myself in a slow cooker.
Within a couple of weeks, I noticed a massive difference. My immune system was a lot stronger and I immediately felt better, so it was a bit of a light bulb moment. Talking with family, I realized that I’d actually grown up on this type of food, but as anybody who has ever made bone broth will know, it’s an incredibly time-consuming process.
By the time you’ve strained it out you’re left with a very small amount of broth for a lot of running around and effort, so you can see why people have stopped making it from scratch. I realized that, for most people, life’s probably too short to boil bones for ten hours a day, and so Sadie’s Kitchen was born.
Tell us more about your food philosophy and how you source your ingredients.
My personal outlook is that food is medicine, so if you eat the right food and nourish your body with quality produce in the right amounts you feel better and your body functions better. People tend to reach for broths that feel nourishing and comforting when they’re unwell, so it’s important to start with a really good foundation. A good bone broth is really gelatin dense when it’s cold; it shouldn’t be pickled with the things that come from a hormone fed chicken source. We only work with free range Irish sourced chicken farms and that’s something that’s non-negotiable for us.
There are less than 10 ingredients in our first product, and they’re all whole foods. We have some vegetables and aromatics in there, but because it’s such a long, slow cook process, everything works its way into the broth. What you’re left with is this beautiful, crystal clear consommé like broth when it’s hot, and then when it’s cold, it’s this gorgeous gelatinous, gloopy broth that just melts on contact with heat. We don’t add salt so it’s a completely natural, preservative-free, hormone-free broth.
Who typically uses products from the Sadie’s Kitchen range?
We’re actually a marketeer’s worst nightmare because our customer base is so varied! Our comforting chicken bone broth is used as a source of direct collagen either as a sipping drink, or as an alternative to tea or coffee. People in the sports world use it because it’s good for ligament and joint care and because it’s carbohydrate-free, our broth is used a lot by people following the ketogenic diet.
We don’t make out that this is a magic potion, but we have people who’ll use it because they’re suffering from a digestive issue like IBS or Crohn’s and they’ve been advised to add a bone broth to their diet.
Then there’s the foodies who just want to make really stunning food at home who use it as a stock, adding it as a base to their meals. There are lots of different types of cuisine that broth lends itself so well to, be it building a broth bowl for use in Asian style cooking or using it to produce gorgeous soups and risottos, as well as beautiful curries, phos and ramens.
What inspired the name?
Sadie is actually my nickname. I used to host dinner parties in my apartment and people would take pictures of whatever I’d be making and put them up on Instagram with the hashtag ‘Sadie’s Kitchen’. The name has come more into fashion now because Amy Huberman called her kid Sadie, but prior to that it was very much a granny name. Because what we’re doing has lovely roots in terms of the history around broth, we thought it worked well and it just sort of stuck.
What else do you have in the pipeline?
We just launched Super 7 Greens, a free-range Irish chicken bone broth base fortified with 7 different vegetables and flax seeds. It’s a really light, fresh lunchtime option, very low calorie, and because we’ve spiced it with turmeric, cayenne pepper and lemon juice it tastes great. We are also working on new flavours of bone broth and plan to introduce more variety across the line with the launch of a ready meal selection this autumn.
We’ve just launched into Aldi stores nationwide for 4 weeks and nationwide with our broth pots from Chopped at the end of this month. We also have plans to expand into the UK market later this year, so it’s all go!
The Sadie’s Kitchen range can be found in 250 stockists around the country, including Dunnes, Supervalu, Fallon and Byrne, Avoca, craft butchers like Kerrigans and health food stores nationwide.