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Difference Between Meat Stock and Bone Broth

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December 28, 2021

One of my favorite resources, the “Heal Your Gut Cookbook,” says that meat stock is made by cooking pieces of meat that have a joint in them, such as a whole or parted pastured chicken or beef or lamb shank, for a relatively short amount of time of one and a half hours to three hours or up to six hours for the beef or lamb unless you’re using a slow cooker that will be cooking low and slow for a longer period of time.  

Meat stock is milder in flavor than bone broth.  The gelatin found in the joints and knuckles of bones is one of the most prominent “superfoods” for healing a leaky gut, helping to protect and heal the lining of the digestive tract and regenerate cells.  It also aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Bone broth is made from bones with a little bit of meat on them, which you cook for longer than you would for meat stock.  Marrow, found in the larger bones, helps to strengthen bones and connective tissues and supports the immune system.  Other properties in bones promote healthy joints, ligaments, tendons, and bones as well as hair and skin. 

Making the broth or meat stock

There are many websites with instructions for making bone broth and meat stock, but when I make broth or stock, I usually keep it simple by adding nothing to the water (except a little bit of apple cider vinegar, if I remember) and the meat/and or bones, allowing them to cook for a couple of hours up to several hours, depending on whether it’s broth or stock I’m making.  Adding carrots, celery, onion will add to the flavor but are optional. 
I will often put a couple of frozen meaty chicken backs or a stewing hen or some beef bones in my large 8 qt. slow cooker, cover with water, (and a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help leach the minerals from the bones), and allow to cook on low overnight.  In the morning I have some nice broth, ready to go, plus some nice chicken meat that I only have to pick off the bones. This meat can be used in anything you would use cooked and shredded in such as stews, soups, tacos, casseroles, chicken salad, etc. 

Here’s a great resource for using stewing hens.
Hope all this information is helpful to you!  Happy nourishing!

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