Making Your Own Stock

November 10, 2012


Alright already! Here's how my wife makes it. I can tell you this - if you are not making your own stock and drinking a cup a day with a pinch of salt, you have no idea what you are missing!

Subject: Bone Broth recipe

Making good tasting stock is a fairly imprecise endeavor. I don't measure anything or weigh anything. I just throw stuff into a pot and simmer for 24 hours or so.

Get a big stainless steel (never aluminum) lidded stock pot. Put in:

Whatever bones you want to use - I stick with (truly) pastured raised chicken carcasses (backs, necks, feet) and/or turkey parts. I'll use duck bones too if I can get them at the farmer's market (yummy stock). I will also use bones from (truly) grass fed cows and lamb, but I don't like it as much as the poultry bones - comes out rather gamy tasting and can be made to make great stews and soups, but I like it less for just straight drinking.

Chicken feet make the richest stock. This stock seems to confer the greatest joint pain-relief benefit to Fred and maybe because there are so many joints in a chicken foot. I get them from a farm upstate, but I think you can get them at the Union Sq. farmer's market.

Rinse the bones, especially if they are left over from a meal you already had (you can save up bones and carcasses in the freezer) -- you want to make sure you're not adding any salt to the stock. Trim the nails off the chicken feet (I use poultry sheers) and cut off any gross calluses or any other dirty looking parts (not sure if you really have to, but those parts gross me out). You can mix and match bones too - sometimes adding poultry bones to the beef or lamb, tones down the gamy flavor. Pork bones also make a great tasting, almost Asian tasting broth.

How many bones to use? It depends on how much stock you want. After you put them in the pot (I loosely fill my 15 qt. pot half way up with bones/feet) you will cover them with water so that they are submerged with an inch or so over the bones.

Then I add one or two ribs of celery - rinsed and cut into 3 pieces.

One or two medium sized carrots, scrubbed and cut into 3 pieces.

And one medium onion, peeled and quartered. If I have a bunch of parsley I will rinse it off and throw it in. I will also put in any leftover veggies in my veg. drawer as long as they don't impart too much of a flavor - like broccoli and cauliflower (I throw in the rinsed greens that often get thrown away). I won't throw in a bitter green, because I don't know how it will affect the taste, greens like chard are fine. But the veggies are not necessary.

IMPORTANT: Add 1/4 cup organic, unfiltered APPLE CIDER VINEGAR to the pot. It won't affect the flavor, but it will help leach all the minerals from the bones. DO NOT add salt - salt does the opposite.

The celery, carrot, onion combo is classic in stock-making. So I always use those, but I don't care too much about the proportions (though some might say I should).

Then I bring the whole thing to a boil. Once it's boiling, I might skim the "scum" that starts forming if there is a lot of it, but most times I don't -- it just goes away eventually. Then I put the lid on it, turn down to a simmer and let it simmer for 12 - 24 hours -- the best stock has gone 24. It really should be just barely bubbling.

I turn it off and let it cool down enough to handle straining out the bones and stuff -- this can take several hours. I drain it well, squeezing the veggies in a strainer to get all the liquid out. After I get all the big stuff out, I pour it through a fine strainer to get all the little bits out. I put the bowl in the fridge and let cool for another 24 hours.

The next day there should be a layer of fat on the top. I skim that off and discard (not because I'm fat phobic, but because poultry fat gets damaged in the long cooking process). Then I store in half cup portions (in glass containers) and stick in the freezer. It'll be rather concentrated, so when you thaw it out to drink, you add equal parts water to it. At this point you can add a pinch of salt if you want.

Enjoy! And give the kids some too!