Bone Broth versus Meat Stocks

We get this question a lot through the community, what is the difference between bone broth and meat stocks?

Well here are the main differences:

1. A Tradition bone broth is cooked for 12-48 hours using cooked/uncooked bones in comparison a meat stock is only cooked for a few hours and must use uncooked bones. The cooking time of bone broth has a direct correlation to histamine levels. As bone broth is traditionally cooked for a longer period than it’s ‘cousin’ - meat stock; it is higher in histamine levels.

This brings me to number:

2. Bone broth is higher in Histamine levels. Histamine is an essential, natural chemical produced by our bodies that we cannot do without. It performs several duties, including;

  • Being a moderator of inflammations and allergies
  • Being a form of defence against bacteria and viruses
  • Transmitting messages between cells (neurotransmitter)
  • Regulating stomach acid
  • Regulating muscle contractions
  • Regulating brain activity
  • And more…

So, histamine affects our immune systems, our digestion and our central nervous system. While this bio-active chemical is key to our day to day function, like anything, balance is essential. Too much histamine, or an intolerance to higher levels can result in a number of side effects. If you have a very sensitive gut it is recommended to start with meat stocks and then build your way up to bone broths.

Both are amazing and very abundant in essential amino acids, collagen and other goodies that we will go into. The main difference is that Bone broths have a higher level of histamine.

3.Bone broths (because they are cooked longer) have more time to pull out all the essential amino acids. There will be a higher content of glutamine, glycine, proline and alanine (we will look at these tomorrow)

So… next question:

What is a meat stock?

Meat stock provides important building blocks for the rapidly growing cells in the gut lining and has a soothing effect on any area of inflammation in the gut. That is why they aid digestion and can help heal the digestive tract.

What makes a good meat stock?

  1. A good meat stock must be made with several kinds of bones with meat still on them.
  2. A good meat stock can be made from a variety of animal meats such as beef, lamb, pork, goat, game, fish or chicken etc and from these selections you can select good quality organic bones and meat cuts that are most available to you.
  3. Knuckle bones and feet generally have the highest amount of gelatine,  while marrow bones impart flavour and healing nutrients. Meaty rib and neck bones add colour and flavour. The meat on the shoulder or carcass imparts a rich source of vitamins, amino acids nourishing fats, many minerals and other nutrients which we need in order to be adequately nourished. So you could mix the cuts of bones you use for an amazing all rounder meat stock.

**Do not use commercially available soup stock granules or bouillon cubes, they are highly processed and are full of detrimental ingredients.

You can either cook a meat stock on the stove and continually skim off the impurities that rise to the top OR you can also do it in your slow cooker.

What I Love about a meat stock?

1. If you are short on bone broth or stock for dinner you can whip a meat stock up quickly through the day.
2. You can use a whole chicken with the addition of some other cuts and you will be left with a meal too…i.e. pulled chicken meat from the whole chicken.
3. You can achieve the same beautiful gelatinous texture that we love in a broth

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

1 Whole chicken

4 chicken feet (washed and cleaned of course)
1 chicken Frame

2-4 chicken giblets if you can get them

(This is a mix of joints, bones and gelatinous cuts that will give you the perfect stock)

Other ingredients

1 whole brown onion (chopped roughly with skin on)
1/2 bulb of garlic (smashed for flavour, leave the skin on)
2 tbsp of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1/4 cup of Raw apple cider vinegar

1 tsp of peppercorns

2 bay leaves

You can add fresh parsley or thyme or rosemary. It is up to you and what you have. You don’t need to add anything.
2-3 celery sticks, roughly chopped

2-3 carrots, roughly chopped

Filtered water to cover everything. I would guess anywhere from 4L

METHOD

  1. Add all of your meat and other ingredients to a big pot and cover with the filtered water.
  2. Bring to the boil and then scrape off all the foam and skim that rises to the top.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for 1 & 1/2 - 3 hours.
  4. Strain all stock and store in mason jars or glass containers in your fridge or freezer.
  5. Make sure you keep and bone marrow and meat for soups or other meals.

TIPS

  • If cooking in slow cooker, cook on high for one hour and low for 5-6 hours
  • You don’t need to add herbs of vegetables. It can be very simple if you prefer.
  • I freeze older carrots or leftover celery tops that I don’t use in cooking and pull out for broths/ stocks when I am ready
  • Make sure your produce is organic. Especially the onions and garlic as you are using the skin.
  • Don’t fill your glass jars all the way to the top. When you freeze them this causes the glass to break. A little over 3/4 is perfect.

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