Delicious and Healthy Gut Healing Beef Stock


“The wise food provider, who uses gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems” – Sally Fallon

35 minutes (if using filtered water) 4 hours10 minutes4 – 4.5 litresApprox 15 minutes
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Meat and fish stocks are regularly used in cuisines around the world and in professional kitchens, but sadly, have almost completely disappeared from kitchens in the home.

Meat stock contains gelatin and amino acids which heal the gut lining and aid digestion. It is also full of minerals, vitamins and various other nutrients including collagen which has been used to treat different ailments. Sadly these days the majority of us are brought up with commercially made stock granules or bouillon cubes which are highly processed and sometimes contain ingredients which can be harmful to health – see Healthier Options for more information.

Good meat stock should consist of a lot of meat on the bone and other bones with little or no meat on, which should be a mixture of joints, marrow and smaller bones (see picture right). In this beef stock recipe I use oxtail which provides a lot of gelatin and which I later use to make oxtail soup – see my Oxtail Soup Recipe. A good test to see if your stock has a high amount of gelatin is to see how much it thickens after being chilled. It should thicken to the point of becoming jelly.

Traditionally with meat stock, the bones are roasted in the oven before boiling. But in this recipe I put everything in the stock pot and boil it, which is recommended for those on the GAPS diets (Gut and Psychology Syndrome – see because it’s better on the digestion.

Try to use organic or grass fed meat and bones where possible. But don’t worry if you can’t – if you make meat stock regularly with whatever you can get locally, you will still benefit. When I went on the GAPS Intro diet and started making stocks for the first time, I couldn’t always obtain organic produce. At times I just had to get whatever I could from any local butchers, but my health still improved greatly.

Please note: only meat stocks are allowed on the GAPS introduction diet, NOT bone broth which is different (see below).

Meat stock is not bone broth. They are two different things. “Meat stock is a lot of meat with a few bones, cooked for a short period of time. Bone broth is a lot of bones with a little meat, cooked for a long period of time”

Monica Corrado, MA, CNC. Cooking Techniques for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, Part 1: Meat Stock and Bone Broth.

The bones which have a lot of meat on (such as the oxtail) I always defrost thoroughly, but the other bones (with little or not meat on) can be used from frozen. I always keep a supply of bones and oxtail in the freezer ready for when I need stock, just taking the oxtail out to defrost the night before I am due to make it.

The first time you make it may seem like hard work and time consuming. But once you get used to what to do, the whole process gets much quicker. I’ve been making my own stock for so long now I can throw it all together automatically, which makes the process much quicker.

A note on water: I only ever use filtered water to make stock. Obviously this takes longer to fill the stock pot but is much healthier than tap water. For more information see Healthier Options and Brita Water Filter Review.


  • One stock pot about 7L in size, preferably stainless steel (for more information see Stock Pot Guide and Review)
  • fine mesh sieve, preferably stainless steel
  • a “tablespoon” measuring spoon
  • a dish to put the bones in when the stock has finished simmering
  • a large slotted spoon or ladle for taking the bones out of the stock
  • containers for the finished stock. I like to use this Pyrex 2 Liter Glass Bowl With Lid (see below)
Picture 3


35 minutes (if using filtered water) 4 hours10 minutes4 – 4.5 litresApprox 15 minutes

1 whole oxtail (get the butcher to chop it for you)

2 marrow bones

1 knuckle bone and 1 or 2 small bones

Filtered water (see the note on water above and Brita Water Filter Review)

1 – 2 tablespoons salt, according to taste (Pink Himalayan or sea salt – see Healthier Options)

  1. Place the knuckle and marrow bones in the pot, then the oxtail and the smaller bones if needed – you want to leave a gap of about 3 inches from the top of the pot (see picture 1 above).
  2. Add salt.
  3. Fill up with water until all the bones are covered, leaving about 1 inch from the top of the pot (see picture 2 above).
  4. Put the lid on and bring to the boil, removing any scum which forms on the top (you may need to do this 2 or 3 times whilst it is coming to the boil – see picture 3 above).
  5. When boiling, turn the heat down low enough for a very gentle simmer.
  6. Leave the lid on and let it simmer for about 4 hours.
  7. After 4 hours, use a large, slotted spoon to take the bones out of the stock and set them aside in a dish to cool. Take the marrow out of any bones whilst they are still warm (you may need to wear rubber gloves to do this). Do this by tapping the end of the bone until the marrow comes out (I find it more practical to empty the marrow into the container I am storing the stock in).
  8. Pour the stock through the sieve into the container (the same one you emptied the marrow into). Then set aside to cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer.
  9. When the oxtail and bones have cooled, strip off the meat from all the bones and store in the fridge to make soup or stew.

The stock will keep in the fridge for at least one week and for several months in the freezer.

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If freezing in a plastic container, pour the hot stock into a glass or earthenware bowl to cool first, then transfer it to the plastic. Chemicals in the plastic may leach into food and liquid when hot.

If, when you come to use your stock, a thick layer of fat has formed on the top, you can remove this and dry it for a few seconds on kitchen paper. Then pack it into a jar and keep in the fridge for cooking. Take any marrow out of the fat first (marrow sits on the top of the stock and usually ends up in the fat) and return to the stock.

Tips on Cleaning Your Stainless Steel Stockpot

Beef stock can leave your stock pot in a bit of a mess. First wipe the inside thoroughly with kitchen paper. Then half fill the pot with boiling water and washing-up liquid and leave it to soak for a few minutes. After this time most of the stuff should come off quite easily. Use a non-abrasive pad or brush to clean the pot first. Try to avoid using metal wool, but if you do need to, just use it on small areas and VERY GENTLY. This way your pot will last you many years.

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