We started making our own meat stocks years ago and let me tell you, we will never go back to buying store bought stock or broth again. The difference in taste and quality are amazing.
Not to mention, they are very inexpensive to make; especially chicken and turkey stock because you’re using the bones leftover from roasting the bird (for chicken stock we use bones from two birds.)
Beef stock is a little more expensive to make because to have enough you’ll need to buy bones, unless you raise your own beef or when you buy a side of beef, you have them save the bones for you. I buy beef bones from the same farm where I buy our eggs, grass fed beef and pastured pork.
Before making beef stock, we bake the bones for 2 hrs at 350ºF first to bring out a richer, deeper flavor in the finished broth.
For this stock, we used a turkey carcass leftover from the turkey. If I don’t have time right after a holiday, I put the whole carcass in a bag and freeze it until I do have time.
I cook everything in a large stainless steel pot with a deep strainer. (<-affiliate link)
Into the pot goes the turkey carcass, a few stalks of celery, 3 or 4 coarsely chopped carrots, several peelings from onions (each time I peel an onion, I save the peelings in a large plastic zip bag in the freezer), some dehydrated kale, a heaping spoonful of minced garlic, a handful of peppercorns, a tablespoon of sea salt and water to cover.
Those are the basics. If I have other vegetables in the fridge that are getting a little soft or past the point of wanting to eat them fresh, into the pot they go.
Bring everything to a gentle boil and then turn the heat down and allow the pot to simmer.
After several hours, lift the strainer portion out.
You may want to kind of prop this over the pot and strain for a couple minutes to allow any excess stock to drain out of the bones and veggie mixture.
Allow bones, etc to cool. Place in a plastic bag and then place in with your other garbage.
At this point, taste the stock. If it has the depth of flavor you want, remove from heat and cool in a sink full of ice water.
If not, allow the stock to cook down for a while longer.
Once the stock has cooled, pour into a large stainless steel or glass bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, carefully skim off the fat that has congealed on top of the stock.
Line a strainer with several layers of cheese cloth. (<-affiliate link)
To help hold the cheese cloth in place, use an large elastic band around the outer edge.
Place the strainer over a large bowl or pot and strain.
If we hadn’t strained it, all those little bits would have made the finished stock cloudy instead of a beautiful golden color.
Now you can do one of two things with your finished stock.
You can freeze it in one or two cup portions. (Or as Robin mentioned in the comments… freeze in ice cube trays for when you need smaller portions.)
Or you can do what we do; which is bring it back to a boil, pour into pint jars and pressure can it.
Click through to the next page for complete pressure canning instructions!
Note: More and more, the terms broth and stock are used interchangeably in recipes… but traditionally, stock is made with bones and vegetables while broth is made with meat and vegetables. The bones add a greater depth of flavor.
As well, the slow simmering of the bones extracts the collagen from the bones, giving stock a different taste and feel in the mouth than broth.
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