We’re gearing up for GAPS Intro Round #3 this fall, and so I want to include several recipes that we use to get us through the Introductory diet of GAPS. It seems like this is the hardest phase for most people to be able to think of recipes for each stage and to add enough variety to keep everyone interested. I will try to include several options with each recipe that I post so that you can vary the recipe based on your specific needs and tastes.
Today, I want to post the basic recipe for making a GAPS meat stock. This is different than the bone broth that will come later. Meat stock is cooked for a shorter amount of time and includes meat on the bones. This is a great place to start if you are working toward being on the GAPS diet or you are starting Intro. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends using chicken stock to start with as it is particularly gentle on the stomach and very healing. It also happens to be one of my favorites 🙂
** Note: if you are noticing continual poor reactions using a broth or stock from a particular variety of meat, try using a different meat, like lamb, beef, fish, bison, pheasant, etc. Some people are intolerant or allergic to a certain type of meat. And variety is always a good thing! (Note: for particularly sensitive individuals, they may even react to the foods – grains, in particular – that an animal they eat was fed. For instance, if you notice that you react to chicken meat, it may actually be the soy that the chickens were fed that you are reacting to. If this is the case, it can be helpful to avoid that particular meat for several weeks and then attempt reintroducing it from animals not fed certain grains).
Basic Meat Stock
meat and bones (make sure you have plenty of bones, cartilage and joints, including all the fatty parts)
Place all meat and bones into a large stainless steel cooking pot. Sprinkle sea salt on top and add a handful of black peppercorns. Cover the meat with filtered water (until just covered). If you are using a whole chicken carcass for example, cut the chicken into pieces and then fit the chicken tightly back into your stock pot, adding enough filtered water to just cover the chicken.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making broth using organic meat like you would find in your local store:
First, the chicken. No, I do not go out to my backyard, kill a chicken and pluck it to make meat stock. There is one farmer in the area who I trust with their organic chickens for stock, but they have a small farm with a limited number of chickens, and my boys EAT chicken. Besides, if I ate all their chickens, where would I get my organic free range eggs? 🙂
When you buy chicken from the store, make sure you use organic free range meat. This article explains why: Heading Toward Healthy
For this batch of chicken meat stock, I used 4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick combined).
Then you need a really big stock pot. I can’t remember how big mine is, but it’s big. I made a gallon of meat stock today and it looked like a little nothing on the bottom of my pot. (And disregard the microwave in the background … poor thing, in it’s glory days it was well-loved. Now we use it for time-outs 🙂 )
I added the chicken legs, sprinkled sea salt over top and added a small handful of black peppercorns. I also cut the legs and break the bones to help more marrow be released from the bone. To this, I covered it with filtered water and turn the burner on med-high.
Once the water starts boiling and everything gets nice and steamy, you will notice some “scum” that floats to the top. Skim this off with a spoon, then turn the heat down to low-medium, cover the pot and let the stock simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
When your stock is done, I remove the lid and let it rest for a while on the stove or another safe place to cool slightly. I’ve found in the past that glass Mason jars will crack (spilling your broth all over the kitchen floor) when they are exposed to hot broths.
After the stock has cooled for about 10 to 15 minutes, I remove the meat and bones (and save them for another recipe) and then I pour the meat stock through a sieve into a glass jar.
And in the end, you’ve created a nourishing meat stock that will help heal your family’s guts and keep you healthy this winter!
When I’m finished, I make sure to label the jar with the date that I made it. Meat stock lasts 7-10 days in the fridge and several months in the freezer.
This stock can be used in many, many recipes: as a base for gravy, soups, stews, casseroles, stove-top dishes, cauliflower mashed “potatoes”, straight up, a warm drink for breakfast, hidden in popsicles and other snacks, simmered down into a “jello”-like gelatin and taken on trips, use instead of water when cooking veggies … your options are limitless! Besides the great health value of meat stock, it really enhances the flavor of recipes.
A bouillon cube may seem to be easier; boxed soup on the store shelf may be quick on a weekday evening. But what are you really eating? A lot of flavor enhancers and salt. And honestly, how can something that goes bad in the fridge in 7 days (homemade meat stock) be able to exist on the store shelf for over a year (store-bought “chicken” broth)?
Making your own meat stock is easy. Honestly, all together, the prep work involved probably took me about 5 minutes. And I just start it simmering on the stove as I’m doing other things around the house (or school in the kitchen with the boys). I set a timer if I think I’m going to forget that it’s cooking (thanks, microwave!)
Best of all, when I add the stock to my chicken enchiladas or shepherd’s pie this week, I know I’m feeding my children something that helps take them that much closer to health.
🙂 And that’s what it’s all about!