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Make Stock from Scratch

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Published March 22nd 2011

While powdered stock might be cheap and easy, the taste doesn't compare to homemade liquid stock. Spend a day making your own and store it in the freezer for future use. The finished product can be used for soup, casseroles, gravy and loads more.

The most important ingredient in stock is your bones. These can be purchased from most butchers or plan ahead and use bones left over from a roast or other meal.

Chicken stock

Roughly chop one onion or the white part of a leek, one carrot and one celery stick.

Fill a large pot (at least two litres) with water and add your chicken bones, chopped vegetables, crushed garlic cloves, a handful of rosemary, sage and thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Turn the heat up and simmer, uncovered, for about two hours. Strain the liquid you may need to do this several times to remove all the 'bits'.

Vegetable stock

Roughly chop one onion, the white part of one leek, one swede, one carrot and one celery stick. Pre-heat a pan over the stove and fry your vegetables for about five minutes, until they begin to sweat. Remove from heat.

Fill a large pot with water and add your vegetables, several sprigs of parsley, a handful of fresh bay leaves, whole peppercorns and salt. Bring the water to a boil and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about two hours. You will need to check on the stock regularly to remove any scum that rises to the surface.

When the stock is ready, allow to cool to room temperature before straining.

Fish stock

Roughly chop one large onion. Heat a knob of butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add onion, about a kilogram of fish bones, prawn shells and other seafood and a handful of fennel. Cook, stirring frequently, for about ten minutes or until the fish bones begin to whiten.

Add one cup of white wine and about two litres of water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for thirty minutes then remove from heat and strain.
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Why? Because you can't beat the taste
When: Any time
Where: Your kitchen
Cost: Minimal
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