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Stock

Sarah Horrocks
by Sarah Horrocks Published on 31 October 2008
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Stock flavours your dishes and but is a great low-fat way of while keeping them light. And as we prefer natural stock to shop-bought cubes, here are our recipes and advice to master the art of making your own.

What are aromas and stock?

Stock is a liquid produced from cooking meat, fish and vegetables. Aroma is stock that is reduced to obtain something that is more concentrated and therefore stronger in taste. Stock and aromas are used as a base for sauces that accompany dishes, but they can also be used on their own. Chicken stock is very fortifying, while vegetable stock is ideal for detox. You can buy dehydrated powder form stock in shops; this is very concentrated and often enriched with strong flavours such as glutamate (we don’t recommend them).

Making your own stock

The other advantage of stock, besides its flavour, is that is allows you to use leftovers to good use. The most well known example is fish stock, made from fish bones and heads! Not very appetitising, sure, but it prevents watse. Vegetables which are past their best can also be used to make stock. Stock is fragile, so you must keep it in the fridge for no longer than 3 days. Stock recipes always include vegetables and sometimes spices. Take care not to mask the taste of fish or meat if you’re making non-vegetarian stock. If you add too many ingredients, you’ll just end up with vegetable stock. Asian stock is usually quite spicy. If you also like hot dishes, you can add fresh ginger, a few cloves inserted into an onion, lemon grass stems and a little chilli. Watch the quantity of spices you add to your cooking.

Base recipes
Chicken stock

1 chicken carcass, a few carrots, a few sticks of celery, the white of 1 leek, 2 big onions, 1 bouquet garni, salt and pepper.

Wash and cut the vegetables into pieces. Rinse the bouquet garni and peel the onions. Place everything in a big pot or a pressure cooker, add the chicken and cover with 1.5 litres of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for at least 1 hour. Let it cool down, then filter.

Tip: you can also use this recipe with duck.

Beef stock

500g of minced beef, a few carrots, 1 stick of celery, 1 leek, 1 bouquet garni, 1 onion and 1 pepper.

Wash and chop the vegetables in pieces. Peel and chop the onion. Place them all in a pressure cooker with the bouquet garni, meat and pepper. Cover with 1.5 litres of water, bring to the boil and leave it to simmer for 30 mins. Let it cool down and filter.

Vegetable stock

1 pack or assortment of mixed vegetables for soup (carrots, leek, turnip, onion) a few salad leaves, a branch of celery, a bouquet garni, salt and pepper.

Rinse and chop all the vegetables into pieces, place them in a pressure cooker, cover with 1 litre of water (salted if you wish), bring to the boil and let it simmer for 1 hour and a half. Filter (you can save the vegetables to use in other dishes) and check seasoning.

Fish stock

1kg fish bones and/or fish heads, a few carrots, 1 onion, 2 shallots, 1 bouquet garni.

Sweat the chopped onions and the shallots in a little butter. Break the bones and add them to the onions and shallots. Leave them in the pan briefly (the bones should not change colour). Cover with water to just above the bones (the smell should be quite concentrated), add the peeled carrots and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for around 20 mins. Filter and check seasoning.

Tip: Add 200ml of white wine for more flavour.

by Sarah Horrocks

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