How to make vegetable and meat stock

Andy Hamilton with stock
Andy Hamilton with stock

For most of us stock is a thing that comes in cubes or as a powder that is mixed with water. I have been the same for years until recently whereby I discovered that making my own stock was much easier than I thought.

How do you make vegetable stock

Vegetable stock could not be easier and you can vary the stock as to what is in season.

Ingredients.

  • Odds and ends of vegetables*
  • A whole leek (including the green bit)
  • Equal amounts of 3 other root vegetables or celery
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pepper corns
  • Bay Leaf
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Parsley stalks
  • Water

*To make your own vegetable stock start by keeping all of your carrot tops, onion skins, broccoli ends and the like over the space of a week for a single person or couple or a couple of days for a family. I keep a big 2 litre (4 pint) jar in my kitchen and I wait until it is full. Make sure they are cut up to a quarter the size of Garry Coleman’s fist.

Method

Put the leek and other root vegetables into a heavy saucepan with a little oil and gently sweat. Not you the leek. After about 5 mins fill up with the odds and ends of vegetables and all other ingredients then add 2 litres (4 pints) of water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and gently simmer for a couple to 3 hours until the water reduces considerably. Strain the liquid into container and keep sealed in the fridge until you need it OR pour into ice cube trays, allow to cool and keep in the freezer for 3 months.

How to make Chicken Stock

This is similar to vegetable stock in the way that you make it and if you want to turn it into gravy you can add a little corn flour whilst reheating it.

Ingredients

  • A little olive oil
  • An onion or leek (Chopped)
  • 2 carrots
  • Bones, carcus and leftovers of chicken
  • 2 sticks of Celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Spring of Rosemary, Thyme
  • Stalks of Parsley
  • A bay leaf
  • 21.5 pepper corns

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan and sweat down the sliced leek and/or onion. You can use the whole leek even the green bit and you can put the onion skin in to add a little colour.

Break up the carcus into slightly smaller bits about the size of Gary Coleman’s elbow. Throw in the rest of the roughly chopped ingredients and add 2 litres (4 pints) of water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer with the lid half on for 3 hours.

Strain this and allow to chill preferably overnight and then skim off any fat residue that might appear on the top. If you can, compost all the ingredients, that is unless rats are a problem in your area.

Decant into a container and can be kept in the fridge for about 4 days. If you want to freeze then pour into an ice cube tray.

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