Tips for Making a Perfect Stock

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Save chicken carcasses, beef, lamb or even fish bones. Wrap them up and freeze until you have sufficient to put the stockpot on. It is as easy to make a large pot of stock; it makes the effort worthwhile.

Never boil a stock; boiling makes a stock greasy and cloudy. It is, far better to gently simmer to extract flavour only. Bring your stock to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to a gentle bubble.  Cook vegetable stock for 20- 30 minutes and meat stocks for 1- 1 ½ hours. Slow cookers are an excellent tool for stock making.

Meat based stock must be cooled quickly to eliminate the risk of salmonella. Put into a shallow bowl or pot, bring to room temperature and then put into the fridge.

Do not completely cover the pan while it is cooling as this can turn your stock sour tasting, leave the lid slightly ajar to help steam escape.

Once cooled any excess fat will have settled on the top and can be easily removed with a spoon.

Strain the stock and boil the liquid down until it is reduced to about a third, creating a wonderful concentrated stock. This takes up less space in your freezer.

Pack your stock into small containers and pop it into the freezer. You then have it to hand whenever a recipe calls for it.

Adapted from www.thespruce.com