The chill has officially entered into the air. I have some great fall recipes I would like to share but first we have to prep. Today we make stock. Sounds boring I know but it is a fundamental base for many recipes including soups and sauces. You can get a box of the pre-made stuff but it is no where near the same in nutrition and flavor. I’d like to share with you the many tips I have accumulated along the way to making and storing stock.
The nutrition added when making this stock recipe is awesome. I know we’re sniffling here at our home. My patients are calling with scratchy throats and swollen glands. Change of weather allergies or a bug? Hard to say, right? Kind of like the chicken and egg question. Either way, this stock recipe is part of the cure. The long cooking process warms the house and gets the gastric juices going. These aid in healthy digestion. You will need that digestion for all of the yummy things we are going to make next week!
To get started…
1) Start collected your veggie scraps a few days before and store in a the fridge. Onion skins have one of the highest amounts of Quercitin. This is a very powerful agent that has an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effect on the body.(KAPOW!!!) I remember learning this from our lovely, intelligent mentor and herbal guru, Dr. Jillian Stansbury in the early days of med school. Also, your garlic skins, carrot peels, celery parts, zucchini tops and bottoms, shiitakes (especially when they are forgotten in the fridge and get all dried up. Shiitakes have HUGE immune boosting effects). Any of your veg scraps. If you don’t have any, start them. You will use the diced veggies in the soups and sauces later. The only one I would avoid are peppers. They make the stock very bitter and acidic.
2) Next, take the meat off of your roasted chicken, turkey, beef, lamb,etc., that you cooked the night before. (The cooked meat will make you stock cloudy.) Roast those bones in the oven at a high heat (400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes). This will add a nice caramelized flavor to the stock. (Do this also if you get fresh bones from the butcher). If you have uncooked meats, throw it in uncooked for the last hour of the process. Or save it for the soup.
3) So all of your veggies parts are clean, bones roasted, throw it all in a big pot with 1-2 gallons of water depending how big a pot you have. The bones and veggies should be floating in a lot of water. We are going to simmer this for 3 hours so it will reduce.
4) Add 1 Tbl salt, 2 tsp pepper, 1 Bay leaf, you can add chopped veggies if you want to or save them for the soups and sauces. Chef’s choice. 😉
5) Cover pot and let simmer for about 3 hours. You can play with this. Longer, the better but even an hour will get the flavors going. Skim any layers of protein and fat collected off of the top as you go with a spoon.
6) Cool and strain. If there is fresh cooked meat, pull the meat off of the bones and store in fridge for later. Compost the bones and veggies parts.
7) Store in smaller containers, like about 3 cups per container. Also, I recommend pouring stock into 1-2 ice cube trays. This will come in handy for some sauce we will be enjoying later on. Cover and store in freezer. This will keep for months.
Exciting recipes to come next week…