Tag Archives: stock

Stock recipes

How To Make Stocks from Scratch

Vegetable stock simmering
Vegetable stock simmering

About every two months or so we cook our own stocks. It takes time, but it gives you the pleasure of using the ingredients you would otherwise throw away and also the flavor is something else that what you would get from stock cubes.

When we cook fish, we always ask the fish counter to give the heads and bones even if we ask them to cut the fish into fillets. When we have chicken or chicken wings, we collect the bones for the stock. Same goes for beef bones etc. (and actually you can use bones from the ribs, too, even if it’s pork). We pack them to the freezer to wait our weekend stock project.

The whole project start from the vegetable stock. Begin to collect vegetables peels  a few days ahead. You can use potato, carrot and onion skins and tops, paprika and tomato stems and skins, etc. But you cannot use only those, because the stock would become bitter. You need to use fresh ingredients as well. Most supermarkets in Spain have stock vegetable packets containing carrots, celery and swede. We grabbed four of those and in addition 4 big onions. There was also a sweet potato from previous days dinner and it ended up in the pot as well. And we had some leftover champignon mushrooms, too. You can basically use whatever you have in the fridge as long as it fits roughly into vegetable category.

Ingredients for Vegetable Stock

  • 10 carrots – zanahornas
  • 4 big onions – cebollas
  • 1 whole celery – apio
  • vegetable skins – cáscara vegetal
  • 4 tomatoes – tomates
  • 5 bay leaves – hojas de laurel
  • 10 sprigs of rosemary – ramitas de romero
  • 10 sprigs of thyme – ramitas de tomillo
  • 1/2 dl (1/4 cup) of sea salt – sal marina
  • 20 whole black peppers – pimientas negras
  • 10 l (1/4 gallon) of water – aqua
  • 1/2 cup of brandy – brandy

Use a big sauce pot for making the stock. Cut all vegetables roughly and place in the pot. Put the pot on high heat and pour brandy on top. Mix well with the vegetables. When all the alcohol has vaporized pour in the water and bring to boil. When the water begins to boil add bay leaves, salt, black peppers, rosemary and thyme. Lower the heat so that the stock simmers slowly and cover with lid. Stir ever 30 minutes and let it simmer for 3 hours. Add water, if needed. The idea is to get as much stock as possible and squeeze every last bit of taste out of the vegetables.

After three hours the stock is good, but it’s not ready yet. But it’s ready enough for using as a base for rest of the stocks. What remaining vegetables stock you have left after using it for other stocks, let it still simmer for about an hour before pouring the stock through a large sieve to get filtered stock. Let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes for later use.

 Ingredients for Beef and Chicken Stock

  • 300-500 g (10-15 oz) of bones – huesos
  • 1 l (5 cups) of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras

This method of making beef and chicken stock is exactly the same. You can actually roast the both bones at the same time, but you need to boil the stock separately, of course.

Preheat the oven to 100 ºC (200 ºF). Place the bones to an oven tray and roast them in for 2 hours. After that put the bones to a large sauce pot along with the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2 hours. Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

Ingredients for Fish Stock

  • 1 kg (30 oz) of fish bones and heads (with gills removed) – huesos de pescado
  • 1 l  (5 cups) of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras

Put the fish bones and heads to a large sauce pot along with the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes (no more!). Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

Ingredients for Crab Stock

  • 300-500 g (10-15 oz) of crab shells and heads – cáscaras y cabezas de gambas
  • 1 l (5 cups of vegetable stock – caldo de verduras
  • 1 dl (1/2 cup) of brandy – brandy

If you have a smoker, smoke the shells and heads for 20 minutes. If not, you can place them in a 100 ºC (200 ºF) oven for 20 minutes. After that place the shells in a large sauce pot and put the pot on high heat. Pour the brandy on top, mix well and after the alcohol have vaporized add the vegetable stock. Put some vegetables from the vegetable stock to the pot, too. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes (no more!). Check the taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Filter with a large sieve, let it cool and freeze in small plastic boxes.

¡Buen provecho!