This recipe is referred to by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride as the ‘Italian Meat Casserole’ and we believe it is a staple dish that is easy to cook with it’s versatility in what can be used. It is a slow cooked method in the oven that produces a lovely tender meat that falls off the bone with a delicious flavour. This recipe is using lamb and is a personal favourite of mine with the most delicious stock produced, however you can use any gelatinous meat joint such as pork shoulder, beef joint or whole chicken or turkey legs. This meal imparts a good degree of stock that can be served as a stock drink o be served with meals and left over stock that can be frozen and used with other meals as a stock drink, soup or casserole meal.
In terms of effort, I find this an easy GAPS meal to make and it often just keeps on giving with leftovers for bubble and squeak the next night.
This is a great recipe for children as well and can be used for babies by blending the food in a food mixer with stock.
*This recipe is appropriate for the GAPS Introduction Diet Stage Two – onward
GAPS Staple Casserole
Meat and Stock
- 1 Lamb Shoulder See notes for other meat options
- 1 Litre Filtered water Approcimate: this is dependant upon how bif the pot is and the size of the lamb
- 6-8 Cloves Raw Garlic Crushed - See notes caution
- 1 Whole Onion Large - See notes caution
- 2 Whole Celery sticks Finely diced - Only use celery on Full GAPS Diet
- 2 Whole Carrots Finely diced - See notes caution
- 1/2 Whole Pumpkin Cubed - See notes caution
- 1/2 Head of Cauliflower or Brocoli - Cut and remove all stalks - See notes caution
Heat the oven to 140 - 160 degrees Celsius. Place your meat joint or other selection of meat into an oval cast iron pot and fill 2/3 with filtered water. Be sure not to cover the meat joint completely with water, because the exposed part at the top of the meat produces a lovely tasting stock for drinking. This recipe should allow you to save a few jars of stock when you are done.
If tolerated (see recipe notes) dice some onion and celery and crush some garlic and saute in a separate pan with a little lamb fat or duck fat and add to the pot. It is often nice to salt the top of the lamb and add some of the sauteed ingredients on top as well as surrounding the lamb in the stock.
Add salt, dried herbs, bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary. Cover with the pot with the lid and cook on very low heat for 4-6 hours (125 – 140 degrees Celsius).
After 4 or 5 hours add a variety of chopped vegetables. We have made some suggestions for you above that work nicely but feel free to experiment with seasonal organic vegetables. At this time it is essential to leave the lid off in the final stages of cooking and increase the temperature to 180 degrees celcius and cook for a further 40-50 minutes.
When cooked, serve the meat and vegetables and use the stock (strained through a sieve) for a warm drink with your meal. Keep left over stock in the fridge or freezer for later meals or stock drinks.
Alternative Recipe Options
You can use any of the following meats (joint meats are easier to digest than muscle meats) Try to use a broad range of different meats each time you cook this meal.
- Shoulder of lamb
- Joint of pork
- Joint of beef
- Whole chicken
- Turkey legs
- Lamb shanks
You may experiment by adding a variety of vegetables keeping a broad range in your diet, however make sure you are ready for them - Refer to clinical notes.
The fat content of these meals need to be quite high: the more fresh animal fats you consume the faster the recovery. Be sure to add fermented vegetables with every serving. If you are still in the introduction stage, avoid spices at this stage and only use herbs, salt, and bay leaves. This meal is easy to cook and provides you with a variety of options to choose from. If you make a large batch, this meal is easily frozen and defrosted and heated in a glass Pyrex dish with a glass lid in the oven. Cooking several of these meals and freezing them will allow you to have a break in the kitchen.
This method can be achieved with a slow cooker
Introducing new food: If and when you introduce a new food, your patient’s symptoms of diarrhoea return, or pain or any other digestive symptom is experienced, then wait a week and try again after some more healing has taken place because this indicates that they are not ready for this food.
Avoid vegetables and consume only the meat and stock from this recipe if the patient is experiencing profuse diarrhoea. Vegetables should be added gradually until well tolerated and digestion improves.
*This recipe is appropriate for the GAPS Introduction Diet Stage Two - onward