How to Make Homemade Stock

In order to make a good soup, you need to make good stock. This is where the carcass from Sunday’s roast chicken comes in handy! You will need to add herbs, such as parsley, thyme and bay leaves. As well as chicken carcasses, you can also use:

  • fresh vegetable trimmings
  • meat bones
  • inexpensive cuts of meat
  • shells from shellfish

How to Make Homemade Stock How to Make Homemade Stock

Do not use broccoli or cabbage as part of the stock, as they can be bitter and overwhelm the flavor. Also avoid using onion skins and brightly colored ingredients, like beetroot

Making the Stock

To add depth of flavor, you could saute the ingredients or roast them before dropping them into an equal amount of cold water. Bring them to the boil and then simmer a vegetable stock will take between 30 minutes and an hour, but a meat-based stock can take between 1 and 5 hours. Skim off the foam that appears on the surface of the stock and strain, using a sieve, as soon as possible after cooking.

Using the Stock

You can now use the stock to make soups or as a base for your gravy. To thicken the stock, use cornflour/cornstarch, rice, bulgur wheat, breadcrumbs, egg yolks, milk or yoghurt. To stop it from curdling or forming lumps, add your thickeners to a ladleful of the soup in a bowl. Mix well and then pour the mixture back into the soup pot. Serve your soup with crusty bread, croutons or even fritters and savoury biscuits. For an Asian-style soup, serve with rice.

Keeping the Stock

You can freeze stock or keep it in the refrigerator. But if you are intending to keep it for any length of time, it is best to freeze it as soon as it is cool. If you want small portions of the stock, say for gravies, you can pour the stock into ice cube trays or small baking tins. Let the stock freeze and then transfer the blocks into a freezer bag. Do not be tempted to pour your stock straight into a freezer bag: the likelihood is that it will spring a leak. You can always reduce your stock by continuing to let it simmer and then add extra water when you use it. That means it would take up less space in the freezer. Freezing the different flavored stocks means you will always have one of the roost important ingredients for soups ready to reheat.

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