Weekend Project: Make Your Own Stock

by in Healthy Recipes, April 17, 2009


One must-have for any home cook is a healthy stock. Yes, there are the canned and boxed kinds, but save some money and control the sodium by doing it yourself. Spend a few hours this weekend creating one that you can keep for months.

Stock vs. Broth
Okay, first things first — to clarify: broth is made using the meat (i.e. chicken and shellfish), while stock uses the bones (or veggie scraps), which gives off a richer flavor and mouthfeel due to the gelatin released during cooking.

To prep a stock, you cook up water, bones, herbs, spices and a regular or white mirepoix. Mirepoix? That’s a combo of onions, carrots and celery (sometimes leeks or tomatoes); a white mirepoix uses onions, fennel, leeks and celery. You may also hear about brown stocks, which are created by browning the bones first.

Types of Stocks
All stocks have the same basic idea — you start with a mixture of veggies, bones, seasonings and water, then boil and simmer for several hours and presto! You have a delicious liquid good for making soups, stews and sauces.

If you’re a stock beginner, using chicken bones to make a chicken stock is a good start. Foodnetwork.com has a helpful video for making a basic chicken stock.

Veal and beef stocks are also flavorful options. If meat’s not your thing, try fish or veggie stock, made with various herbs, spices and sometimes wine.

After simmering, always strain the stock and remove the fat by skimming the top; refrigerating causes the fat to coagulate on top. By skimming the fat, you create a virtually fat- and calorie-free liquid. One cup of stock ranges from 0-40 calories.

    Stock Making Tips
    Here are other basic things to keep in mind:

  • Remove excess fat from the bones before using them.
  • Make sure to bring your pot to a rapid boil; then lower the heat and simmer.
  • Occasionally skim the impurities that rise to the surface with a ladle or skimmer.
  • Cool stock properly.
  • Divide the stock and freeze half for a later date (up to 3 months).

Uses for Stocks
We could be here all day answering this one. You can use it in soups, stews, sauces or for cooking roasts. This flavored brew also works when prepping rice, pasta, buckwheat and other grains.

TELL US: What’s your secret to good stock making?

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Comments (20)

  1. mireya says:

    I MAKE STOCK EVERY SUNDAY, BUT DON’T KNOW HOW LONG TO KEEP IT IN THE FRIDGE. I LIKE TO HAVE IT HANDY FOR ANYHING THAT NEEDS FLAVOR OR LIQUID.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I clicked on the link to the Veggie Stock and it said the recipe is gone. Is there a way to get that recipe now?

  3. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.Keep working ,great job!

  4. Cheers, I’ve been trying to find info about this specific subject forever and your own is the foremost I’ve situated up to now.

  5. raytuned88 says:

    My secret to making a good stock is to use a classic culinary french technique called "Remouilliage"!!

  6. accept says:

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get one thing done.

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