Last week we talked about how nourishing stock or broth is the foundation of a traditional diet and should be consumed regularly. Why? In addition to being rich with minerals, broth contains gelatin which aids digestion and helps the body more fully use protein. People on the GAPS diet are urged to eat a cup of broth a day.
That’s a little bit hard to do. For one thing, it is hard to find interesting and appetizing ways to get it in without drinking it straight. Don’t worry about that, though — Mindy and I and lots of commenters help you overcome that hurdle in last week’s post: 8 Ways To Get That Stock In (Without Drinking It Straight).
But what about keeping up the routine of making stock constantly, so it is always available? You know how that goes. Fill the pot with bones and water and vinegar. Simmer, strain, store, use. Wash the pot and start all over again. Practically daily. Yeah, that can be inconvenient. Worth it, definitely. But it could be simpler. It could be easier.
Let me introduce you to perpetual stock.
With perpetual stock, you hardly feel like you’re working at all. With perpetual stock, the stockpot is always on, always ready. You don’t have to store the stock, you don’t have to wash the pot daily, you’re not always messing with it. Here’s how.
Perpetual Stock or Broth
Here’s what you need — basically, it’s what you always need for stock, plus the crockpot.
- bones and other animal parts
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- anything else you’d like to add, like onions, garlic, odds and ends of vegetables
- good water
- sea salt (optional)
- crockpot — preferably at least 4 quart size
Put your bones and other food goodies in the crockpot and cover with water. Turn on to high for an hour, then turn down to low. Every crockpot is different, so adjust heat as necessary while the stock cooks. A gentle simmer is okay, but try to avoid a rolling boil. No simmer but consistent heat is good, too.
After half a day or so, you can begin ladling out stock as needed. I love having a crock of stock ready to add to every meal! Season it up in the dish you’re making or by the mug. Replace water as necessary and keep the stock going…
After a few days (or more often depending on how much broth you’ve used), scoop out the spent foodstuffs — they go to the compost. Usually I do this when the broth is no longer flavorful and no longer fatty.
Start the process over again by adding more bones and the other ingredients. Keep adding water and keep that broth going… and going…
A Few Notes
Every week or so, you should probably allow the stock to get very low in the crockpot without replacing water. Turn off the crock, then clean it. Then start all over again.
Last time I mentioned this (on a webinar, I think) someone mentioned that it might be good to switch crockpots so the one is not working all the time for weeks at a time. I think that’s a very good idea.
The most nourishing stock/broth comes from the most nourishing bones. Grass-fed, pastured, etc.
If your stock does not gel, consider adding good-quality gelatin.
GAPS people with very sensitive digestive systems may find long-simmered stock too rich. If this is you, don’t let the stock keep going for hours and hours or days.
Do you keep perpetual stock going? Any tips to share? Do you think this would help you get more broth in your diet? What do you think?
This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday.