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Stock and Broth Making Tips

A good stock (or broth) is the cornerstone of a great dish. And when it’s made just right, it is good enough to drink on it’s own which is a great way to quickly and easily get essential nutrients in to your body.

The following tips are my summary of an interview I heard on Sunday Weekends show with Simon Marnie when he interviewed food writer, Michelle Cranston.

General Tips and Tricks:

  • Make an effort to cook stock and broth all year round
  • Stock making is all about the aromatics and passing those into the foods you’re cooking
  • All stocks should include celery, carrot, leek, onions, herbs and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • Prepare your stock in large pot, bring it to a boil and then reduce heat so the water is just trembling
  • If you can, skim the “muck” for the top of your stock as it’s cooking (especially if you’re using vegetable peelings in your stock)
  • At the end of the cooking time, strain the stock and then reduce once more. Bring the water to a boil and simmer gently until it’s reduced to your liking.
  • Once reduced, place in preferred containers (icecube trays are handy) and defrost as needed.
  • To give body to your stock, add lentils or a small handful of oats
  • If your stock is a thick concentration (after being reduced) you can add water to it again when it’s time to use it

Beef and Lamb Stock:

  • Cook for 6 hours
  • Best bones to use are Grass Fed Brisket Bones, or a combination of Brisket Bones and Marrow Bones
  • If time allows, brown bones first in a 180 degree oven until the bones are a golden colour (no oil required, just place the bones straight in to a roasting pan)
  • At a minimum, add celery, carrot, leek, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, and ACV

Chicken Stock:

  • Cook for 6 hours (same for vegetable stock)
  • Best bones to use are Free Range Chicken Frames and Wings. For extra gelatin you can add Chicken Necks too.
  • White Chicken Stock is stock made from raw bones
  • Brown Chicken Stock is stock made from bones that have already been cooked (e.g. bones leftover from roasting a Whole Chicken)

Seafood Stock:

  • As opposed to meat stocks, seafood stocks must be cooked quickly
  • Cook for 30 minutes only – any longer and the stock will taint and go sour
  • Fennel is a great flavour in seafood stock
  • Due to the fast cooking time, it’s a good idea to puree the veggies or fry them off in pan first so that you still get maximum flavour
  • The best bones to use are from firm white fish
  • Prawn shells can also be used – allow 40 minutes cooking time

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