Making Stock Great Stock
Good stock is the basis of many of the recipes on this site from
casseroles to simple soups. Although stock is available from
supermarkets, making your own is more satisfying, easy and inexpensive.
Most butchers and fishmongers can supply the necessary bones for free or
at very little cost (my butcher gives them for free when you purchase
The secret of good stock is a gradual process of leaching out the
flavours from the bones and that's where slow cookers comes into their
own. Excessive boiling will make the stock go cloudy while slow cooked
stock tends to be more tasty and transparent.
The two main types of stock are:
- Brown stock: where the bones and vegetables are initially
roasted in the oven.
- White stock: where the ingredients are only boiled.
Tips for making stock:
- Additional flavour can come from clean vegetable peelings,
celery leaves and stalks from fresh herbs.
- Use room temperature water and vegetables.
- Use whole peppercorns instead of ground pepper.
- I tend to use what ever ingredients is handy at the time. This
gives deliciously different results and reduces kitchen waste.
- Stock is better without salt and can be used in dishes that have
salty ingredients such as smoked meats.
- Skim fats and other impurities off at least once during the
- Once complete, strain the stock using a fine sieve. Allow to
drip slowly rather than squeezing the the vegetables which will
spoil the clarity.
When there isnít enough time to make your own stock, your local
supermarket has a wide variety of ready-to-use stocks on their shelves.
In addition, bullion powders and cubes are also readily available to be
mixed with water. Most bullion products, however, are higher in sodium
and not as healthy as stocks made at home.