GAPS Basics: Meat Broth and GAPS Pate
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One of the biggest questions people have when starting GAPS is what is the difference between bone broth and meat broth. NCM recommends meat broth for starting out on GAPS and moving to bone broth later on. I have already done a post on bone broth. We really love the flavor of meat broth and save it for our mugs of straight broth when possible. It is milder than bone broth and while it doesn’t have the high mineral content of bone broth it does have more gelatin and that is what your gut needs for healing. It also won’t have very much of the free glutamines that bone broth has which can be a problem for people who are sensitive to MSG. In general most people find this kind of broth to cause less die off and to taste better so it is a good way to start GAPS. We continue to make it even after more than 2 years of GAPS.When making meat broth you need some meaty bones either beef soup bones, a whole chicken or pieces, lamb shanks, Something like that.
It is best to cut up a whole chicken or at least cut through the meat to expose the joints since that is where much of the gelatin comes from. It is ok if these are frozen when you get started. If you have a frozen whole chicken just cut down to the bones once it is thawed.
Put your meaty bones into a pot and just cover them with water. I like to add a bay leaf and some salt so that the meat is flavored while it cooks. If you use too much water your broth will be thin and watery. Use just enough to cover the meat and bones.
Turn the heat under the pot up to medium high or high. Once it comes to a boil there will be some scum that rises to the surface. Skim that scum off with a spoon and discard it. Don’t worry if you miss this step. It won’t be ruined, just not quite as good.
Now turn the heat down to low and put a cover on the pot. You want it to just barely simmer. Check it periodically to make sure it is the right temperature.
Once the meat is well done and falling off the bone you are done. Chickens take about 2 hours and red meat takes 3-4 hours. If you cook much longer than well done the meat will become flavorless so try to keep an eye on it. You can see that this chicken wasn’t fully submerged. I did turn it over half way through cooking to make sure the whole thing got well done. It came out just fine.
When it is done you have 3-4 things that need to be sorted out and packaged up for further use.
First you have the broth. I use a fine mesh strainer to strain it into quart jars and put into the fridge. This is your meat broth. I use this Wide-Mouth Funnel and this Fine Mesh Strainer daily for lots of jobs around the kitchen. If you don’t have one get one.
Next you have the meat. This is good for using in soups and other recipes that call for cooked meat like chicken salad. Separate the meat from the bones and package it up for the fridge or freezer (or eat it. I often make this so that the meat will be done at meal time and deal with the rest of it after we are done eating and it has cooled a bit). I especially like making this if I have forgotten to thaw anything for dinner since it can be cooked from frozen.
The third thing you will get from this is the bones. I take the bones and any hard cartilage and put them into a bag in the freezer for when I am wanting to make bone broth. Yes these bones still have lots of life left in them. Do not toss them now!
What I have left at this point depends on what I made. If I cooked a chicken my family eats up all the soft bits and asks for more. I know some families don’t like the boiled skin and other fatty soft bits so you will have this left over. The beef bones and other red meat bones will have lots of marrow, fat and other soft tissues. Take all of these soft tissues and puree them together. Add a little broth if you need to make it smooth. This is your pate. I freeze it in small jars and then add a couple of tbsp to every lb of ground meat I cook up. You can also add this to cups of broth and soups. It gives broth a thicker richer consistency. I usually find that I have more soft tissue after making bone broth with my red meat bones. Some of those hard bits soften up with the longer cooking and can be made into pate at that time as well.
I hope that this clears up any mystery and confusion that people have had about the differences between bone broth and meat broth. And that you now understand how to make GAPS Pate and that you will make this nutrient dense and economical food for your family. These are important foods for the intro diet but are also beneficial no matter where you are on the diet or even if you aren’t on GAPS at all.
I would love to hear your favorite place to stick some GAPS pate. Make a comment to let us all know how to enhance our families nutrition even more.
To learn more about broth get my new ebook Broth: Elixir of Life