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Homemade Stock
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Written by Lara Zelman   
Making stock is a great technique to add to your repertoire. It’s economical and the results are delicious. Even better, it’s easy! This winter I’ve been busy making stocks, broths, and sauces and stocking up my freezer.

The key to a good stock is a stock pot or slow cooker, bones, vegetables, and herbs. For chicken broth, you can start with a roasted chicken. After roasting and enjoying the meat, you can use the carcass to make a rich stock. For beef broth, you can use a combination of bones to make a flavorful stock.

This winter, the farmers’ markets have been a good source for stock-making ingredients. At the Somerville Farmers Market, Stillman’s at the Turkey Farm sold whole chickens. They sell smaller, heritage birds. These birds are more ‘naturally’ sized and the meat is a little darker and almost sweeter. The smaller carcasses fit well into a large pot for making stock. For $25, I got two chickens and was able to enjoy the meat and use the bones to make about 6 quarts of stock. 

I found beef bones from Charlton Orchards at the Russell’s Garden Center Winter Market in Wayland, MA. In addition to a large selection of cuts from filet to stew meat, Charlton Orchards offers beef oxtails that are perfect for making stock. For $2/pound you can stock up and keep bones in the freezer for whenever the stock making bug hits you.

From the winter markets, you can pick up carrots and onions to add to the stock. A trip to the store is necessary to get celery, parsley, and other seasonings. I used a combination of recipes, posted on some of my favorite blogs. The recipes were adapted from What Emily Cooks (adapted from Food52) and Justin Can Cook (adapted from Harold McGee).

Beef Stock

 
Ingredients
 
5 - 6 cups
1 pound beef oxtails
1 pound beef shank meat and bone
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
5 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley

Method
 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the bones with cold water and pat dry. Line a roasting pan with foil and place the bones in a single layer on the pan. Roast for about an hour. Remove bones from oven, rub with tomato paste, and then continue to roast for another hour. There are two options for cooking the stock after this.

Option 1: Crockpot/Slow Cooker
Place the bones, vegetables and herbs in the slow cookers/crock pot, with just enough water to cover. Turn pot to high for 45 to 60 minutes, then turn to low and leave it alone for the rest of the day (about 7 hours). Strain stock through fine strainer or cheesecloth lined colander, and let cool completely before placing it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day remove and discard fat. Transfer stock to storage containers in various sizes and freeze until needed.

Option 2: Stovetop
Place the bones, vegetables and herbs in a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot with a lid, with just enough water to cover. Turn the heat to medium and slowly bring to a simmer (this could take an hour or more), then turn to medium-low and let the stock simmer for 6-7 hours, skimming occasionally. Strain stock through fine strainer or cheesecloth lined colander, and let cool completely before placing it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day remove and discard fat. Transfer stock to storage containers in various sizes and freeze until needed.

 

 

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Chicken Stock

(Adapted from Joy of Cooking)
Ingredients
 
2 small chicken carcasses
Enough water to cover in an 8 quart Dutch oven
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bouquet garni (parsley sprigs, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, 2-3 celery leaves tied in cheesecloth or in a metal tea ball)

Method
 
Combine chicken carcasses and enough water to cover them in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer. Skim often, for about 30 minutes until impurities no longer appear
Add in remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered for approximately three hours. Add water as need to cover. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim and discard fat. Transfer to storage containers and freeze until needed.

 

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