Last winter I started making lamb and beef stock and as the days have drawn in over the last few weeks my mind has again turned to stock making. When the rain is falling and the wood fire is cranking out heat, it is so easy to put a large saucepan on top of the wood heater and get some stock going.
Stock is a great addition to any kitchen and can be used as the basis for stews, casseroles, curries, soups and sauces. Grass-fed meat grown without chemicals or artificial hormones will provide the best health outcomes for you and will help sustain you through the dreaded winter lurgy season and help your gut microbiome fight off the nasties.
1kg lamb or beef bones and bits – grass-fed and chemical free is best
1kg vegetables, including onion, garlic, carrot, celery, add zucchini/capsicum/mushroom/ other root vegetables/cabbage/cauliflower/broccoli etc if you have it. You can also add herbs like chives, thyme, oregano from your garden.
A little salt (optional)
Peel and dice the vegetables into medium size pieces. Place them in a slow cooker with the lamb bones and bits and cover the lot with filtered tap water or rain water.
If you don’t want to leave it on your wood heater overnight, you can set the slow cooker going on a low setting and keep it going for around 24 hours. That way you will get every ounce of goodness out of the bones and the other ingredients.
After 24 hours allow the mix to cool a little, strain off the liquid to remove the remains of the bones and vegetables and place the liquid in smallish freezer containers and place in the freezer.
I store mine in containers that hold 250mls, that way I know when I unfreeze a block I am getting one cup of stock for my recipe. Add them to soups, casseroles and curries for an extra layer of goodness and flavour. If you’re really keen you can heat it and drink it as a coffee or tea replacement, although personally I prefer chicken broth for drinking.
The best thing for me is knowing exactly what is going into my stock and more importantly that there are no unauthorised chemicals or “numbers” going in. For a few minutes’ preparation and storage you will have stock that is clean and healthy. What do you do with your meat bones? I’d love to hear your ideas – feel free to comment below.
Meanwhile, happy stock making – the weather is perfect for it!