I haven’t always been an advocate for homemade chicken, fish and beef stock. I was one of those who just bought the chicken and beef stock in the paper containers and granules in the jars.
I use stock for everything soups, sauces, and I replace water for stock when cooking rice. The list goes on. But one day a few years ago … I realized I was spending soooo much money on store-bought stock that there had to be another way … a less expensive way … so I researched and found many recipes for homemade stocks.
Looking at stock from a culinary perspective, I said, “yep … homemade is best and the least expensive.” I got to tweaking my stock recipes to make it the very best I could. While doing so, I realized that not only was I making it homemade, I was able to control the ingredients I served my family, especially the salt. Nothing was going to waste. I saved money on my grocery budget and used the best homemade stock available to us. Win Win, right?!
I continued to research the benefits of homemade stock from a nutritional standpoint not a culinary standpoint. Well, slap me silly … you know the stuff really has many health benefits?!
You remember how Grandma always brought you chicken soup when you were down with a cold … well Grandmas do know best … science validates what our grandmothers already knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Bone stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily:
- Sulphur, and
- Trace minerals
OMG! If you continue to research there are many, many other health benefits that bone stocks provide us, “It also contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain…*” Now, readers, we have a Slam Dunk!
There are tons of bone stock recipes on the internet and, yes, you can follow one to a tee or you can tweak and adjust to your family’s taste but essentially it all starts with bones and water simmered very low over a period of time. You can add leftover vegetable scrapes, garlic or spices to make your stocks your own. You can even use chicken feet and cow’s hooves, heads and tails, I haven’t actually used the feet and body parts. I just can’t get past all those body parts floating around … but that’s not to say that I won’t eventually make it a kitchen science project! When I do, you can bet that I will be sharing my experiment! Until then, dear readers, I’m sticking to bones.
Oh, okay, I hear ya .. how do you store your beautiful stocks, you ask? Storing stocks are as simple as straining the liquid, cooling it, pouring it into a freezer safe container and your done!
Another great storage tip, pour the cooled stock in ice cube trays and storing the cubes in a plastic freezer bag for when you just need to add a little extra flavor. Simple as that … homemade stock ready for you any time you need it!
My favorite way to make a large batch of stock is to use my crock pot. Put all your ingredients in the crock pot and turn on low. Let this simmer for 24 hours up to 72 hours. This makes the best stock. It allows time for the bone marrow and tendons to congeal which produces the highest level of collagen which is essential to joint health.
Do you make homemade stocks?
See you in the comments,