Stock for Free!
Stock for Free !
Yes, that’s correct. Stock for free. As in no cost. Well, I guess I’m lying a little there. It’s almost free.
I realize that stock is not that expensive an item in your grocery cart. Oh, did you think I meant stocks . . . like stocks and bonds? Sorry, dear.
This is stock you can take home and keep and eat. Real stock.
This post is late. Things have been hectic this summer. We’ve had hot weather, but it hasn’t seemed like summer vacation around here. My guy’s working way too much. I’ve gotten behind on these posts. It’s all just been one major issue after another. When there’s a bit of distance behind it . . . I’ll tell you all about this spring and summer. But, life goes on. One must persevere. And eat!
I buy as nutritiously as possible. You know, happy cows, happy chickens, happy piggies. Organic when possible. That’s not to say I’m a die-hard about it. We eat out and most of that is not organic, I’m sure. But, I do buy organic eggs and fresh produce like apples, strawberries, grapes, cucumbers, and celery, to name a few. And I try to buy organic, grass-fed and non-antibiotic meats. I’ve made my own stocks and broth for years. And today, I’ll show you how. It’s not only good for you, but really cheap.
Yesterday, I was cutting the last meat off of a roasted chicken. It was a shame to throw away such a good carcass, so I put it in a stock pot, went through my produce and added all sorts of veggies that were on their way out. They weren’t spoiled, but they’d lost their glow. Covered everything with water and, in three hours, I had stock. Salt-free, fat-free, organic stock. Practically for free. (Considering everything was headed to the trash!)
Barefoot’s Homemade Stock
Meat bones: Organic chicken bones, beef bones, etc. of your choice
Veggies: Mushrooms, asparagus, onions, celery, broccoli, carrots, bay leaf, Brussels sprouts
That’s it! Put whatever you have into a large stock pot, cover with plenty of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 1-3 hours, let liquid reduce to about half.
Strain through a sieve into a measuring bowl or pitcher with a spout. Pour liquid into individual containers, and freeze.
That fatty skim you see on the surface is just that: fat. You can skim it off before you freeze it or later before you use it. I’ve added no salt and, with the fat removed, you’ll have fat-free, salt-free, and organic (If you used organic food.) stock make from stuff you’d have thrown away. Free!
Here’s how I store it. The cups you see are 8 ounce Styrofoam cups. I’ve used ice-cube trays in the past, but that little cube isn’t enough quantity when I’m cooking. A cup is good and it’s concentrated a little since I let it reduce in the pot. I put them in the freezer, then later, put them in zip baggies.
Label with beef or chicken and the date. It’s amazing how you won’t be able to tell what you have in a couple of months, just by looking at the cup.
I can pop one or more into the microwave and thaw or drop the frozen cup directly into soups, if I prefer. Without the Styrofoam cup, of course. Ding-dong, of course, without the cup.
One additional note: You can leave out the meat and have vegetable stock. Use only one vegetable, if you want that particular stock. I’ve also made shrimp stock from shrimp peels. I didn’t add a lot of vegetables to the shrimp stock because I wanted the clear shrimp taste.
Until next time. Be sweet.