I previously posted on a way to make a turkey that would leave you with the bulk of the bird’s uncooked skeleton, and I promised some tips for how to make good stock.
Making stock involves cooking, in water, stuff that imparts flavor, such as meat and vegetables. But there are a few guidelines that will produce better stock. Here they are:
- If you wouldn’t eat it by itself, consider not using it in the stock either. This does not apply to things such as onion skins, which are a great addition to stock. But don’t use anything that is off.
- Use excellent water preferably clean tap water.
- When using meat, start the meat in cold water and warm the water up very slowly. Ideally, your first bubbles indicating boiling will not appear until at least an hour after you’ve started the stock, if you’ve got three or four quarts (or more) of water in the pot. You can rush the meat if you have to, but always start with cold water.
- Vegetables can be boiled in stock as quickly or slowly as you like.
Include some bunches of fresh spices. Just rinse them off and throw them in.
- Avoid certain veggies that tend to have overpowering flavors, unless you really want the stock to be dominated by those flavors. Broccoli and asparagus come to mind.
- Ditto with spices. If you use oregeno, use only a little. Avoid cilantro.
- Match the spices with with the meat. Rosemary goes with beef. Thyme goes with bird. Etc.