Making Stock

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This is a good time of year to develop the stock making habit. Holiday roasts provide some good bones, making it easy to get in the swing of it. Here’s how.

Yes, 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’ll need a big pot with a lid, twice the depth of the ingredients. They make stock pots, which are also useful for cooking crab and lobster. You’ll also need:

  • Bones – beef, chicken, lamb (raw or cooked)
  • an onion, quartered
  • leek and/or green onion, if you have 
  • 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 1-2 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. Simmering rather than boiling will yield clearer results. I learned this from the 1985 ramen movie, Tampopo.

A 2015 update: For some reason stock is now called bone broth. I have a better idea (and then we wouldn’t sound so silly): why not just call stock that isn’t the real thing, box broth or cube broth?