November 11th, 2013

Homemade Stock

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Homemade Stock

Making your own stock, is simple, cost-effective and delicious!  Once you try it I doubt you will buy the tetra-pack, powders, or foil wrapped cubes again.  Here’s another bonus, the contents of your CSA Share Box are perfect for making rich, flavorful stocks.  You can tailor the ingredients in your stock to compliment different dishes, making asian stocks, herb stocks, and more. Vegetarians can check out our post on making Rich Vegetarian Stock – vegan and gluten free.

Best Easy Squash Soup

Stock begins with fresh vegetables, herbs, and aromatics.  Avoid the brassica family, which includes cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli which can make stock bitter.  (I have heard of other people using these in stock, but I always follow this rule.)  In a recent batch I used carrots, hakurei turnips (a brassica, but I used the mild, sweeter Hakurei turnips), parsnips, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs.  If you’re making an Asian soup dried mushrooms, lemongrass, and ginger would be great additions.The onion peels add a darker color, but some people prefer not to.  I use a lot of fresh herbs, these all came from my garden.  Even just parsley will be enough.  Bay leaf is another great addition.  I like a lot of whole peppercorns and teaspoon of sea salt at the beginning – you won’t need much salt.

Turkey Arborio Rice Soup

For poultry stock, you’ll obviously need some leftover chicken bones, a carcass, leftover turkey bones, etc.  Buying local meat can be pricey, but it’s worth the investment. To save money I always buy a whole chicken-they cost less per pound and it stretches into several meals for our family of three.  This $18 chicken from Autumn’s Harvest Farm made one dinner, leftovers for lunch the next day, and the last bits were chopped up and put into soup.  The bones made over a gallon of fresh stock.  When we use all of the chicken like this, it makes it more affordable.  Finally, this Thanksgiving don’t throw your turkey bones away!  Simmer them on the stove for a flavorful stock that will perfectly compliment all of your turkey leftover dishes.

Homemade Stock

Homemade Stock
Variety of vegetables including, but not limited to carrots, parsnips. celery, washed and roughly chopped.
1 onion roughly chopped, with or without skins.
3 or more cloves of garlic, smashed, with or without skins.
Handful of fresh herbs
1 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt
Leftover chicken or turkey bones (about 1 or 2 chicken carcasses, 1/2 – 1 if using turkey)

Stovetop. Place all ingredients (vegetables and herbs on top of bones, if using bones) in your largest stockpot with tall sides.  Fill with cold filtered water.  Bring to a simmer over medium low heat.  Cook all day, at least 4- 6 hours stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary.  After the stock is done cooking remove from heat pour the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.  Press everything down in the sieve to squeeze all of the liquid out.

Crockpot. Place all ingredients (vegetables and herbs on top of bones, if using bones) in your crockpot and fill with cold filtered water.  Cook stock on low overnight (8-10 hours).  After the stock is done cooking, remove from heat, pour the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.  Press everything down in the sieve to squeeze all of the liquid out.

Pressure Cooker. Place all ingredients in a pressure and cover with cold filtered water to the maximum fill line.  Cook according to directions for your pressure cooker.  For my 6-Quart Presto Pressure Cooker this is 12 minutes with pressure regulator rocking slowly, let pressure drop of it’s own accord.  After the stock is done cooking remove from heat pour the stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs/bones/etc.  Press everything down in the sieve to squeeze all of the liquid out.

Storage.  I store stock in the freezer in 4 cup quantities for batches of soup and 1 cup quantities for adding to recipes.  Fresh stock should last in the refrigerator up to 3 days and freezer up to 6 months.  (Some people like to skim the fat off, but I don’t bother)

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