Stock is easy. So easy, in fact, that I feel kind of silly writing posts about it. I’m going to anyway, though, because when I first started making stock I was scared to get it wrong. I wish someone would have told me that if you’ve got bones and water, it’ll turn out just fine! Everyone should know how to make stock. It is the foundation of a real food diet!Making stock is also a great way to ease into a healthier diet. Our family made a million changes all at once, after a health crisis. But most people like to ease into dietary changes. It’s a lot easier to add something good to your diet than to try to eliminate “bad” foods that you like. Once you have stock on hand, you can incorporate it into your diet by:
- Cooking with it in recipes that call for store-bought stock
- Using it in the place of water when cooking rice, quinoa, or other savory grain dishes
- Blanching vegetables in it instead of steaming them
- Drinking a cup of broth with meals
- Reducing it for flavorful sauces and gravies
- Making quick soups for easy, portable meals
Using homemade stock in your cooking will add flavor and nutrition to your diet. If you already cooked with store-bought broth and soups, you are in for a surprise – homemade flavor can’t be beat! You’ll also cut your grocery bill and get more nutrition! Incorporating homemade stock into your life will also get you used to the rhythm of preparing basic ingredients from whole foods, and get you excited to try other delicious traditional foods.
Stock doesn’t require fancy ingredients, exact cooking times, or even a recipe! There are much more elaborate ways to make stock which I’ll share later, but this remains my favorite method. Having it sitting there on the counter means I’ll remember to eat it, and I don’t need to fuss with getting it preserved.
Easiest Perpetual Stock
- Get some bones. I like to roast a chicken at the beginning of the week. We eat the chicken, collect the bones, and are good to go! You can use any bones that fit in your pot.
- Put the bones in a slow cooker. You can also include the giblets, skin, and other parts you didn’t roast like the neck of a chicken, wing tips, and feet. I leave out the skin and neck for perpetual stock method, but use it when making batches of stock. With the perpetual stock method you don’t ever cool it to skim the fat, so the stock can turn out too oily if you use skin and necks. If you are using the feet you’ll want scald them, plunge them in cold water, and remove the skin first. The feet give the stock more flavor, more nutrition, and make it gel more.
- Cover the bones with filtered water. It’s fine to fill the pot up to within a couple inches of the top.
- Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Optional – it helps pull the minerals out of the bones and into the stock.
- Turn it up to high. When the water starts to boil off, turn it to low.
- After a few hours, your stock will be flavorful. You can start using it by ladling out the amount you need. Whenever the level of liquid gets too low, just add some more filtered water.
- Use it all week. After 4-7 days, pour the stock and bones through a colander. Use up the last of your stock and compost the bones. Wash up your pot, and start again!
You can do the same thing on the stove top with a stainless steel stock pot, but I prefer to use the stove top method for extra large batches that we then freeze or pressure can. That way the pot isn’t taking up one of my burners all week, and I don’t have to worry about setting the house on fire.
Do you already cook with stock? What’s your favorite way to make it?
This post is part of Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Real Food Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Homestead Barn Hop, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday.