I mentioned something to a friend the other day about making soup from stock (we were actually discussing whether or not it’s okay to make soup from a meat-based, although meatless, stock for Lent. I vote yes.) and she asked me how I find time to make stock. It is really such a cinch, so I wanted to share with you how I keep stock available.
I like to make chicken stock, beef stock and vegetable stock. Whenever I cook a chicken or a roast, the first thing I do after eating is to start the stock (this way it can make while I’m doing the dishes). I bone the chicken or cut up the roast, then place the bones and scraps in a big pot with whatever kind of spices I’m feeling like. It’s even better if the meat was cooked in a big pot in the first place, so then I’m not dirtying another dish AND it will be full of the richest drippings already.
I run the pot 2/3 full of water and turn it on high until it boils, then let it simmer for an hour or so. I let it cool for awhile on the countertop, then I pour it into jars with screw-top lids (like empty spaghetti sauce jars – I know, why don’t I make my own marinara too? IDK!). I put them in the fridge. Overnight, the fat will separate, raise to the top and solidify. I scoop it out with a spoon the next day, label it with masking tape and stick it in the freezer. Whenever I want to use it I can take it out and pop it right into the microwave if I’m in a hurry.
The only difference with vegetable stock it how I prep for it. I keep a ziplock bag in the freezer, in which I throw scraps wether they come off the cutting board or a plate after a meal is finished.
These stocks make delicious rice and soups. Plus they are a heck of a lot cheaper (and healthier) than anything you can buy to use in it’s place. It’s not gourmet, but close enough!