Stocks

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  1. Vegetarian
  2. Poultry
  3. Beef

Vegetarian Stock

Vegetable broth can be made with anything that you have–mushroom peels, carrot peels, broccoli stems, ends of onions. Let me give you something to start.

1-something ‘oniony’ rough cut (chopped up so the juice gets out but not diced)
….1 onion or
….a bunch of scallions or
….2 or 3 leeks

2- something stalky rough cut
….a couple pieces of celery or
….1/2 head of fennel or
….1/2 head of bok choy

3- something green and leafy, torn
…. celery leaves or
…. kale or
…. collards or
…. swiss chard or
…. spinach

4- garlic, peeled and whole or smashed
…. a little or
…. a lot

5- herbs, fresh is best
…. parsley and tarragon
…. rosemary and lemongrass
…. dill

6- a bay leaf and some peppercorns

7- water to cover (about 8 cups)

Put all except herbs and peppercorns in a pot and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam. Add herbs. Turn down to simmer,cover and cook for 20 mins to 45 mins. The longer you cook, the stronger the broth. Greens will make an especially strong broth with lots of water soluble B vitamins (yeah!). Strain. If you have a colander with big holes you may want to line it with cheesecloth. If there are bits they will settle to the bottom when you store it. No big.

Poultry Stock

You can make stock from any kind of poultry but I believe the best is made from an old hen.  You might connect with a local free range farmer for a ‘retired’ layer.

  • 6-8 lb hen
  • celery leaves
  • onion
  • carrots
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • cold water to cover
  • pepper corns
  • whole cloves
  • handful of herbs (parsley, sage, oregano)

The best stocks are made from cooked bones.  This is also the most economical as you can make several meals this way.  I like to start with a hen steamed in a clay baker for about three hours.  You don’t have to season the bird but I like to fill the cavity with navel orange quarters and chopped onion.  I use orange juice instead of water.  You may not want to do this depending on what type of soups or dishes you plan on making.

Pull the breast, thigh and leg meat off the bird after baking and reserve for other dishes (say nun’s pie for the breasts and chicken and dumplings with the legs and thighs).  Break up the rest of the carcass and put in a large stock pot.  Add chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic cloves. Cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil.  Once it boils it will have a bubbly skum on top.  Skim this off.  Turn the heat down to simmer.  Add peppercorns, whole cloves and herbs.  Let simmer very slowly for two or three hours.  I like to let this sit over night then I reheat it the next day and then strain.  You can store it in a clean stockpot or in mason jars.  The fat will come to the top and form a seal.  This stock should be gelled.

Beef Stock

I make beef stock from a variety of leftovers as well as beef bones. Ribs work well, back bones, and scraps from either moist or dry roasts.

  • 5 lbs of bones and beef scraps
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • water to cover
  • peppercorns
  • cloves
  • herbs such as tarragon, rosemary, parsley

If using raw bones stick them in the oven for ten minutes.  This firms the meat and makes the stock gel.

Put bones, meat scraps, rough cut onion, celery and whole garlic in a large stockpot.  Cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil.  Skim off the scum.  Add seasonings and simmer for 2 or 3 hours.  Let sit overnight.

The next day reheat to a simmer and let reduce by half.  Sieve.

This can be stored in a clean pot in the refrigerator or mason jars.  The fat should rise and make a seal on the top.  It should have a gelled consistency.

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