How to Make Lamb Stock

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Lamb is one of the gentlest meat stocks and easiest for the body to digest. If you find that you or your child are reacting to other meats, this is a good one to start with. It is commonly the only meat stock tolerated by children with a diagnosis of EOE (Eosinophilic esophagitis) or FPIES (Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome) at the beginning of the GAPS Protocol. People with these diagnoses should also consider rotating the types of meat they eat, only eating one type of meat for a week or two before switching to another one, coming back to each meat on a rotating schedule, to prevent the body from developing an allergic reaction to any meat protein from any particular animal. 

Finding and Purchasing Lamb

People often think of lamb as being a very strong-tasting meat. This doesn’t have to be the case; there are many factors that go into how strong lamb tastes. For example, different breeds of sheep taste differently; the taste will grow stronger if the animal is older; and uncastrated males have larger amounts of musk which will also affect the taste of the meat. As always, get to know your farmer so you know you’re what you’re getting.

Although at first glance it may seem like lamb is a difficult meat to obtain, you may be surprised to find there are many local farmers who keep sheep. Sheep are a fairly efficient animal to raise, they usually only need a small amount of supplemental hay, even in drier places like Colorado where the grass doesn’t last all summer. Lamb you find in the store will likely be more expensive and from older animals, but this would be a place to start if you’re wanting to expand into purchasing from local farmers. 

Making the Stock

As always, correct stock ratios should be 80% meat and 20% bone with a joint. Depending on your cut, you might need to add additional meat to fulfill these ratios. Some common cuts of lamb that you can use are: lamb shanks whole or sliced up (this on its own will fulfill the 80/20 ratio), lamb ribs, lamb roast with a bone in, or neck and tail. If you can’t find a bone with a joint, use a cut that has a large amount of fascia or connective tissue.

Rosemary and sage are traditionally added as the herbs for lamb stock, but I also like using thyme. It’s always easier to add your herbs after skimming your scum. You can also opt to use no aromatics and simply cook the meat.

Skimming the Scum

There are a variety of ways you can skim the scum off the top of your stock. I usually use a slotted spoon but you can also use a mesh scum skimmer, a slotted spoon, a small strainer, or a large soup spoon.

Skimming the scum off the top is where you can tell the quality of your meat. If your meat is poor quality, had a lot of hormones, or was poorly processed, you’ll get scum that’s heavy, grey, and unappetizing. If you have a good quality meat, you will have a small amount of light almost white colored scum that appears as a lighter foam. This is also where you can tell if your meat has gone bad at this point. If your meat or meat stock has spoiled, your stock will over produce scum, and you will smell the spoilage at the point of boil.

Achieving Gelatin

One of the tricks for achieving rich, gelatinous stock is a proper, consistent simmer. This can be difficult depending on your stove, and many people remove the lid from their pot to achieve the proper simmer. However, this causes too much evaporation and often necessitates needing to add water partially through the cooking process which can thwart your quest for gelatin. I have found it best to slightly angle my lid during the simmering process. You can bring your stock to a boil with or without a lid on, then skim the scum off. Then when you’re adjusting the heat for a simmer, tilt your lid slightly off the pot. This allows better temperature control especially when using an electric stove, but most of the evaporation catches on the lid and goes back in the pot. I have found this to be the best way to achieve the constant temperature needed for gelling as well as keeping the water in the pot so no additional water needs to be added later, which can mess up your gelatin. Remember, not all of your stock batches will produce thick gelatin, but as long as you notice some thickening to the stock after it’s cooled, you know you have achieved gelatin. 

A NOTE ABOUT MEAT STOCK AND THE GAPS INTRO DIET:

When Dr. Natasha Campbell talks about meat in stage 1, she’s referring to eating primarily the gelatinous meats like skin, joints and connective tissue. When meat is added on Stage 2, she means the muscle meats, the only thing we Americans consider to be meat. Eating a lot of muscle meat can be constipating, so if this is your issue, be sure to eat every last bit of the skin and joints as well as adding generous amounts of animal fat.

Ingredients

  • 1 Package of Meaty Lamb Bones
  • Filtered Water
  • Peppercorns
  • Thyme (Fresh is Preferred)

Directions

Add the lamb bones into a large stock pot.

Add filtered water to cover the bones by one to two inches. Add the aromatics of your choice. 

Turn the heat on high to bring to a boil. Skim the scum off.

Turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer lamb stock for 3-4 hours. 

Remove from heat.

Strain the stock to use for soup recipes or to drink on it’s own.

Once it has cooled slightly, remove the meat from the bones. The meat can also be consumed either on its own or in the soup. The bones can be reserved for making bone broth when tolerated later, after more healing has been done. 

Lamb Stock

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Package of Meaty Lamb Bones
  • Filtered Water
  • Peppercorns
  • Thyme Fresh is Preferred

Instructions
 

  • Add the lamb bones into a large stock pot.
  • Add filtered water to cover the bones by one to two inches. Add the aromatics of your choice.
  • Turn the heat on high to bring to a boil. Skim the scum off.
  • Turn heat down to a simmer. Simmer lamb stock for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Strain the stock to use for soup recipes or to drink on it’s own.
  • Once it has cooled slightly, remove the meat from the bones. The meat can also be consumed either on its own or in the soup. The bones can be reserved for making bone broth when tolerated later, after more healing has been done.

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