Healing Soups series...let's step back to Stock.
Can't believe I started a Healing Soups series without first writing about Stock...aka, meat stock...bone broth. Maybe it's because I am immersed in stock right now, (not literally, don't worry!) I am making stock like crazy for a little boy who has had the flu, and for the rest of us who want to stay well...I am teaching a Making Stock GAPS (tm) Style tomorrow morning in Westminster, CO, and I am readying for my stock class which I will be teaching at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference in Baltimore one week from today. So.......I thought I'd share with you an article I wrote for Edible Chesapeake Magazine, which was published in November 2009. It appeared under the Cooking Fresh heading. Unfortunately for those in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area, Edible Chesapeake folded a few months later. Here's the article. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for tomorrow's Healing Soup. hmmmm.....wonder what it will be?! ;)
Nutrient-Dense Stock…the Foundation of all Great Soup
By Monica Corrado
Mmm…mmm, there is nothing like a bowl of homemade soup when the weather starts to chill, and there is nothing better than soup made with homemade stock. Stock made well is a nutrient-dense elixir that gives a great bang for your nutritional buck: It is high in calcium and other minerals your body needs that are easily absorbed, it can reduce the amount of protein you eat, and the gelatin has been known to help heal many digestive and other disorders, including anemia, diabetes, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer1. Gelatinous stock is liquid nutrition for lactating mothers, menopausal women and children, whose bones are growing. It is also a perfect first food for infants.
As in all things, the quality of in the raw ingredients determines the quality of the final product. Bones from a grass-fed producer is the key to a rich, gelatinous stock. Bones from cows raised on feed-lots and chickens raised in cages just do not gel. You will need two types of bones for your stock: what I like to call “boney” bones, like marrow and knuckle bones; and “meaty bones,” such as chuck ribs or neck bones. Boney bones yield gelatin and minerals, while meaty bones will ensure rich color and flavor.
Next, the vegetables. Again, source counts. In these days of depleted soil, even organic vegetables can be low in minerals. Look for vegetables from farmers who add vital nutrients back into the soil, such as biodynamic farmers. If you can’t get biodynamic, grow your own, or go to a farmers market for fresh, local produce. Check with the farmer to find out what he or she is doing to help heal the earth.
1 For more information about the use of gelatin to heal the digestive tract and other disorders, see Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression and Schizophrenia, by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD; “Why Broth is Beautiful,” in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Spring 2003, by Kaayla T. Daniel, MS CCN; Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, by N.R. Gotthoffer; Hydrophilic Colloid Diet, by F.M. Pottenger, MD; Restoring Your Digestive Health: How the Guts and Glory Program Can Transform Your Life, by Jordan Rubin, NMD and Joseph Brasco; and the Weston A. Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org.
about 4 pounds boney bones, marrow or knuckle bones
about 3 pounds meaty bones, chuck ribs or neck bones
4 quarts pure water
3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 onions, coarsely chopped
¼ cup raw vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar
Roast meaty bones in the oven at 350 degrees until browned, about an hour or so. Meanwhile, place boney bones in a large, heavy stock pot with the vinegar and water and let soak for 1 hour. The vinegar will act on the bones and help to draw out the calcium and the gelatin for a rich stock. When the meaty bones are browned, add to the pot, along with any accumulated juices and the vegetables.
Bring the pot to a boil; skim the scum, and lower to a simmer. Do not cover the pot. The stock should be fairly still on the surface with movement underneath. (I call this “rolling”.) Roll the stock for a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 72 hours, and then strain. The longer you roll the stock, the more concentrated it will become. (Be sure to keep the bones covered with water throughout, unless you want a demi glace.) Pour into a low pan to bring to room temperature quickly (within 4 hours), and then cool in the refrigerator. Remove fat from the top of the stock and save to cook with later. As a saturated fat, beef tallow is one of the healthiest fats to cook foods at high temperatures. Under the fat you will find thick, rich gelatin. If the stock has not gelled, you may wish to add a good-quality gelatin to the stock when you use it in recipes. (Bernard Jensen produces a high-quality gelatin; see www.radiantlifecatalog.com.)