Stock, Vegetable and Bone
Stock is an essential ingredient in anyone's kitchen. I always have at least a quart of bone stock or veggie stock in my fridge at all times. It's a good way to really have control over what you're ingesting. So many commercial stocks have salt or preservatives added in to make it last on the shelves. This is also a great way to introduce zero waste into your kitchen, using leftover bones and vegetable scraps from previous suppers. Definitely read the notes on this one.
Veggie stock Ingredients :
1 lbs of vegetable scraps
1 lbs of fresh vegetables suitable for stock ( see notes)
Bone Stock Ingredients :
1 lbs Bones and vegetable scraps
4 Chicken backs, roasted @400 for 1 hour
1 medium carrot
3 ribs of celery
3 cloves of garlic
Method for Vegetable stock :
- If using fresh vegetables rough chop them to about the same size. Otherwise place the ingredients into a large pot and cover (3-4 quarts of water or until they are fully submerged)
- Set it to medium-high heat, bringing it up to the boil. Then bring the heat to medium low and let the mixture simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Take the pot off the heat and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon before passing the stock through a colander or cheesecloth. Let cool completely before storing, lasting about 1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.
Method for Bone stock :
- Roast off the chicken backs or raw bones if you are using them. Then place in a pot and cover with water until fully submerged.
- Set it to high heat, until it reaches a boil. The reduce it to low and let it simmer very lightly for about 4-6 hours, partially covered.
- Take the pot off the heat and remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon before passing the stock through a colander or cheesecloth. Let cool completely before storing, lasting about 1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.
This is something I learned when I first started cooking professionally, when you break down a case of onions, so much of the skins, roots and ends usually end up in the trash, same goes with any chicken bones. This way all those bits that are chocked full of flavor don't get left by the wayside. Garlic and onion skins are packed with flavor, so are any root ends of carrots and celery.
Now there should be a few things said about what kind of vegetables to use or which scraps and ends to keep. Onions, celery, carrots and garlic are the most common vegetables you'll be cooking with and give a very good base flavor. You can get wild with it by adding leeks, tomatoes or fennel. I just keep a gallon bag in my freezer and throw the bits in as IF cook and just make stock when it inevitably gets full.
Some vegetables to avoid though, either because they add too much bitterness or overpower the aroma. Any Brassica vegetables can easily overpower the flavor. Greens and zucchini will develop a bitter taste during the cook time. I don't like peppers in it either, makes it taste to sweet sour for my liking. Beets as well will tend to take over the profile of what you've boiled. I would recommend experimenting and finding the flavors you enjoy in your vegetable stock.
For bones, save any ones you get in a similar gallon bag in the freezer. I usually have a chicken carcass on hand from roast chicken or a pork shoulder bone lying around. Try to keep the bones separate if you mind what kind of stock you are making. I usually just have it labeled "Bone Stock" and use it interchangeably for soup recipes or gravy. These require a longer simmering time to help extract as much of the collagen and gelatin found deep within the marrow. Avoid using raw bones as well as this doesn't develop nearly as much flavor.
Now you can enjoy the joys of soup from scratch, like perhaps a chicken noodle soup perhaps.