It is important to understand the difference between meat and bone broth. Meat stock and bone broth are two different things. Simply put, meat stock is made over a few hours with raw bones and meat, where as bone broth is made with old cooked bones and cooked over 12 – 24 hours or more. The GAPS Intro Diet suggests introducing meat stock until you reach the full GAPS Diet where bone broth can be introduced to your diet if that is preferred, however bone broths are cooked slowly over a longer time and this produces higher levels of histamine for sensitive individuals.
Chicken meat stock in particular is recommended on the GAPS Diet Program before other meats. This is because it gentler on the stomach and is lower in histamines. The shorter the cooking time, the lower the histamines and chicken stock takes less time to cook than other meats. Your first batch can be cooked for 1.5 hours minimum and these can be made in big batches to freeze for later. It is recommended that you only defrost what you need on any given day though because the more you reheat the stock the more histamines produced. Try not to place your thoughts around what you may be reacting to excessively because if you have gut issues you will have sensitivities to most things and many of these will improve over time. Push through any mild reactions because this is a GAPS staple healing food packed with nutrition to heal the gutbiome and should not to be avoided.
Meat stock provides important building blocks for the rapidly growing cells in the gut lining and has a soothing effect on any area of inflammation in the gut. That is why they aid digestion and have been known for centuries as healing folk remedies for the digestive tract. Do not use commercially available soup stock granules or bouillon cubes, they are highly processed and are full of detrimental ingredients.
A good meat stock must be made with several kinds of bones with meat still on them. A good meat stock can be made from a variety of animal meats such as beef, lamb, pork, goat, game, fish or chicken etc and from these selections you can select good quality organic bones and meat cuts that are most available to you. Knuckle bones and feet generally impart large quantities of gelatin to the stock whilst marrow bones impart flavour and healing nutrients. Meaty rib and neck bones add colour and flavour. The meat on the shoulder or carcass imparts a rich source of vitamins, amino acids nourishing fats, many minerals and other nutrients which we need in order to be adequately nourished.
To make good meat stock you need joints, bones, gelatinous meat (which is meat on the bone like a whole chicken, lamb necks/shanks or osso buco cuts), giblets from chicken, goose or duck, whole pigeons, pheasants or other inexpensive meats. It is essential to use bones and joints, as they provide the healing substances, not so much the muscle meats. Ask your butcher to cut some large tubular marrow bones in half, so you can get the bone marrow out of them after cooking. The bone marrow can be added to soup broths or eaten just as it is.
Individuals following the GAPS Diet should consume warm meat stock as a drink all day with meals and in between meals. Do not use microwaves for warming up the stock, use conventional stove (microwaves destroy food). It is very important to consume all the fat in the stock and off the bones as these fats are essential for the healing process. The film of fat on the top also aids to help preserve the stock a little longer in the fridge and is highly nutritious so do not discard it.
Meat stock is also used as a base to make homemade soup, casseroles, stews and sauces. The GAPS Program strongly promotes drinking stock with every meal to aid digestion and initiate ongoing healing maintenance for the gut wall.
With each cup of stock, add probiotic juice from vegetable ferments or whey or fermented dairy products as outlined in the GAPS Introduction Diet stages (unless there’s a dairy allergy).
The Chicken Meat Stock Recipe is particularly gentle on the stomach and is a good starting point for the GAPS Introduction Diet.
Chicken Meat Stock
Remember, a rich meat stock is what we are seeking to make on the introduction stages, not bone broth until you graduate to the Full GAPS Diet Program.
*This meat stock recipe is appropriate for the GAPS Introduction Diet Stage One - onward.
Things you may need: Wide Mouthed Mason Stock Storage Jars, 6-8L Stainless Steel Cooking Pot, Stainless Steel colander, straining spoon and Cheesecloth.
Chicken or other Poultry Stock
Place chicken frames, feet, gizzards and whole chicken into a large pot and fill it up with 4 Litres of filtered water, add natural unprocessed salt to your taste at the beginning of cooking and about a teaspoon of black peppercorns, roughly crushed (optional – pepper sometimes too hot for children). Apple cider vinegar can be added at this point if you are using it.
Add fresh oregano and peppercorns.
Bring to boil on the stove and skim and discard any floating scum on the top. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 1 ½ -3 hours.
If you are using a crock pot, cook for 1 hour on high, then 6 hours on low.
After cooking for the recommended time, remove the meat and bones by straining the stock ingredients through a sieve. You can do this by collecting the stock under the strainer into a larger pot or large pyrex jug. Strip off all the meat and soft tissues from the bones as best as you can and put aside. The gelatinous soft tissues around the bones and the bone marrow provide some of the best healing remedies for the gut lining and these should be put aside with the meat that has been stripped from the bones to add later to the soup. It is also good for the patient to eat the marrow and soft tissue direct from the bones as a meal.
Strain the remaining stock with a cheesecloth to remove all remaining small bones, pepper corns and any vegetables that were added. Discard any tiny bones and vegetables added. Store the stock in wide mouthed freezer safe mason jars in the fridge or freezer. The meat stock will keep well in the fridge for at least 7 days or it can be frozen.
If you wish to make bone broth/stock later, you can keep the bones by storing them in the freezer and cook the ingredients for longer to extract more nutrients from the bones. Refer to our Bone Broth Recipe to make this but remember not to introduce bone broth until you are on Full GAPS Diet or simply continue with the nutritious meat and gelatin stocks.
For Best Storage
Storing your stock properly will be key! In the fridge it lasts up to 7 days so it is best to purchase freezer safe storage containers to keep you stock on hand. I recommend purchasing a dozen or more Wide Mouthed Freezer Safe Mason Jars. These will allow you to have stock on hand within minutes because the wide opening allows the stock to slide straight out after running the bottom of the jar under hot tap water for a few minutes to loosen it up. This can be added directly to the cook pot for use. If you freeze in other glass jars, the stock will not slide out and you will have to wait for it to defrost. Other glass jars are not freezer safe and you can easily destroy an entire batch with glass cracking in the freezer or from the change in temperature when running them under hot water to loosen them. These jars are supplied at our Online GAPS Shop
Butcher supplies for meat stock
The ratio of ingredients is individual and dependant on the size of the batch you wish to make but keep in mind that some stock should be reserved for drinking and some for making your batch for soup. The remainder of your ingredients will depend on what type of meat stock you are making. Here is a list of bone selections you can ask for at your organic butcher shop.
Beef, Lamb, Pork or Game Selections
- Large tubular marrow bones
- Gelatinous meats
- Meaty rib bones
- Osso Buco cuts
- Knuckle bones
- Neck bones
- Tail bones
- Whole chicken & extra chicken frames
- Feet from one chicken
- Gizards & giblets
- Fish frames with heads (no fish meat)
Hints & Facts for fish stock:
- Add 1/4 a cup of apple cider vinegar to help draw out minerals from the bones and into the stock such as calcium potassium and magnesium. Some people may not be ready to add this during the introduction diet stages.
- Choose fatty fish like mackerel or salmon. But make sure they are not farmed or preserved in any way.
- Gelatine as the substance extracted by boiling bones, hoofs, trotters and soft animal tissues from gelatinous meats.
- The celery sticks should be avoided for patients in the introductions diet stages. These can be added later on full gaps for added stock flavour. They can be freshly cut as shown in the instructions or sauteed in a pan with onion and garlic prior to adding to the pot for added flavour.
Contrary to popular belief meat, fish and organ meats like liver and kidney have the highest contents of vitamins, amino acids nourishing fats, many minerals and other nutrients which we need in order to be adequately nourished.
Charting the highest source of essential nutrients
Low fibre is the aim initially (especially for people who have profuse watery diarhoea), however if you are more prone to constipation, you can add onion, celery and cabbage to the stock for more flavour.