Thursday, August 23, 2012

The love affair continues.... I love you, let me count the ways....corney I know but my family and I have an ongoing passion for stocks.

Having eating soup almost every lunch time over winter we have gone through a lot of stock. I have at least 5 jars of beef and 5 of chicken in the fridge at all times. I recently made vegetable stock too which has come in handy in a variety of meals.

Chicken necks browning

Now that we are in the flow of it I just keep making stock as I see we are coming to the end of one type. When I started making stocks for the first time about 18 months ago I set aside the task for a weekend day but now it just flows with the rhythm of my kitchen.

Beef bones are ordered monthly (4kgs) from our grass fed beef supplier. Theseare frozen in 1kg bags and taken out as needed. Chicken carcasses are left over from our meals as I joint whole chickens to save a little. These chickens are from my son's pasture fed farmer's farm (gosh is that a sentance!) and once I have cut off the thighs, drums, wings and breasts the rest is put aside for stock. Specific vegetable peelings are collected and kept in a bowl in the fridge and used for beef and chicken stocks or used in pure veggie stock.

The other day I bought a whole Yellowtail and while the fishmonger filleted it he offered me the head...this was the first time I entertained the thought of a fishstock. So of course I said YES! and it is now waiting for me in the freezer so that I can make fish stock for a great soup recipe I have my eye on.

Self seeded celery, so glad it did!

One of my son's clients asked if we could get her chicken necks...when I enquired why she said that she made stock from them as the spinal fluid had antiviral properties. I have looked all over the web but have found nothing to justify this comment, but this article explains why we should make bone stocks anyway.

I found that the chicken necks are nice a cheap (and being free range pasture fed this is a good thing!) so I bought us a couple of packets.

Here is what is cooking on the stove as I write:

Brown 1kg chicken necks in a little butter
Add the peels of a weeks worth of soup preparation i.e. 1 large bowl of garlic peels, onion tops and peels, carrot peels, turnip peels, tomatoe bottoms, courgette tops.

A few days of soup veg peels
I had to run out to the garden for some self seeded celery as there was none in that collected.

Add 5 Bay leaves, 10 peppercorns and cover with spring water.

Bring to the boil then turn right down to a soft simmer for about 4  - 6 hours. I will turn the pot off at 9.30 when I go to the land of nod.

The liquid will be drained in the morning, the vegetables thrown away, the necks given to the dogs and the stock placed in 1 liter jars for use.

Tomorrow as I am out for most of the day with one child or another, the stock will be used in broccoli soup which the "left-behinds" will make for I remind them to keep me a bowl!

Linking up to Simple Lives Thursday


Jane said...

Wendy, do you use those Consol jars and do you put them in the freezer? I have been putting glass in the freezer, but not sure about the wisdom of this. I would rather not use plastic, but then if the contents are cold and put straight into the freezer, everything is fairly inert.

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Hi Jane

I do not freeze my stock, it stays in the fridge in the glass jars. I onyl froze vegetable stock once in plastic containers.

We use so much of it (1.5l a day) in soups and dinners so that freezing it isn't really necessary.

Country Life said...

Hi just ran across your blog :) I have just started pressure canning, I was wondering have you pressure canned your stock before?

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Hi there, no I do not have a pressure canner and we use it so quickly that there is no need to do any form of canning. Check out she is a friend with some great canning tips.