I'm firmly convinced that part of the reason our society has so many health problems is because we have forgotten how to cook at home.
Stock used to be a family staple that added flavor and nutrition to soups, sauces, gravies and other dishes. In most gourmet restaurants the stock is still the foundation of the kitchen.
Particularly important for the GAPS diet both in the Introductory phase and the Full GAPS Diet, meat stock aids digestion and has been known for centuries as a healing folk remedy for the digestive tract. It is full of minerals, vitamins, amino-acids and various other nutrients in a very bio-available form. This is what seals and heals up the holes in the digestive lining that contributes to food allergies and other sensitivities.
Following is a general formula for a simple stock made from a miscellaneous collection of bones and meat scraps. The stock can be made from bones alone, but it will taste and smell more appetizing if some meat is included. A 50% ratio of meat to bones is good.
Simple Meat Stock
3 quarts of meat and bones chopped into 2- to 3-inch pieces (raw or cooked veal or beef bones and meat, and/or poultry carcasses, scraps, and giblets)
An 8- to 10-quart pot
Cold filtered water
2 tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
2 medium-sized carrots
2 medium-sized peeled onions
2 medium-sized celery stalks
The following tied in washed cheesecloth or a coffee filter:
1/4 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
6 parsley sprigs
2 unpeeled garlic cloves
5 whole peppercorns
Place the meat and bones in the pot and add cold filtered water to cover them by 2 inches. Set over medium heat. As the liquid comes slowly to simmer, a grayish colored scum will rise to the top. Remove it with a spoon or ladle.
Add all the other ingredients and more water if needed. Partially cover the pot leaving a 1 inch space for steam to escape. Maintain liquid at a very quiet simmer for 4 to 5 hours or more. Boiling water should be added if the liquid evaporates below the level of ingredients. Strain the stock. Set the stock in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and hardens so it can be skimmed off. This fat should not be tossed out but rather added back to soups or used for cooking instead of vegetable oils. The stock can be frozen or remain covered in the refrigerator. It will need to be brought to a boil every 3 or 4 days to keep it from spoiling.
* Cooking can be stopped at any time and continued later.
* Don't cover the pot completely until the contents have cooked or it may sour.
* If the flavor is weak the stock can be boiled down some to concentrate its flavors.
A cup of this warmed meat stock can be drunk with meals to improve digestion. Use as a base for vegetable soups and stews. Fermented liquids or foods can be added to the stock just before serving.
This stock is an essential part of the GAPS diet... if you are not making the stock you are not healing your gut!
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.