Homemade Stock or Broth

Believe me, I’ve read all about the “proper” way to make stock and broth, from Escoffier, to Careme to Rombauer’s “The Joy of Cooking” (which some of my friends and family have referred to as my bible).  But this is the way I’ve been doing it in the last few years – it is my compromise balancing flavour, preference for home-cooking, need to be frugal versus the convenience of something store-bought or processed.

It goes against the grain  to use “perfectly good” vegetables such as whole carrots, celery and onions in a broth recipe which requires me to discard them after I use them.  I’m also not fussy about “mixing meats” by throwing whatever I have in the pot – chicken, ham, pork or beef.

My compromise is to save all my tasty vegetable trimmings, such as stems of fresh herbs, carrot tops and tails, inner layer onion skins (give great golden colour) and so on, and toss them in a freezer bag.  The same goes for all meat bones – chicken, turkey, beef, pork, from roasts, steaks, whole birds etc.  They get frozen too.

When I have time to putter, I plop everything in a large roasting pan – and bake at about 400’F for about 30 – 40 minutes.  I will add additonal garlic and onions as needed.  Usually I add those tiny whole garlic clove that are at the middle of a head of garlic and are a pain to peel.

Here are the typical ingredients:

Large freezer bag of vegetable trim such (in this batch):

stalk/core of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.
corn cobs
top and bottom of onions, carrots, and zuchinni
onion skins
crushed small cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
and any tired vegetables, raw or cooked leftovers (I had about 1 1/2 cups of mixed brussel sprouts, carrots and sweet potato)


2 -3 large ham bones
a few beef ribs
a few pork roast bones
chicken bones

a few bay leaves
a handful of peppercorns
any other dried herbs you want to mix in

All of this goes into a roasting pan at 450’F for 35 minutes, until things are nice and brown – this was right out of the freezer, as you can see:

It should get a nice colour and start to smell like you are cooking something tasty, allthough it is all stuff that would have ended up in the garbage!

Place all the browned pieced in a large stock pot and cover with water.

Pour a few inches of warm water in the roasting pan, and put it back in the oven (turned off, but still very hot while it cools) for about 10 minutes.  Remove the roasting pan and scrape all the browned bits out of the pan.

Top up the stock pot by pouring this water in along with however much more water you need to almost fill the pot.

Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium low for about 2-3 hours.

Allow the broth to cool, then strain it into a large bowl.  I pull out large pieces into a collander, then strain out finer pieces with a mesh sieve.

From there, you can pour into freezer bags or containers, label, and be ready and set to make delicious soups and other dishes with your own stock!



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