How To Make Homemade Stock November 14, 2018
While we’re big fans of time-saving liquid or stock cubes, a homemade stock really is unmatchable in flavour. It’s a brilliant way to use up your leftovers and is the perfect base for rich and tasty gravies for a roast chicken and turkey.
What’s the difference between ‘stock’ and ‘broth’?
What’s in it? Stock calls for a mix of animal bones (occasionally with scraps of meat), a mirepoix (the French way of saying onions, carrots, and celery), and aromatics (fresh herbs, bay leaves, peppercorns, etc). Oftentimes, the bones are roasted first for a richer, deeper-coloured stock.
Cook time: 2-6(ish) hours on the stovetop
Seasoning: Unseasoned or very lightly seasoned
Use: Sauces (like the French mother sauces), braises, gravies, soups/stews
Flavour: Deep and rich, full mouthfeel courtesy of the gelatin released after hours of simmering the bones
What’s in it? Broth is any liquid that has been cooked with meat (which may include bones but doesn’t have to), a mirepoix, and aromatics.
Cook time: Under 2(ish) hours
Seasoning: Typically is seasoned
Use: Plays a broader role than stock, and can be subbed for water when cooking grains. Also works well with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and the usual soups, sauces, gravies, and braises — basically everything that stock can do, plus a few extras.
Flavour: Subtler than stock, which is why you can also sip as is if you’re ever feeling under the weather.
Now that you know the difference between stock and broth, put your knowledge to good use by cooking these green soups.
How To Make The Perfect Homemade Stock
Wondering what to do with that leftover Christmas turkey? Instead of throwing your carcass away simply place it in a large, deep-bottomed pan with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper, or several whole peppercorns. Allow to brown a little on a low heat. Chop five sticks of celery, two carrots, two onions (really any root vegetable will do, and leftover roast veg is perfectly acceptable). Add tomatoes and mushrooms for extra richness in the stock, top with your favourite herbs – we like sprigs of fresh rosemary, sprigs of thyme and bay leaves. Finally, add six litres of water.
Now, the easy part. Simply bring the water to a boil, skim, and then reduce to a simmer. Let the stock simmer for three to four hours, skimming when necessary. You’ll know your stock is ready when all the veg is drained of colour and very soft. Give it a taste – if it seems a little less flavoursome and more watery, it’s perfect (remember, when cooking with stock it will reduce, so you don’t want to liquid to be too salty).
Once your chicken stock is ready, skim the surface one last time before pouring the stock through a fine sieve. Allow thirty minutes for your stock to cool before placing it in the refrigerator.
With your homemade chicken stock in the fridge, you can add it risottos, couscous, polenta, marinara sauce, soups, and of course, the perfect Christmas gravy.