Taking Stock: How to make and freeze your own chicken and beef stock

Imagine coming home on a cold raining or snowy day and popping the stock ice cubes in the microwave and perhaps add a bit of couscous. The couscous will soften right in the hot soup stock. You can also add bits of whatever you have in the fridge.

Yes, you can buy powdered soup stock or even cans or containers of it, but its never right, it often has way too much sodium. The great thing about making your own stock is that it's yours just the way you want it. Yes, it does take a long time but the results are worth it.

Here is what you can put in stock:


- Any root vegetable like potatoes, Chinese radish, broccoli ends or turnips.
- Celery. We usually think celery is all year around but fall is the best time for celery. It's an often underrated vegetable, yet its one of the most versatile. I use the entire vegetable stalks, leaves and bottoms. It can and in my opinion should go into all your stocks.
- Carrots. I like the snap carrots for stock and then use the bunch kind of the soup.
- Onions. The large Spanish white onions are perfect for stock. I peel and quarter them.
- Leaks. Gives you a different flavor than onions goes well with chicken.
- Tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are great in chicken stock and you don't need to peel them. I quarter them and put them in. Gives the stock an added flavor.
- Asparagus hard ends. Don't know what to do with Asparagus ends make them into stock. You don't need to boil them as long as other vegetables. I usually just add onions with them, no meat.
- Mushroom ends. I have never tried this, but I've read about it. If you have used them in a stock please share your experiences in the discussion forums.
- Corn. Great for chowders of all kinds especially sea food or chicken.


- Bay leaf While fresh is always better dried will certainly do. Just remember either way you have to take out the bay leaf. Bay leaf is perfect in all stocks.
- Rosemary is especially good in lamb stock but you can put it in beef, ham or just a pure vegetable stock.
- Tarragon is good in chicken or lamb stocks.
- Lemon pepper is perfect in all stocks but really great for beef.
- Salt. It's easy enough to forget! Never put in too much but put in a bit.


- Chicken. Use the entire chicken carcass and any of the meat you can spare. I love chicken stock its great in rice. All you have to do to make soup is add more chicken and vegetables. Here's a Chicken soup dumpling recipe
- Beef. Some of us save those beef bones but most of us get them from the butchers. Ask for beef soup bones, they don't cost much or if you are regular customer the butcher might give you them. Its great in Beef Stew.
- Lamb or Pork. Same as above ask for them at the butchers.


- Now you are ready to start making stock. Decide what kind of stock you want and assemble it all together.
- You will need a large pot that can hold around four quarts of water. But never fill it completely. Always boil the water with a pinch of salt first before you add the meat bones or carcass. Let them boil for around a half hour.
- Then add the root vegetables, and carrots. Keep boiling. Add the celery and the other vegetables and seasoning.
- Put on a lid and turn down heat to a medium simmer for around an hour. Then put on a low simmer for two hours.
- Take off heat. Let cool. Skim off the fat.
- Put the stock through a colander and either discard the vegetables or meat or put them through a blender and then add to the stock.


Freeze the stock in small portions. I use ice cube trays. But you can also use any small container you can put in the freezer. Once they are frozen you can take them out of the tray or small container and put in plastic bags.

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