Basic Meat Stock

Today, I want to post the basic recipe for making meat stock. This is a staple of homestead cooking but also a staple of the GAPS Nutritional Protocol.

One of the most common misconceptions out there when it comes to making meat stock is thinking that it’s the same thing as bone broth. In reality, they are two very different things! Meat stock is cooked for a much shorter period of time and includes cartilaginous meat and bones; bone broth is generally cooked for 24+ hours and is mainly bones.

Meat stock is where you want to begin if you are starting GAPS or if you have any gut healing at all that you want to do. Meat stock is very gentle; it is actually better for healing than bone broth. Bone broth, on the other hand, is also loaded with nutrients and minerals (it has more than meat stock), but it is also high in things like glutamate which can cause very negative reactions in people with leaky gut and brain sensitivities. Bone broth is better added in after the gut has healed and sealed.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (founder of the GAPS Nutritional Program) 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 those grains).

Basic Meat Stock

  • meat and bones (make sure you have plenty of bones, cartilage and joints, including all the fatty parts)
  • sea salt
  • black peppercorns
  • filtered water

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.

Simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes


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, mashed potatoes (it’s even good in 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). 

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!

~ Alicia

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