I LOVE homemade stock. Store bought “broth” has such shallow flavor and is much too salty in many cases. I use it sometimes, I don’t like it most of the time. I know making stock is sometimes a larger job than any working cook wants to tackle, but it can be done in a few hours – while doing other things, and you don’t need to buy expensive things to get it done.
I collect carcasses. Macabre right? Every time I buy a rotisserie chicken, have a turkey dinner or just roast up a chicken at home, I save the bones and any meat I didn’t pick off. If I make a beef roast, I save those bones also and freeze them. I’m not going to lie, right now I think I have about 4 or 5 chicken carcasses and a mess of roast bones in the freezer. When I get some time, I make stock.
The basics are pretty easy – you can vary based on what you have – but here’s my base stock recipe. Below I’ll share a few variations that I love to throw together if I can.
My stock recipe is considered a “brown stock” because I roast the bones beforehand. This makes a much richer and darker stock. You can skip this step if you like.
Also -don’t be alarmed – when all the way chilled in the fridge, your stock will likely look like jello. This is because of the gelatin in the bones – it’s good for you! Think natural glucosamine and condroitin pills!
Variations on a theme!
- Ddd a bundle of fresh thyme to your stock – yum!
- Add a couple of Thai chilies (whole), a handful of basil and a lime cut in half – Thai Chicken Stock!
- A bundle of basil, thyme and parsley tied together and added to stock – called a Bouquet Garni – is a great flavoring agent.
- Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to your beef broth, it will deepen the flavor and color!
- Add a handful of dried mushrooms to your beef stock. I love adding dried porchini to mine – great flavor
- Add a bit of exotic by rubbing some five-spice powder over the bones before you roast them. This would be great for a stock you’re going to use for pho or some other beef based asian soup.