How to Make Your Own Stocks

Cooking time
Serves4 people

Having a batch of homemade stock to hand means you have the basis for all sorts of meals.You can them from frozen and making them is a great way to use up any excess veg or trimmings from your weekly box.

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Ingredients

  • 2-3 onions or leeks
  • 1-2 carrots (you can aslo add parsnips or celeriac)
  • 1-2 ribs of celery or 1/2 a fennel bulb
  • A few peppercorns
  • A bay leaf or two
  • Chicken carcass (if making chicken stock)
  • Beef bones (for beef stock)
  • Lamb bones (for lamb stock)

STORAGE Cool your stock to room temperature. Then, pop into a pot, cover. Store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Or, freeze for up to 1 year. You either defrost the frozen stock or run it under hot water to loosen from its container and melt it in a sauce pan so it’s ready to use in minutes.

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Method

1. Chopping the veg: If you’re making a veg or fish stock, chop the veg into small hunks. This means you get more flavour in less time. If you’re making a meat stock, the bones need to cook for a while to draw out all of the flavour and goodness. So, cut your veg into larger hunks so they don’t over stew. Or, chop your veg finely and add it during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
2. Use a wide bottomed stock pot. This helps your stock cook faster as you have a wider surface on the heat.
3. Fry the veg in a little olive oil until fragrant. If making a meat stock, fry the bones first. Then add your veg. If your making chicken stock, add some of the chicken skin as well.
4. Top up with just enough water to cover - don't flood it or you'll water down the flavour.
5. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer. Once the liquid looks properly infused, taste.
6. COOKING TIMES: VEG: Only needs to cook for 10-15mins. Take off the heat. Keep the veggies in the pot for 10mins longer, to further infuse the flavour without overstewing them. Strain. Cool. Store. CHICKEN: 1 carcass = about 1-1 1/2 litres of stock. Cook 45 mins – 1 hour. LAMB: 1 pot of bones = about 1- 1 1/2 litres of stock. Cook 1 hour. BEEF: 1 pot of bones = 1.5 - 2 litres of stock. Cook 2-3 hours, or overnight in a slow cooker.
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