Monday, January 12, 2009

Making Broth - The Lazy Way

I keep seeing instructions for making stock by boiling huge post of bones on the stove for hours. Just to keep the record straight, there really is a better way to do this, folks. A lazier, easier way.

Get out your crockpot. Fill it with bones (eat the meat first.) and vegetable scraps (I have a special bag in the freezer to collect vegetable scraps for the next time I am making stock. If you don't have anything collected add at least add one carrot). Fill the rest with water and add a splash of vinegar. Put the lid on, turn it on to low and walk away for 12 hours or so. It really is that easy. After 12 hours strain the liquid out and discard everything else (it will be tasteless anyway). I like to store my broth in med sized zipper baggies in the freezer. Then I can pull one out whenever I decided I need it with no forethought or planning whatsoever. My kinda convenience...

One more thing - I like to put the bones and soggy vegetables into a big zipper bag (with tongs) before discarding because I don't like smelly garbage. It's to save the dogs' sanity, really.

I'm a little bit of a nut about my stock. Just to show how much of a geek I have become (thanking all the engineers I am blessed to work with) I took the ultimate step at thanksgiving and measured the longest turkey bone before going to the store to purchase a new crockpot. I wanted to make sure the bird bones would fit. Yes, I know. There's no going back now.

Now, you might wonder what to do with all this wonderful stock now that you've made it. My favourite use is to cook rice in it. Adds flavour and nutrients. It's also good in stews, soups and sauces. If you eat couscous or quinoa you can use that as the cooking liquid. Of course, there's always chicken noodle soup...

3 comments:

angie said...

I think I always add to much water as my stock is always flavorless... so I end up using store bought stock instead... I make it in the crock pot too. Maybe just less water next time. I heard if you roast the bones frist its actually more flavorfull...perhaps?

Striving Green said...

Thanks for the tip!

tired of smiling said...

I hope you are feeling better, Angie!
Too much water will definitely give you weak stock. I find most people don't cook it for long enough - it really needs 10-12 hours for chicken and turkey stock and longer for beef, elk, etc. Then you get that nice gelatinous consistency when you refrigerate it.
Also, a couple of carrots and a piece of cellery really help, too. I fill the crockpot as full as I can with bones and vegtables and then add water just to cover.
As for roasting the bones first - I have heard that, too, but never experimented with it myself. I always cook the meat first, and just use the bones for stock because the meat is pretty bland after you cook it all day.

goof luck.
g.