As is often the case for many of my “resourceful” DIY projects, my motivation for making homemade stock was financial. Sure, there are other benefits: it tastes better, you know exactly what’s in it, and you can cater it to certain taste or salt preferences. What I like most about it, though? I end up with a lot of stock by using things that would have basically been thrown away! Really? Really!
What you need:
- leftover bones (I’ve used chicken, beef, turkey, pork, ham, and lamb. I save them in a gallon ziploc bag in my freezer until I have enough to fill a large stock pot)
- vegetable scraps or fresh (carrots, celery, onion, leeks)*
- peppercorns or other herbs, to taste
* Vegetables to avoid in stock: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, mustard greens, kale, tomatoes, asparagus (these can add a bitter taste to your stock)
If you want to make Vegetable Stock, simply omit the bones and use a 1:1 ratio of vegetables to water. Including potatoes or potato skins sparingly can add body. You do not need to simmer vegetable stock as long as a meat-based stock. Typically an hour is enough.
- the biggest stock pot you have! (that can also fit in your fridge)
- mesh strainer
- containers (freezable if possible)
Time: 10 minutes prep, 5-6 hours simmer, 8-10 hours chill, 20 minutes strain/store
Freezeable: Yes! Most of my stock goes in the freezer
Serves: One large pot of bones yields me about 5-6 quarts of stock (In the pictures I had two pots going – yay for Thanksgiving turkey bones from family!)
Multiplying the recipe: You can make as much stock with as many bones and stock pots as you have!
Place bones, vegetables, and seasonings in a large stock pot. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer – do not boil. Simmer for 5-6 hours. Let cool.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat off of the top. (If you use primarily turkey bones, there will not be a thick layer.) Pour stock into containers through a mesh strainer. Use immediately or put in refrigerator or freezer for later use!