by Debra Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2014)
One of the great staples to have on hand in your kitchen would be soup stock. Making your own stock is really quite simple and makes economical sense. You will find that homemade stock also has a richer and more flavorful taste. Besides being easy to make, soup stock can add flavor to almost any everyday food by simply replacing water with soup stock.
There are four different types of stock. These are vegetable, meat, chicken, and fish and all are very simple to make. Leftovers can be added to the stock as part of the base. One thing that can be done to help in preserving the leftovers for soup, is to keep several containers in the freezer. Use one container for the meat and bones, and then another one for leftover vegetables. When the containers are full simply take the ingredients inside of the containers and make some stock. The process of making any of the stock is basically the same.
Start off by putting the bones into a stock pot. (The tall, narrow ones are best because the water doesn't evaporate as fast.) Add cold water till it covers the meat and bones. Set the pot so that it will come to a low simmer, do not stir the pot. Stirring the pot at this point will mix the grease with the stock which leads to a greasy stock. As the stock begins to foam skim it off with a spoon or wait until the stock has cooled down. Simmer with a lid partially on for about 2 hours. Now place the vegetables from the vegetable container into the pot. Simmer again for another 2 with a partially covered lid. Add more water to keep the vegetables and meat covered. During this time you may want to add extra fresh vegetables and herbs. The longer you simmer the more intense the flavor will be.
After the stock has simmered for at least three hours you will want to cool it down quickly. The fastest way is to place the pot (without the lid) into a cold water bath. Fill the sink with water and ice cubes with the pot sitting in the sink. Stir the stock at this point to help cool it down. Strain the solid ingredients and place the stock into the refrigerator for a couple of hours. The fat should be congealed at this point making it easier to skim off the stock base. Now it is ready for the freezer. If you haven't previously saved the meat and bones or the vegetables you can still make a very tasty broth. Here is a basic recipe for meat stock.
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