The Basics // Bone Broth vs. Meat Stock

Stocks and broths both start off the same way: scraps of vegetable, meat, and bone are slowly simmered to extract as much flavor as possible. So what makes these liquids distinct?


mirepoix

mirepoix

meat stock base

meat stock base

Meat Stock is when water is simmered with vegetables, aromatics, and meat, and can include some bones. It is cooked for a short period of time, usually 45 minutes to 3 hours, then strained and seasoned. The goal of stock is to use a combination of ingredients to create a light, flavorful liquid that can be enjoyed on it's own as a soup. Meat Stock is rich in gelatin and free amino acids from the meat and connective tissues. These amino acids, along with the gelatinous protein from the meat and connective tissue, are particularly beneficial in healing and strengthening connective tissue such as that found in the lining of the gut.

So what will I need to make a Meat Stock?
1. When I make a meat stock I always start with a whole bird and a few chicken feet. If single chicken wings are available at the store I will also add about a pound to the stock pot. I frequently get asked how my stock can stand up on its own - the secret: chicken feet. Cartilage and connective tissue found in chicken feet is essential to having a stock that "gels".

2. The second ingredient is water. Without it there is no solvent, and no solutes will be extracted. Make sure you use purified water. Do not use tap water because it contains chloramine, fluoride, and other nasty chemicals. 

3. Next you’ll need mirepoix: 25% carrots, 25% celery, and 50% onions. 

4. Finally - add herbs, acid, and spices. You will need salt, peppercorns, and apple cider vinegar to extract minerals from the bones. Although they’re optional, I generally throw in a bouquet garni (parsley springs, leeks, and bay leaf), lemon, rosemary, astragals root, and garlic. This combination creates the perfect stock for my taste.

5. Simmer for about 2 hours. Strain through a mesh strainer, and portion.



bone broth base

bone broth base

mirepoix

mirepoix


Bone broth is really a hybrid of broth and stock. The base is more stock-like, as it usually made from leftover roasted bones, but there can sometimes still be meat still attached. For instance - after making a meat stock using a whole chicken, I strip the meat off the carcass and add the bones to a bag in the freezer. Every time my family has a meal with meat on the bone, the bones go into that bag. (Strictly land species together like lamb, beef, pork, and chicken in one bag and fish bones in a separate bag. If you are a purist you can keep a bag for each species, then when you have enough bones reserved you can make a broth.) It is cooked for a long period of time, often more than 24 hours, and the goal is to release the nutritious minerals. It is then strained and seasoned to be enjoyed on its own or in soup, or as sauce bases. Broth contains a lot of minerals and is a good replacement for milk in a dairy-free diet for someone who is concerned about a lack of calcium.  The longer cooking times can break down some of the gelatin, so this broth can be less healing to the gut than the meat broth  - but the increased minerals from the longer cooking times are also very valuable. Bone broth also has free glutamates. People who are sensitive can react to these free glutamates like they do to MSG. Because of this, it is prudent to start with meat stock (short cooking time) and progress to bone broth after the first wave of die-off is over, so that you can evaluate if this will be a problem for you. Bone broth tends to have more flavor because it develops a strong umami that can only be achieved from a long cooking time.

What will I need to make a bone broth?

1. You will use only bones for a bone broth. They can be raw or roasted. I usually like to do about 25% raw bones and 75% roasted bones for added flavor.

2. The second ingredient is water. Without it there is no solvent, and no solutes will be extracted. Make sure you use purified water. Do not use tap water because it contains chloramine, fluoride, and other nasty chemicals. 

3. Next you’ll need mirepoix: 25% carrots, 25% celery, and 50% onions. 

4. Finally - add herbs, acid, and spices. You will need salt, peppercorns, and apple cider vinegar to extract minerals from the bones. Although they’re optional, I generally throw in a bouquet garni (parsley springs, leeks, and bay leaf), lemon, rosemary, astragals root, and garlic. This combination creates the perfect broth for my taste. Add the parsley for the last 15 minutes of the cooking process.

5. Simmer for at least 24 hours. Strain through a mesh strainer, and portion.

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Taylor Allen1 Comment