Meat Stock...What it is, and Why I Love it! And you will, too...
I LOVE meat stock. I love meat stock. Meat stock. I also love bone broth. But meat stock is different than bone broth.
In the world of stock and broth...I am speaking especially to those following the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet...and those who are consuming a lot of stock on a daily basis...to heal their guts, to take in electrolytic minerals, to supply them with easily absorbed nutrients...somehow "meat stock" has been missed. And what a fatal flaw that is, because meat stock makes your life sooooo much easier-both for those on the GAPS diet, and for those of us other folks, who are just trying to eat well to be well.
Meat stock is a treasure in the world of nutrient-dense foods... for those of us who are "real foodies", Weston A. Price-ers, "traditional foodies"...and anyone who is wanting to make the most of their food dollar and their health. Most of us, that is.
The clue is in the words..."meat" stock and "bone" broth. They say a lot about the differences between the two. One is made from meat that has some bones; the other is made from bones. One is cooked for a relatively short time; the other for a very long time, sometimes up to 72 hours!
The gift of meat stock is threefold: it gives you a meal to eat and gelatinous broth to drink. Then it gives you bones you may use as boney bones for bone broth! What a deal!!
So here's how it's done. Please take care to use the best quality poultry or meat that you can buy. That means pastured poultry or grass-fed meat. It matters...to the Earth, the animals, and to our bodies.
Meat Stock by Monica
Obtain 2-3 pounds of meat with a bone in it. (This can be legs or thighs or quarters of a chicken or turkey or other fowl...it can be a whole or half chicken cut up. Please include the skin. Lamb shanks...beef shanks...ox tails...meaty neck bones...you get the idea.) Place the meaty bones in a 4-6 quart Dutch oven. (You may also use a crock pot if you prefer; this will lengthen the cook time. See below.)
Cover with water. Usually 1.5-2 quarts of pure, cold water
Add herbs that you love. Fresh rosemary or thyme...tied is best, so you may remove them later...and a slight handful of black or green peppercorns, whole.
Add any vegetables that you love...the usual candidates are carrots, celery and onion, but you could add other veggies if you like--mushrooms, zucchini. (Do not use potatoes or sweet potatoes or any starchy vegetables...they will cloud the stock. Stay away from broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage at this stage, they will turn the stock bitter, and you will wind up throwing it out. Boo. :( ) If you use carrots, celery and onion, I would use 3, 3, 1 or 3, 2, 1 or so. Onions can overpower if you add too many.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Skim and discard any scum that surfaces.
After you have skimmed most of the scum off of the top of the water, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. (Note: do not spend a lot of time on this. You can lose some of the glorious fat if you do. Hint: wait until there is a good amount of scum on the surface, and then begin to skim. It will look like white foam, and may become quite thick depending on the quality of the bones you used.)
If it is poultry, cook 1.5-2 hours.
If it is lamb, cook 3-4 hours
If it is beef or bison, cook 4-6 hours, or longer (8-10 most)
(If you are using a crock pot, double the hours approximately.)
When you serve, serve the meat and the vegetables and a cup of stock on the side to drink. (Remember to add good quality Celtic sea salt and pastured butter or ghee. The salt will give you trace minerals your body needs, and the healthy fat will help your body to absorb the vitamins from the food.)
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm so good and healing and warming on these cold, snowy Winter days.
And if you are interested in learning more, check out my book on Meat Stock and Bone Broth!
Save the bones for your next round of bone broth. If you don't have enough to start a batch right away, (approx. 4 pound of chicken bones or 7 pounds of beef or bison bones), you may wish to store them in a freezer bag once they've cooled. For more information about making bone broth from those leftover bones, check out my article, Healing Soups series: Let's Step Back to Stock http://simplybeingwell.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/healing-soups-series-lets-step-back-to-stock/