Also known as regular stock this has come back into fashion in a big way in the last year or two. Having been brought up with every roast chicken carcass being instantly covered with water before left over vegetable peelings being sprinkled over the top and half the freezer being filled with this otherwise dubious looking liquid, I always tended to think this is what most people do. Evidently not….! My dad has always made killer soups hence the need for some good quality stock; having it drummed into us that homemade soup cures everything and it would seem they were well and truly onto something here.
Other than being a nutrient dense base for many meals I also love how it allows you to make more meals for essentially the parts that you would throw away. It suddenly makes an £8 organic chicken look like great value for money. The stock that I made in the photo was with some gorgeous juicy bones that I picked up from the butcher – most give these away for free and will even saw them up for you so they can fit into the pan.
What you’ll need:
· either a chicken carcass or some beef bones
· 1 tbsp black peppercorns ( i tend to leave these out on a chicken stock)
· half an onion
· few cloves of garlic
· 5-6 bay leaves
· vegetable peelings (root vegetables are particularly good as well as those shriveled bendy carrots that hide in the bottom draw of your fridge.
· Chopped up – left over celery.
· NB do not ever salt a broth or stock as all the flavours get concentrated, you want a stock to be a lovely base to which you can add different tastes to later.
1. Firstly sweat off your vegetables on a medium heat.
2. Add the carcass or bones, peppercorns and bay leaves covering with cold water.
3. Bring the stock to a boil and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
4. With the beef stock I then placed in the simmering oven of the Aga for 2 days! These really helped the collagen and marrow of the bones break down and leach into the liquid leaving me with the most flavour-some, glossy delicious stock. However, I am fully aware no one wants an electricity bill for doing that in a conventional oven but the longer you are able to leave it the better. Low heat is perfect. From this point of view chicken stock is easier to make as the bones break down faster and you can make a good quality stock in a few hours.
5. Once your stock has cooled simply strain through a sieve and freeze in portions or in ice cube trays for homemade stock cubes.
If you are making this as a bone broth to drink on its own I would definitely stick to the beef bones; not only does it have more marrow etc to impart into the water but it has a better flavour profile to be consumed on its own than the chicken – just my opinion of course.