How we make our stock is the difference between good and ok food from our slow cooker recipes.
It doesn’t matter if we are making soups or casseroles, the basis of good stock makes our meals perfect. Cooking with a slow cooker is easy, but not satisfied with the results I was cajoled and encouraged by my mother on many occasions for the use of stock cubes in my recipes. I still do use them for some recipes, for where speed is needed, or I haven’t got time to make or buy stock.
Using stock cubes works out where we are using herbs and spices to flavour meals, as they can often disguise the lack of real stock, but this post is to show you how to make stock that can also be frozen for the future.
All stock has to be meat based.
Types of Stock
The world is your oyster. We can make stock out of almost anything ingredient wise. When we are making slow cooker stock, we can put our ingredients in, and then just forget about them.
Bones, meat, poultry, vegetables and even fruits can be used to make our stocks with.
The key to good stock is to allow it to simmer slowly and absorb the aromas and flavours. Don’t allow your stock to boil, or it will change colour.
If you want lovely white stock, place bones, vegetables or fruits into slow cooker, add water to cover your ingredients and simply put on the lid and simmer on low for 8 hours. Leave the stock alone to simmer, no stirring.
If you want brown stock, roast your ingredients first, or add some colouring.
Using Stock in Meals
Skim off the fat when it’s cool. I put mine into the freezer for half an hour so that the fat rises to the top and is easy to skim off. You could use a muslin or cheesecloth to strain it if you don’t have a handly sieve, or at a push, wait until the fat hardens into white lumps and just lift it out using a spoon. You’ll find a way that works for you.
- Remove as much of the fat as you can.
- We don’t have to reduce the stock to freeze it, but if space is an issue, you might have to.
- The best way to reduce stock is simply to put it onto the cooker, and let it boil away most of the water, but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.