Hello friends! Today I’d like to talk about one of the more versatile ingredients one can have in the kitchen. You can find it at the store in a can or a box; in powder form or paste form.
I’m talking, of course, about stock. It can be used for soups and stews, sauces and gravies and many other cooking applications. Stock can be rather expensive, depending on the brand and other variables. In addition to the cost, you have zero control of what flavorings are used, the sodium content and a many other things.
There is a simple solution — make your own!
Normally I show you the ingredients you need but first of all, I forgot to take a picture (grrr) and second, this is really about the technique, not a specific recipe.
For my stock I used:
- about 2 pounds of chicken parts
- 1 duck carcass
- 4 carrots
- 2 onions
- 6 large mushrooms
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 celery stalks
- Fresh basil
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh dill
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Its not the size of the boat…
You’ll notice that the pot I’m using and the number of ingredients I’m using seems like quite a bit. You would be correct.
Spoiler alert! I had to give away about 6 quarts of stock because we didn’t have room in our fridge/freezer to store it all!
Let’s get cooking!
Throw all of your chicken parts (bones, wings or chicken you’ve had in your freezer so long it’s growing ice all over it) into you largest pot. Then, give a rough chop to all your veggies. No need to peel anything! Just chop them into a few pieces and chuck them in the pot with the chicken.
Next up, throw in your peppercorns, salt and fresh herbs.
Now, fill your pot with cold water until all of your ingredients are covered.
Turn up the heat!
Crank your burner to high and throw a lid on your pot to help bring this to a boil quickly. I had about 6 1/2 gallons in my pot so it took some time for this to happen. Once you’re at a boil, you need to reduce your heat and bring the liquid to a simmer.
You will notice a “scum” floating on the top of your liquid. This is normal. It is just the fat from your meat liquefying. Since I’m lazy, I don’t bother skimming this off. If it grosses you out, feel free to skim it off until you feel better. I find it easier to get rid of the fat once everything has been strained and cooled down.
Sit back and relax!
Now the easy part — just wait! Go about your day, read a book, catch up on chores. This stuff needs to simmer for about an hour per gallon of water that you are using. Also, if you are using larger bones (like from a deer or moose or something like that) add about 45 minutes to that hour.
The timing of this really is up to you though. Because I had SO. MUCH. LIQUID. I wanted some of that liquid to evaporate and reduced. This had two purposes: first, it cut down on the amount of stock I would have to store, and second, it helps to further concentrate the flavor.
My stock simmered for about five hours before I felt like it was done. As always, be sure to taste what you are cooking. If you stock seems bland or thin, give it more time. I hesitate to add too much salt to my stock as I prefer to season with salt when I’m using it to actually cook a meal.
Get ready to strain!
As you can see, I set up a smaller pot and set a colander in it. Using a spider strainer, I lift all the solids out and put them into the colander. I then use a two cup size pyrex measuring cup to scoop more liquid from the large pot to the smaller one.
Now just package your stock in whatever containers you have handy. I like to use quart sized deli containers.
Go ahead and put your stock in the fridge and the next day you should see a thin layer of fat floating at the top. Just use a spoon to scoop it out and discard it (or turn it into schmaltz)!
You now have stock on hand that tastes miles better than anything you can find at the store. It should stay good in the fridge for a little over a week and it lasts 4-6 months in the freezer (or longer).
Use my above ingredients as a guide only. I won’t be putting a recipe card at the bottom of this post because you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Got turnips? Use them! Parsnips? Sure! Squash? I’ve never tried it but why not?
The point is, think about the flavors of what you are putting into your pot and imagine how those flavors would add to your stock. The sky really is the limit with this one.
I hope you give this a try real soon!
14 thoughts on “Homemade Stock”
Just got to say, I always cook my stock and bone broth in the crock pot. I worry less about the long cooking time when it’s in the crock pot instead of ion the stove top. Just me I am a worry wort😂.
Did you eat the vegetables that were used to make the stock, or are they sapped of flavor?
They get all of their flavor removed. Good for compost though!
What is the difference between stock and bone broth? Since this has bones in it, could it also be bone broth?
Both broth has to cook for a VERY long time. Depending on the size of the bones it can take 12-48 hours. Also generally you don’t use veggies and other flavorings for bone broth.
HERB BROTH (a quick and easy soup base)
2 tblspns fresh chopped thyme or1 tblspn of dried
2 bay leaves
2 tblspns fresh marjoram or 1 tblspns dried oregano
1 sprig fresh parsley
2 strips lemon zest (2 inches long)
4 garlic cloves
1 small whole, hot dried red chilli or half tspn cayenne pepper
10 black peppercorns
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
Put all ingredients into a saucepan with 1.2 litres of water, bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 mins, strain and use.
I love to make my own stock, too! I actually will put all the veggies and meat I’ve strained out into a blender. Then I’ll freeze it in small containers. Makes a good, tasty thickener for soups and sauces.
I like to keep veggie scraps in a large baggie in the freezer (carrot skins I’ve removed, celery ends/hearts, onion skins, etc.) and I use them to make stock. Cheaper since it’s stuff I would have thrown away – so it’s essentially free stock! I’ll even get a whole roasted chicken and use the carcass for stock after I’ve removed the meat.
That’s the way to do it! The reason I made so much stock was because our freezer was full of chicken and duck parts and veggie scraps!
Like I just happen to have a duck carcass in my possession…LOL…but other than that, this looks great!
No need to use duck! I had just happens to steal that carcass from my parent’s house. We had it for Christmas dinner lol.
LOL…pilfered duck carcass works!…I don’t think I’ve ever had duck!
Thanks for this healthy and money saving idea! I love being able to see the ingredients of what goes into meals!
Homemade stock is great. I just boiled some small shells in stock the other day for dinner. A little parsley, chives, lemon, yum! I also sometimes put my stock in a crock pot overnight as I’m cleaning up dinner. It does make the house smell like soup all night though! Loving these posts!