Stocks and Broths… The foundation for many meals

Stocks and broths are like those classic pieces of clothes that never go out of style and can always be used in different seasons, they are staples in cooking.
They are used to make everything from soups, sauces, to making rice and a huge variety of meals.

A recipe calls for wine but you are out…no worries use stock instead to supplement it.
This is the base for many foods so it is really important that you focus on getting great quality ingredients since the outcome of your dish will be as good as your stock.

Tip: I usually make a huge pot of stock in the beginning of the week and freeze it parts in plastic zip lock bags. I take out a bag in the morning so that by the time you are ready to cook lunch or dinner you have homemade stock.

Why not use store bought stock?

Well, like most packaged goods, many are loaded with salt and preservatives. If you do decide to go this route pay close attention to the nutritional contents and try to go the organic route. I personally believe if you can take a couple minutes of your time to get a stock going at home, why not? It’s better for you. Besides, remember, you are what you eat.

By this part of the article you might be wondering what is the difference between stocks and broths.

Stock is made from cooking vegetables, bones, inedible bits, meats/poultry/fish in water. Broth is made by cooking vegetables, meat/poultry/fish in water.

Prep: The following descriptions are a good guide line. For exact recipes check out Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock, Beef Stock

What you need:

o Use a 8-10 quart (8-10 litter) pot so you can produce 2-4 quarts (2-4L) or a 4 quart (4 litter) for smaller batches.
• Preparation to make a stock or a broth is quite simple. Make sure to chop the vegetables to size according to their cooking time. Larger pieces for long cooking and smaller pieces for shorter cooking period.
• When choosing meat or bones for you stock or broth note that meat adds flavor and bones give the stock more body, adding a rich and smooth texture.
• You can either use fresh and raw ingredients or leftovers to make a stock. The leftover bones from a turkey, for example, make a great stock.

How To:

  1. Place the bones/shells/ vegetables into the pot and place just enough water to cover them. Add water only when the level of liquid falls below the ingredients before it is fully cooked.
  2. Don’t ever boil stock!
    • Boiling makes the stock cloudy. A clear stock tastes fresh, while a cloudy one can end up tasting greasy.
    • Maintain a simmer (low heat with the lid on) and make sure to skim the impurities (the fat or the frothy scum)off the top of the soup as they rise.

TIP: The secret to a clear stock: Start with cold water and bring it to a boil (I know mixed message but this is only for a second when starting the stock). At that moment right away bring the lower the heat so that its is simmers.