The first time someone explained what bone broth was to me I was so confused. They stood there and described with so much excitement how to make stock as if it was some brand new cutting edge technique. I imagine that the “recipe” for stock is at least a thousand years old, I mean it’s really that simple. You literally just boil shit in water and you have broth or stock. When I told this to my bone broth enthused friend, she was a little shocked. I was shocked that she was shocked! Doesn’t everyone know how to make stock?! Nope, turns out that most people buy it from the store so they have no idea how freaking simple it is or how it’s a fantastic way to make use of leftover meat and veggie scraps.
Because I get a farm box every week now, I have a lot of veggie scraps leftover after I cook. I always keep a bowl or freezer safe container next to me while I cook so that I can throw the scraps in there and then put them in the freezer when I’m done. I continue to add to my stash of veggie scraps until I have about a pot full of scraps to make stock with. You can also do this with leftover bones from meat. Even bones from a restaurant. Tell them it’s for the dog but take it home and you can make a delicious stock out of it.
Having homemade veggie stock on hand is great for oh so many reasons:
- I don’t have to go to the store and buy stock. Any time saved is money saved and it also has the added benefit of not contributing to wastefulness because I am also not buying any extra packaging which may or may not be recyclable.
- It tastes better. It just does and you’ll have to trust me on this one.
- It makes other things taste better. I could just use water as the base for soups, purees, rice, quinoa, etc. but everything is tastier if it’s cooked in something tasty!
- I have more options for cooking. There are some things that I can’t make if I don’t have stock. For example, sometimes I just love a bowl of stock with some chopped greens, onions, soy sauce and sesame oil in it. Without stock it’s just kind of gross.
- I have control over what goes into it. Do you have food allergies, sensitivities, or just don’t like certain things? Well if you make your own stock you have full control over what goes in there and you never have to wonder or guess… what’s in this mysterious liquid?
Everyone should make their own stock. It’s just too easy not to. You can let it boil while you are doing something else around the house or if you have a crock pot you can let it cook over night or while you are at work. No excuses! Get in the kitchen and get to work!
Adapted from Hieroglyphs
- Veggie Scraps
- Optional: bay leaf, peppercorns, all spice berries
Save veggie scraps in the freezer until you have about a pot full.
You might want to add some fresh garlic or onions if you don’t have much in your frozen stash. OR this is also a good time to clean out the fridge if you have any half chopped onions, garlic or aromatics (cilantro, thyme, chives, parsley, rosemary, other fresh herbs). Add them whole, herbs with stems and all.
Toss frozen veggies and any aromatics you might have in a pot that is big enough to hold everything and enough water to cover.
I also like to add at least 5 whole pepper corns, 5 whole allspice and 2-3 dry bay leaves to my 9 quart pot.
Pour enough water into the pot so that the veggies and aromatics are all covered and submerged in 2 to 3 inches of water.
Put the heat on high and bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer the veggies for about an hour.
Let the pot cool slightly so that you can safely handle the pot. Put a fine mesh strainer or colander over a bowl or other clean pot large enough to hold the liquid in your cooking pot. Pour the liquid from the cooking pot through the strainer into the clean bowl/pot and either use immediately or let it cool completely for storage.
Compost the boiled veggies and aromatics.
When stock is cooled completely, put it into jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before putting into freezer if not using in the next week or so.IF YOU HAVE A SLOW COOKER:Everything is the same except you’ll just set the cooker to low for 6 hours instead of simmering for an hour.NOTES:Why cool the stock completely before putting in the fridge? It saves energy and keeps the fridge temp from fluctuating. It won’t go bad if you leave it out over night covered or while you’re at work.Why put it in the fridge for 24 hours before putting in the freezer? Similar to above with the added bonus of making sure that your stock and the glass are cold so that they don’t crack and break in the freezer.What about salt? Add that to whatever final product you are making with the stock. If you add salt now you won’t be able to adjust it later. Also, if you add it at the beginning the water will evaporate and the salt with concentrate and it might be way too salty for what you want to use it for.