Bone Broth / Stock
As I mentioned in the book, bone broth is the best thing I have done for my gut health. I have slept better, my toilet routine has been regular, my health has improved and my strength increased in the gym!
Recipes differ but this is my preference.
Ingredients for bone stock
3-4lbs beef/lamb bones, 1-2 fish heads (with bones if possible) or chicken carcass (plus feet if possible)
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 medium onion
2-3 organic celery stalks or 1 large organic leek
2 small or 1 medium organic carrot
3 bay leaves (I use 5)
3 cloves of garlic chopped in half (I use 6)
1 teaspoon of peppercorns (I use 4)
Optional – fresh herbs for flavour
- If your organic bones are raw, cook on parchment/greaseproof paper in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes, then place into a slow cooker.
- Add enough water to cover the bones and leave 1cm at the top of the pot.
- Add the vinegar and leave to sit for 30 minutes (this draws minerals out of the bones during cooking and helps break down collagen).
- Roughly chop the vegetables and add them to the pot with the garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves.
- For beef and lamb, cook on high for 4-5 hours. If you’re using a pot on the stove, bring to the boil first then simmer for 3-4 hours. For fish or chicken, cook for 3-3.5 hours on high on a slow cooker or 2-3 hours on a stove. As an option you can use fresh herbs during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Strain the stock into a large non-plastic bowl. Allow the stock to cool overnight with a cover on top. Or if you want to cool and refrigerate as soon as possible you can do this by putting your non-plastic bowl in the sink with cold water and ice. Then transfer to air-tight glass jars or bottles and refrigerate. I use Voss or Perrier glass water bottles.
- When it’s cold all the fat will have risen to the surface; scrape this off before you drink the broth, you can use the fat as an oil to cook food instead of throwing it away. You could use a sieve every time you drink it, like I do.
- When you’re ready to use it, warm the stock in a small pot over a low heat and bring to the boil. You can have it as a hot drink or use it as a base in a soup.
I recommend drinking one to two mugs (of the stock) a day until you feel you are ready to make the jump to bone broth. In that case, to make bone broth increase your cooking times for lamb and beef bones to 24-36 hours, for chicken bones to 18-20 hours and for fish 12-16 hours. The consistency of cold bone broth will seem like jelly whereas the bone stock is more of a liquid.
To get the most out of your bones, after you have made a batch of stock or broth put the bones back in your slow cooker with a fresh round of water, apple cider vinegar, vegetables and herbs and cook again. You can freeze stock/broth which will keep for a month. I use BPA free (toxin free) ice cube trays. Otherwise, stock/broth will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Initially you may want to try using meat on the bones (cook in the oven first) for the first week or two then use just bones for the stock. For those with sensitive stomachs I would suggest using stock for at least 2 months before trying broth. The longer you cook the bones the more gelatin and glutamates are released so if you decide to try broth first and you experience a reaction like constipation, diarrhoea, headaches or nausea, the broth is probably too harsh for your stomach. In that case stock is for you; it’s a gentler way of sealing and healing your gut.
Jumping from stock to broth is individual and you could experience ‘die off’ reactions like nausea, skin irritations, diarrhoea or rashes at first. I would suggest adhering to the stock until any reaction dies down. If you need stock in the first place it’s usually a sign of how sensitive your gut is and how much it needs to heal so I would advise drinking the stock for at least 2 months before trying broth. If you get a reaction go back to the stock for another month and then try again.
Ideally you want to use organic bones – you can buy meat joints at your local supermarket, cook them and strip the meat off them to use the bones or you can cook the meat and use the whole joints for the stock. When you are ready to use just bones it may be easier to get these from your local butcher or you can buy organic bones from an online farm – I use Coombefarmorganic.co.uk. They provide an extremely efficient service to deliver their bones with all sorts of organic meat and fish bones. Once delivered you can put the bones straight in the freezer and take them out to defrost whenever you need them.
Good luck and happy gut healing!