Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recipe: Meat Stock

The health benefits of meat stock were quite surprising to me. Meat stock is sometimes also known as bone broth, chicken soup, or chicken broth. Bone broth is usually when you take just the bones from an animal and boil those for a thin but nutritious soup. Meat stock (which is what we're talking about here) includes boiling the joints, bones and meat of an animal.

Chicken stock is used most often therefore I will talk specifically about how to make chicken stock but just know that you can use any meat: lamb, pork, beef, game or even fish.

There are amazing health benefits to eating meat stock. First of all it's full of minerals. A well made bone broth will give your body calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium and sulfate. All these minerals are fed to our cells in a recognizable and usable way.

Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to the stock helps to pull these minerals from the bones during cooking time. Adding a bay leaf has also been known to be beneficial to meat stocks.

Meat stock strengthens the immune system. It improves digestion. It nourishes all body parts related to collagen: joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membranes, and bone.

So how does meat stock heal the digestive system?

Bones, marrow, skin, tendons, ligaments and the cartilage that sometimes accompanies a bone are all made of a protein molecule called collagen. Collagen contains two very special amino acids, proline and glycine, that help to increase gastric secretion, fuel cells in the small intestine and I'm sure has other healing powers which I'm unaware of.

The cartilage in the meat stock contains something called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Studies have found a deficiency of GAGs in patients with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. It's being taught that in order to correct any digestive deficiency its important to eat meat stock on a regular basis.

So how do we make chicken stock? It's super easy.

1. Place a whole chicken in a large pot and cover it with water.
2. Add 2 T. of Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 3-5 hours.*
4. Allow to cool.
5. Take the chicken out and put the stock through a sieve.
6. Pull the meat off the bones and return the meat to the stock.
7. Place stock in quart jars and use as needed.

Stock can be kept refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for months. 

* Dr. McBride and Sally Fallon say that the longer you cook your stock the more nutritious it becomes so don't worry about cooking it for too long but even Dr. McBride says that it only needs to cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours for it to still be quite beneficial.

You can drink the meat stock plain - maybe with a little dash of salt. Or whisk in some nourishing foods such as a mashed avocado and egg yolks. Also don't forget to add your probiotics by adding either yogurt or kefir or sauerkraut juice.

I do a mixture of avocado, egg yolk and sauerkraut juice and sauerkraut. It's so delicious. I look forward to eating it every day.

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