Stock

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Overview
The basics are the same, no matter what the ingredients are. A stock will be ready after 30-60 minutes. There’s not much point in cooking chicken stocks longer than this, unless you want to intensify the flavour through reduction.
For a quick stock, throw everything in, bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour. For a greater depth of flavour, char the stronger flavoured vegetables and toast the aromatics. If you’re missing ingredients, just throw in what you have.

While I love seafood stocks and bisques, my hubby doesn’t, so I don’t make them. 🙁

This freezes really well. Make in bulk!

Time
30 minutes – 4 hours

Ingredients

Chicken
1-2kg necks or
2-3 carcasses
or a combination

Beef
3 meaty bones
3 marrow bones
1.2-1.4kg brisket (pull cooked meat and use in Vietnamese beef or enchiladas)

Bacon
6-8 meaty bones (reserved cooked meat for soups) or 4-5 bones with 1-2 ham hocks
For extra flavour, smoke the onions and fennel for an hour first

2 onions, halved (leave skins on)
1 fennel, cut in thick slices
2 carrots, sliced lengthways
2-3 celery sticks with leaves, chopped
1 bulb of garlic, cut in half to expose the anti-vampire bits
2 bouquets garni
1 TB peppercorns

Asian beef stock

Asian stock profile:
150g fresh ginger, cut lengthways
2-4 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
4 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods
1-2 TB coriander seeds
1-2 ts sugar
30-40ml fish sauce
(omit bouquets garni, peppercorns – I still use the garlic, carrot and celery but they can be left out too)

Equipment
Large stock pot(s), sieve for straining

Method

1 – Simmer bones in enough water for 5 minutes to purify the bones. Rinse them under cold water and wash the pot before returning the bones to the pot. Skip this step if you don’t care about this!

2 – Char the aromatic vegetables (onion, garlic, fennel, ginger) in a large frying pan with a little oil. Skip this step if you don’t care about this!

3 – Toast the spices in the frying pan for 3 minutes. Skip this step if you don’t care about this!

4 – Pop everything into the stock pot with enough water to cover everything. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour, 3-4 hours for an intense beef stock.

(4.5 – If making beef stock, remove the brisket at the 3-3½ hour mark. This can now be stored for later use, or shredded straight away. Leave the beef stock to simmer for another hour.)

5 – Strain with a big sieve, then strain through muslin if desired (I don’t bother, but would if using shellfish). Cool before freezing – I like to freeze in 700-800ml lots (perfect for Thermomix soups) or big, thin containers that fit nicely in my freezer.

Stock can be used as a base for soups, risottos or as a flavour for rice cooking. If making hot pot, use a very simple chicken stock as the flavours will develop further during the course of the meal.