Stock, is one of those things we often forget to buy while grocery shopping, but is too easy not to make at home. I am not going to sugar-coat this and make it sound fancy. SCRAPS! Yep, scraps are really what stock is. Boiled “Stuff”!
A piece of meat or fish, and by piece, it can be the junk a butcher wraps, and throws into the cavity of a whole chicken. The head of a whole fish. A few scraps of bacon, or left-over piece of meat. From there it is simply a matter of Flavor.
- Celery – scraps, the parts you might not like to crunch on, leaves and all
- Onion – can be the one way in the back of your vegetable bin, or green onions
- Carrots – nothing special, just a little for flavor, don't bother to peel
- Herbs – any herbs you have, fresh or dry
- Garlic – if you like
Toss all of these chopped scraps in a pot of water with a little salt and pepper, bring to a boil, simmer on low for about 45 minutes, covered. Suddenly you have a delightful pot of stock that smells like something you gave a lot of time and thought into.
If you are not going to use it right away, let it cool and pour it (strained) into some zip locking baggies, or freezable containers and freeze until you need it. It can go from freezer into pot, heat up, and there you have a lovely homemade stock!
Stock can be used for so many things you cook:
- Chili base
- Gravy base
- Nearly every sauce you can think of
There are some pretty terrific stocks being sold in grocery stores now, but if you find yourself tossing these scraps into the garbage, why not toss them into boiling water and extract the last bit of their flavors before tossing them away?
LOOK AT YOU COOKING!