Monday, November 19, 2012

take stock!

Now that fall is FINALLY here and it's getting colder (and wonderful), we've started craving soups, and crock pot goodness. There is just nothing like sitting in front of a fire on a cold night with some home made soup. With that said, when you make soup, if you're not using your own stock, you're doing it wrong. End of story.

I made soup for years with boxed broth or stock, and once I started making my own, I will never go back, and you won't either. Trust me on this.

We started last Thanksgiving with our leftover turkey bones. Then we slowly started saving chicken bones (we're big fans of grocery store rotisserie chickens on nights where there's just not enough time to cook). We save the fat scraps we trim off chicken before cooking it, beef trimmings & finally corn cobs when we have leftover corn. We keep them all in separately labeled bags in the freezer until we've collected enough of any one kind to make stock.

This week, in honor of my trying-to-eat-less-meat sister who said "Corn stock? That's a thing?", I made some corn & veggie stock.

We always have a big party every year for Jack's birthday, and this year, we had lots and lots of leftover corn. Corn for days. We were the Bubba Gumps of corn. We grilled it, steamed it, put it in salads, soups, creamed it....we ate A LOT of corn. But we scraped it all off the cobs and had all these great cobs just waiting to be stock! I froze them in ziplock baggies, just like the rest, and this weekend, they became STOCK YUMMINESS!

So I started with about 10 corn cobs (corn scraped off), 2 bay leaves & the biggest pot I had full of water.

Then I added all this goodness! Making stock is a great time to clean out the fridge. I use carrots & celery that are looking a little sketchy. Garlic that's sprouted. Whatever really.... In this batch I threw in a sweet onion, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, some fresh sage, thyme & oregano from the garden and one of the last of our cayennes.

This is it! Season with some salt & pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and wait...... and wait........

This is it after about 3 hours. The only rule I have with stock, is that you keep adding water to it for the first few hours, but after that, you just let it reduce so it doesn't taste watery. So since I let this stock go for about 5 hours total, I stopped adding water after hour 3 and let it simmer down.

Finally, strain all the yummy goodness into a big bowl and let it cool off....

Package it, label it, and freeze it until the next soup calls for it (I use it in place of veggie or chicken stock). Typically, the darker the stock, the better! Means it's full of awesome. If it's too pale, let it cook longer next time.

And there you have it....corn stock.
It is a thing.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that was a "thing"?! Sounds good! Also didn't realize--i keep adding water right up to the end on my stocks, so i'll have to quit doing that!