On making stock.

Scrap stock
Making your own homemade stock is one of the easiest and cost efficient things for anyone at home to do. I know and heard of many people making their own stock, which is great, BUT using perfectly good vegetables which they then throw out at the end of the process! I really, really hate buying ingredients for a dish or recipe that get completely wasted by the end of the process. It is pretty uneconomical, if you ask me.

Why waste? Why not use “waste” to create something even more spectacular? I’m making basic scrap stock today.

Now, I am no stock expert here. I basically learned this technique from my sister who started doing this ages ago combined with a number of websites and food blogs that I’ve read online.

Again, why should you go out and buy perfect carrots, celery, onions, etc. to cook it down just to throw in the compost bin later? No. Things should not be done that way. Instead, take scraps from vegetables and meat bones and make that into a stock. If you have a good few hours on your hand, this is honestly the way to go. You’ll never go back to buying chicken or vegetable broth again (trust me, I haven’t).

So whenever I cook, I always leave a clean bag or container out for my vegetable scraps. I put practically everything in there — vegetable trimmings, onion and garlic skins, chicken bones, turkey carcasses, etc. When making stock, it’s up to you how you want your stock to be flavoured. Vegetables that I commonly use to flavour my stock are trimmings from onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and chicken or turkey bones. It’s damn good. So next time you’re cooking, leave a separate container out and put your trimmings in there. Stick it in the freezer and add to it everytime you cook — it seriously adds up in no time (if you cook as much as I do).

And just for basic knowledge, meat-based broths will generally take much longer to make — I’m talking about 3-4 hours minimum. That is because it takes a longer time to break down the bones, cartilege, and collagen found in meats. But trust me, it is well worth it.

For vegetable stock, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour. And, as you have guessed, this is because it takes much less time for vegetables to break down. But you will need pounds of vegetables in there — the more the better. Getting the basics already?

And if you’re super picky and prefer a cleaner and clearer broth, don’t include any onion skins as it will cause the broth to darken and become cloudy.

Think you’re up for it? For this stock, it will take anywhere from 3-6 hours, the longer the better. But honestly, it requires little supervision so feel free to do other things like studying, cleaning, working out or taking the dog out for a walk. It’s such a cinch and the results are well-worth it.
Scrap stock Scrap stock Scrap stockBasic homemade stock

What you’ll need:
– 1 chicken or turkey carcass/bones, all meat flaked off
– 4-5 lbs vegetable trimmings
– Water
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Bay leaf

What you’ll need to do:
1. Place vegetable trimmings and chicken carcass in a large pot. You want this pot to be as full as possible as the liquid will reduce at the end.
2. Fill the pot up with water until it covers all the vegetable trimmings and carcass. Add bay leaf.
3. Place the pot on the stove and over high heat, bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover. Let everything simmer for atleast 3 to 6 hours, adding salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to skim off any scum that materializes at the top while simmering (you can always just do this at the end once the fat hardens). By the end of the cooking period, the liquid should reduced by half. Let the mixture cool down.
4. Remove the carcass and strain the broth. Discared trimmings and carcass. Place the broth in the fridge.
5. If you haven’t removed the fat from the top, now is the time to do so. If you have done it earlier,m you are now finished! The stock keeps in the fridge for a week but I like to freeze and portion mine off as it lasts up to 3 months. Makes 6-8 cups, depending on how much water you put in.

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