Stocks are the basis of a good many soups and some stews, as well as making a difference to a savoury sauce. Whilst it is possible to procure ready made stocks either as a liquid or dried in the form of powder or cubes. But a carefully prepared home-made stock is essential to good appetising and tasty home cooking. Though the ready made stocks are a good standby when you have a busy day.
The ingredients for stock are both cheap and easily obtained where ever you live.
A simple stock is the water that mutton or other meats have been cooked in or the water in which a vegetable or vegetables has been boiled in.
You can use fresh bones or you can use already cooked bones (i.e. Bones from cold joints of meats or bones that have been cooked and allowed to go cold ) to make a stock from.
Always allow the stock to simmer slowly as this draws out the flavour from the bones, the vegetables and the spices used.
Though some recipes may call for the stock to be boiled.
Stocks are best made the day before then allowing them to become cold making it easier to remove the fat from the stock.
Pour the stock into a large bowl to allow the stock to cool in. never leave the stock in the stock pot.
The stock can be also frozen for use at a later date.
The stock once it has had the fat removed can be reheated and placed in to airtight containers and sealed allowed to cool then stored in the refrigerator for a week or two. But when this is done correctly it may last longer in the refrigerator.
A bunch of herbs consisting of
A Bay leaf
A sprig of Thyme,
A few Peppercorns.
3 to 4 sprigs of Parsley
These are enclosed between a half carrot that has been sliced down the carrot and half a stick of celery. This is then tied up to form a bunch.
The bouquet garni allows the removal of the herbs more easily than when the herbs are add as single ingredients.
There are a number of bouquet garni's due to the varying of the herbs and spices used in making the bouquet garni.
The beef bones and meat can be replaced by mutton or lamb in this recipe.
4lbs ( 1.8Kg) Beef bones.( Shank, Rib, Marrow, bones or a combination)
5 pints ( 2.8l) cold Water.
1 tablespoon ( 20ml ) Salt.
1 each of – Carrot,- Turnip,- Onion [brown skinned ] - blade of Mace.
2 outside sticks of Celery.
1 doz. ( 12) each of – Cloves,- Peppercorns
Trim and wash the bones, remove the fat, and cut the meat in to small pieces.
Put the bones, meat, salt and water in to the stock pot or large saucepan.
Let them soak for whilst you prepare the vegetables then bring very slowly to the simmering point.
Prepare the vegetables and cut up roughly, leaving the skin on the onion and just cut in half.
When it has reached the simmering point add the vegetables, bouquet garni, the peppercorns, mace and cloves.
Then simmer gently for 4 ½ hours.
Remove the bones and strain.
Allow to cool before removing the fat.
The ingredients are the same as the First Stock except the meat is replaced with any white meat such as Veal, Rabbit, Fowl etc. Also use white peppercorns.
Use the First Stock recipe but thoroughly brown the meat, bones and vegetables in a 220°C oven or in a heavy based frying pan over a moderate heat. If the bones are very lean,it may be necessary to add about tablespoon ( 20ml ) of butter or oil.
Now proceed using the First Stock recipe.
This is good for consommé, onion soup, and to enrich sauces and casseroles.
This stock must always be simmered never boiled.
This stock is used in many fish sauces and soups.
Prawn heads, lobster and crayfish heads can be used instead of the fish.
Though they can be added to the fish bones to make the stock.
Try to avoid the trimmings of oily fish.
2lb (1Kg ) Fish or fish bones.
4pts ( 2.25l ) cold water.
1 tablespoon ( 20ml) Salt.
1- each of – Onion, – blade of Mace
3- sprigs of Parsley.
12- white Peppercorns.
Rind of 1 Lemon.
Put all ingredients into a stock pot or saucepan.
Bring slowly to simmering point and allow to simmer for about an hour (1 Hour).
Then strain through a fine sieve or muslin.
One for the vegetarians as well.
8 cups ( 2l) cold Water.
2 teaspoons ( 10ml) coarse Salt.
3- sticks of Celery.
1- Leek use only the white portion of the leek.
1- Parsnip or Turnip.
1- piece of Ginger about the size of a walnut.
Chop up the onion, leek, celery and the parsnip or turnip.
Chop up the ginger finely
Place all the ingredients in to a stock pot or large saucepan.
Bring to the boil then lower the heat till simmering.
Simmer partially covered for about an hour ( 1 hour).
Pour the liquid through a colander set over another container.
Press the vegetables against the side of the colander to extract the juices.
Pour through a strainer, cool and refrigerate.
Discard the solids.
Note. The solids may be added to mashed potatoes to make potato cakes if you desire to.
Cooked bones, or bones from cold joints.
2 pints ( 1l ) of water fro each pound of bones.
Use the same proportions of vegetables and seasonings as the First Stock.
Break up the bones and add to the stockpot or large saucepan with the water in it.
Bring to the boil and gently boil for 1 hour.
Prepare the vegetables and add them when the stock has boiled for an hour (1 hour).
Then simmer for another 4 hours.
Strain and use.
Note: When this stock is cold it should be as thick as jelly.