Welcome to the latest installment of our Selene River Press author demonstration videos. This time around Monica Corrado, the “GAPS chef” herself, gives SRP managing editor Danielle LeBaron a demonstration of the equipment you need to prepare Meat Stock. Enjoy!
To watch the demonstration, click here or see the video at the end of this post.
Danielle LeBaron: Hello and welcome to our Selene River Press author interviews. Today I’m so excited for the opportunity to talk to Monica Corrado, author of the Complete Cooking Techniques for the GAPS Diet. She’s going to go over some amazing tips for Meat Stock. I cannot wait to learn more. Monica, how are you today?
Monica Corrado: Hello, Danielle. I am well! How are you?
Monica: Thanks for having me.
Danielle: I’m so excited that you’re here. Your topic today is something that I’ve been really curious about. I’m going to let you introduce it, and I can start learning!
Monica: Okay, this is a favorite of mine, and hopefully everybody else’s. Today we’re going to talk about Meat Stock—not Bone Broth. Meat Stock is near and dear to my heart because I wrote my first book on Meat Stock and Bone Broth for SRP a few years ago, and now it’s part of the Complete Cooking Techniques for the GAPS Diet. I wrote that book because there’s so much misinformation out there about what heals and seals a “leaky gut.” We’re putting “leaky gut” in quotation marks because it’s really called increased intestinal permeability. That’s the official name.
Meat Stock is really important. It’s what heals and seals a leaky gut. (If you have a leaky gut, you stay off of Bone Broth, which can trigger the nervous system symptom because it is high in glutamic acid.)
Today I thought we’d start really basic, and we’d talk about pots.
Danielle: Love it.
Monica: Why pots? Because people say, “Hey, I want to make this thing, what do I need? What do I do?” This is what we do. Pots! Bone Broth, Meat Stock. Bone Broth, Meat Stock. One more time—
Danielle (joining in): Bone Broth, Meat Stock.
Monica: That’s right.
Danielle: Love it. Never forgetting that now.
Monica: There you go. You’ll notice this is what we call a stockpot, a big, heavy-gauge, commercial-grade stockpot. You want to get stainless steel. Again, look for heavy-gauge stainless steel, 18/10 or 18/8 is best. That has to do with what’s in that stainless steel, and we certainly don’t want to be cooking in big aluminum pots. We are looking for stainless steel pots. This is a big one. Usually it’s for Bone Broth, meaning a lot of water fits in here.
Danielle: Got it.
Monica: When we’re making Bone Broth, we want a lot of broth. We’re going to drink that broth. We’re going to use that broth to make soups. We’re going to use it to make grains. So you need volume for Bone Broth. A big stockpot, stainless steel.
Danielle: That’s interesting.
Monica: Right? For Meat Stock, we want a Dutch oven. This is a Dutch oven, oval, blue. I love it. And this one is round, which I particularly like because it has a see through lid. If you can get one, get one, so you can see what’s happening. You don’t ever want to boil your Meat Stock or have it too high. You’ll be able to see just a nice little simmer going on right through that glass lid. We make Meat Stock in Dutch ovens. This round one is again stainless steel, 18/10 stainless steel. It is 5 quarts, a nice size. About the smallest I would go is 5 quarts. This oval one will fit different types of things because it is oval. It’s well loved. It is a 6½-quart oval. These are both Dutch ovens. The reason we call them Dutch ovens is because they are able to go on the stove or in the oven (but I’m not sure about the Dutch part). Again, I wouldn’t go lower than 5-quarts for Meat Stock. They go up to 8-quarts, 10-quarts. Nice big, heavy Dutch ovens.
I just want to bring this up for folks, when you’re making Meat Stock, go out and get yourself a Dutch oven—stainless steel, 18/10 or 18/8 heavy-gauge, glass lid preferred. This one is actually cast iron that’s been enameled. It’s a Le Creuset. It was a gift. You don’t have to get a Le Creuset. They tend to be very expensive unless you find them on Overstock.com. And these days you can also find sales. Everyone is making Dutch ovens like Le Creusets at this point. JC Penney has a brand. Emeril Legasse has a brand. I mean, Rachael Ray probably has a brand…You can find them, and it’s a wonderful investment. You’ll have these pots for the rest of your life if they are heavy-gauge stainless steel.
So, why do we make Meat Stock in a Dutch oven? We know it can go in the oven and on the stove, but why else? Venture a guess, Danielle?
Danielle: I don’t know. I don’t even have a guess on this one.
Monica: I suggest that people make Meat Stock in a Dutch oven because it will constrain the water. When you look at a pot this big you go, whoa, there’s a lot of water potential there. Right? Quarts and quarts and quarts. But when you look over at this one, it is only a 5-quart. You can learn all about bones in my book, but if you put two to three pounds of bones in here, whether it’s a whole chicken, legs and thighs, turkey thighs, beef shanks, or beef ribs—all meaty bones—the water will naturally be constrained by the size of the pot. That’s important for Meat Stock because too much water and you will not get a gelatinous stock.
Danielle: Okay, I was going to ask you what happens. Because sometimes I’ll use a bigger pot so I get more out of it.
Monica: Well, if you were to put two to three pounds of meaty bones in this pot, and fill it up with water, you’re going to get a very watery stock. You will not get one that gels. We are all about the gelatin! We want it to gel and to wiggle when it’s cooled down…So we want meaty bones to gel for Meat Stock, for healing. Certainly one of the foundations of the GAPS diet—for gut psychology, gut physiology—we need Meat Stock, and we need it to gel. And if we need it to gel, we must “constrain” the water. A smaller pot means less water, and you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to measure. You could put those bones in here. But then I’d say, Well, you also have to measure the amount of water you’re putting in.
Danielle: Yeah, you couldn’t just fill it up.
Monica: Right. And you know what, I’m all about saving steps and saving time in the kitchen. So I have my pot. I put in my meaty bones. I fill it up with water—gelatinous stock!
Danielle: Awesome. So we have the stainless steel and the cast iron. You said you can use either? Is it just personal preference, or are there benefits of using one over the other?
Monica: Really good question. (I also want to say that you could just use raw cast iron—it doesn’t have to be enamel, just so people know.) So what’s the benefit? It has to do with is the weight of the pot. The thickness of the sides of the Dutch oven helps regulate the heat in there. And this helps you go “slow and low.” That’s really it. Other than that, as long as you use heavy-gauge stainless steel, they’re about the same.
Danielle: Okay. You mentioned that the big thing about Dutch oven is that it can go in the oven, which is great.
Danielle: When you make Meat Stock, do you actually put it in the oven? I thought is just stayed on the stovetop?
Monica: Well, Danielle, that’s another great question! When you make Meat Stock, you can put it on the stove or in the oven, or use a Crock Pot. But let’s just put the Crock Pot to the side for a minute and talk about the stove and oven. If you are going to make Meat Stock on the stove, you bring it to a boil and skim and discard the scum. That’s how I teach it. Bring it to a boil and skim and discard the scum.
Danielle: I like it.
Monica: You get rid of that scum with something like this. It’s just a fine-mesh skimmer. It looks a little bent, a little bit like a spoon.
Monica: The scum has impurities. Remember, these are meaty bones, which means they probably have some blood left in them. No problem—we just skim it off and discard it. You can also use a ladle, but it’s a little bit harder. I love the skimmer because it doesn’t take the fat off, which we need. After we skim and discard the scum, we’re going to put it down to a simmer. That’s why I love these glass lids, because you can see, Oh, it’s at a nice summer now. Okay, perfect.
Danielle: I love that.
Monica: Right? Nice. Wonderful…So remember, on the stove, bring it to a boil, skim and discard the scum, put it down to a simmer, and then just cook low. But if you’re going to use the oven, which I love—not so much in the summer because it heats up the house, but in the fall, winter, and spring—you use a very low temperature, maybe 275°F. That is low.
Danielle: Yeah, that’s pretty low.
Monica: When’s the last time you looked at 275°F?
Monica: You may never have done that. Who knows? Anyway, put it right in the oven at 275°F, and let it go. For chicken, it’ll be maybe two or three hours. For something else—for beef, lamb, pork, game—for those lovely things, you’re going to go four or five hours in the oven, until the meat falls off the bone. But it’s so lovely to walk in and go, What’s mom cooking? Or what’s my honey cooking? You know, whoever is cooking, and what are they cooking? Walking in the door, smelling the aroma, and all of a sudden the digestive juices start flowing, and you go, “Wow, I want to eat! I’m ready.” But that’s a story for another time, about digestion and the importance of smelling your food as opposed to throwing it in a microwave and having it done in a minute. There’s just no time for the body to get ready.
Anyway, I love the oven because something happens when you put Meat Stock in there. The meat is far more tender and everything gels and it smells so good. And you’re like, “Oh, I can eat now. This is great.”
Danielle: I also feel like it’s easier to let it go a little bit when it’s in the oven as opposed to the stovetop. You don’t feel like you have to check it as often or make sure little hands aren’t going up there and grabbing anything.
Monica: That’s true. Absolutely. It’s a wonderful thing. If you can do it in the oven, absolutely do it in the oven. And then of course I mentioned the Crock Pot. This is the slow cooker—not the fast cooker, not the pressure cooker. This is the slow cooker. (Again, in GAPS and in traditional cooking, we do everything slowly.) So all of those options are available. And I go through the timing for all types of meat and meaty bones in my book.
Monica: People can check that out. There are some great charts there. And they can check the time and all that good stuff, on the stove and the oven in the Crock Pot.
Danielle: This has been amazing. As always, I learned so much from you that I didn’t know before. I had no idea you could do Meat Stock in the oven. If somebody asked me that, I’d say of course not. I’m so glad to learn. I love these conversations with you and asking these questions and getting them answered! For any viewers, if they have questions, how can they reach out to you?
Monica: They can jump right to my website SimplyBeingWell.com. There’s a contact form there. I do a Facebook Live every Tuesday in my little group called “Ask the GAPS Chef.” It’s at 11:30 Mountain every Tuesday. I’ll be there teaching about something, whether it’s pots, nuts and seeds, bones, yogurt or kefir, kombucha, or whatever. They can find me there, and I answer questions live, so that’s kind of fun. But I’d love for them to contact me via my website SimplyBeingWell.com.
Danielle: Fantastic! Thank you so much for being here, Monica. We have more videos with Monica at SeleneRiverPress.com, under the Videos tab. Also, please feel free to check out her amazing book, the Complete Cooking Techniques for the GAPS Diet. You will learn all there is to learn about Meat Stock, Bone Broth, and everything else Monica teaches. Thanks so much for being with us, Monica. We really appreciate it.
Monica: Thank you, Danielle. Bye all!