Homemade Stock

Homemade Stock

I hate letting food go to waste! To me nothing is worse. So I am constantly on the lookout for ways to re-purpose leftovers and make use of those extra bits of food that normally get tossed out. Learning to make my own homemade stock was exactly what I needed. Stock is flavored by scraps of veggies and meat that you would normally just throw away.

As it slowly simmers on the stove, flavor and nutrients are extracted from these bits into a delicious soup base. A soup made from homemade stock tastes amazing! Because it is flavored with nutrients from real food, not artificial flavors and ingredients, it is healthier too. You can make a stock from veggies only or you can add in bones, fat, drippings, or meat of your choice for added flavor. This Homemade Stock can be used in any recipes that call for stock or broth and will really add flavor to your dishes.

Dinner Out of Nothing

To me the most magical part of making stock is that you end up with a whole extra meal out of almost nothing. To get ready to make your stock, save the peels and ends of your vegetables as you cook throughout the week. Carrot and potato peels, onion skins, and celery stalks make the perfect base. I regularly have pepper cores, garlic peels, tomato tops, and zucchini ends in the mix as well. Store all of your scraps in a container in the freezer until you are ready to make your stock.

This is a perfect recipe to use if you prep meals for the week. You can use all the scraps from your food prep that day and have a nice soup ready for dinner. I usually wait until I have enough scraps to fill 3/4ths of my stock pot. When you have enough, place all of your veggie scraps in the stock pot.

If you are making a meat flavored stock, add in the bones, drippings, meat or fat that you will use as well. I usually make a chicken stock with the leftovers from a whole chicken. This is perfect if you like having rotisserie chickens for dinner. The leftover turkey bones and scraps from Thanksgiving make a wonderful stock! You can use beef bones instead, but don’t mix beef and chicken in the same batch.

Adding the Spices

Once your have your meat and veggie scraps in the pot, fill the pot with just enough water to cover everything. You may have to push the scraps down to see where you’re at, as some may float. Now you’re ready to add in the seasonings. For a full stock pot add in 1 teaspoon Tarragon, 2 teaspoons Oregano, 2 teaspoons Basil, 2 teaspoons Thyme, 1 tablespoon ground Black Pepper, 1 tablespoon Whole Peppercorns, 1 tablespoon Whole Allspice, 2 Bay Leaves, and 1 clove crushed Garlic. Bring the liquid up to boiling, then reduce to a simmer. Stir the stock occasionally as it simmers and do not let it cook at a full boil. If your stock cooks at a full boil instead of a simmer, it may develop a bitter taste.

For an all Veggie Stock simmer the ingredients for 4 – 5 hours, for Chicken or Turkey Stock, 5 – 7 and for Beef Stock, 6 – 8 hours. Remember to leave your stock uncovered the entire time it’s cooking, you want it to reduce. Test the stock as it nears the end of its cooking time, it is done when the liquid is flavorful, not watery but it should not be bitter. If it starts to taste a little bitter, take it off the heat.

When it is finished, your stock should have reduced by about half. Set up a strainer over a large pot or container big enough to hold the liquid. You may want to lay cheesecloth in the strainer to sift out some of the smaller pieces. Strain the liquid slowly into the new container. You can clean out the stock pot and repeat this process to filter out more pieces if you wish. The remaining bits of food can be thrown out once they are cooled. Use this delicious Homemade Stock for soups and recipes. Enjoy!

Homemade Stock

(Bones, Fat, Drippings, and/or Meat) Optional

Veggie Scraps

Water to Cover

1 teaspoon Tarragon

2 teaspoons Oregano

2 teaspoons Basil

2 teaspoons Thyme

1 tablespoon Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Whole Peppercorns

1 tablespoon Whole Allspice

2 Bay Leaves

1 Garlic clove, crushed

Combine all ingredients into a stock pot and simmer, uncovered, on low heat. All Vegetable Stock simmers 4 – 5 hours, Chicken or Turkey Stock 5 – 7 hours, and Beef Stock 6 – 8 hours. Strain the liquid into another large pot or container and use for soup or cooking.

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