This is a good time of year to develop the stock making habit. There’s usually more bones around than usual and so you’re already in the swing of it. Just don’t stop.
Yes, it’s messy, a multi-step process, a hassle, time consuming and so on. What worthwhile things aren’t? But it’s not hard.
You need a big pot with a lid, twice the depth of the ingredients. You also need:
Bones – beef, chicken, lamb (raw or cooked)
an onion, quartered (leeks & shallots are good, too)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 carrots, cut in half
2 celery stalks, cut in half
10 (or so) peppercorns
salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
some parsley, thyme, & savoury sprigs
1. Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Add cold water to cover plus a couple of inches. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Skim off the bits that come to the top with a spoon.
2. Cool. Strain with a fine sieve into another large pot or bowl. Let sit in fridge until fat rises and hardens on the surface. Throw most away, but keep some for flavour.
3. Keeps 5 days in the fridge, 3-4 months frozen. If freezing, remember to leave space for expansion at the top. For a concentrate, place back into a clean pot and simmer down, no lid, until reduced by half.
Note: Boiling makes a cloudy stock. Often this can’t be helped if using cooked bones and it’s really more an aesthetic thing than flavour, but use the simmer method for best results. I learned this from the 1985 ramen movie, Tampopo.