Liquid Assets

By Michelle Mchugh

Liquid Assets
With a good-quality homemade stock at hand, you’ll find making these hearty soups, rich with winter vegetables, a satisfying but simple task.

Stocks and broths are relatively easy to make and great to have on hand when creating winter soups, risotto and casseroles.

Using stock in cooking is not just a fancy culinary technique; several generations ago stocks or bone broths were regularly made by the home cook. These were often made from cheap off-cuts from the butcher.

It is important not to add salt during cooking as the long, slow simmering can concentrate the flavours, resulting in a salty stock.

Vegetable stock can be made from raw vegetable trimmings that still contain valuable flavours and nutrients, which would otherwise be thrown in
the compost.

Keep a container in the kitchen specifically for vegetable waste that can be used to make stock.

Chicken Stock

Makes approx. 3 litres

2-3 Chicken carcasses, or 1 whole free-range chicken

1 Onion, unpeeled and quartered

1 Carrot, roughly chopped

2 Celery stalks and leaves, roughly chopped

4 Parsley stalks, leaves removed

1 Bay leaf

6 Whole black peppercorns

3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

Combine all the ingredients and 3 litres of cold water in a large stockpot or slow cooker, making sure the bones/chicken are completely submerged. Slowly bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Simmer gently for 3-4 hours, topping up with boiling water if the liquid drops below the chicken. Strain stock through a fine sieve.

Discard the chicken carcass and vegetables; remove any meat from the chicken. Cool completely. Refrigerate and use within 3-4 days or freeze in 1-litre containers (labelled and dated) to use as needed.

TIP: When cooking a whole chicken always retain the bones and carcass to make into stock. Freeze the chicken carcasses until you have several to make a big batch of stock at once. The addition of the vinegar helps to draw the nourishing minerals out of the bones and marrow.

“Compost” Stock

Makes approx. 2 litres

Trimmings to use include:

Onion skins and trimmings

Carrot off-cuts and peels

Celery leaves

Garlic skins

Spinach and Silverbeet stalks

Broccoli off-cuts

Mushroom off-cuts

Beetroot Leaves

Herb Stalks (parsley, coriander, thyme, rosemary)

Once you have about an ice-cream container full, place the vegetable trimmings in a large saucepan or stock pot.

Cover with 2 litres cold water; bring to the boil. Turn down the heat; simmer gently for 40-45 minutes.

Strain stock through a fine sieve and discard vegetables. Cool completely and store in fridge. Use within five days or freeze (labelled and dated) into containers to use as needed.

TIPS:  If you think it will take a while to collect a container full of trimmings, you can freeze them and keep adding until you have enough. Avoid using cabbage as it tends to overpower the stock, and steer clear of starchy vegetables such as potato, kumara and pumpkin as they make the stock cloudy.

If seasoning, remember to use whole black peppercorns as ground pepper will not make a clear stock.


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