By Leila Saffarian
Knowing how to whip up a good stock from odds and ends in your fridge and deep freeze will make life a whole lot easier in your kitchen.
In restaurant kitchens the best sauces all start with a good stock. Stocks are often the by-products of kitchens where nothing goes to waste. All clean veggie peelings, stalks, stems, carcasses and, of course, bones can be turned into flavourful stocks.
A great meaty stock is a perfect base for a fabulous soup; it can also be added to stews, casseroles and risottos or simply turned into nifty savoury ice cubes for later use.
500g beef bones or chopped beef short rib
15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 – 4L water
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 whole garlic cloves, skin removed
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
a large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the beef bones or meat and bones in a large baking tray, add the olive oil and season well. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, turning the meat often until well browned.
- While the pan is still warm, deglaze with a splash of water, scraping off the meaty residue. Transfer the meat and juices to a large stock pot.
- Cover the meat with water and gently bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, skimming the top every 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add the vegetables and herbs, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook slowly for a further 1 – 2 hours.
- Strain the stock, allow to cool and remove the fat from the top.
For savoury ice cubes, after step 5, slowly reheat the stock and pour into ice-cube trays to freeze. Simply pop 2 – 3 cubes into your stews or casseroles while cooking for an instant flavour boost.
By Dylan Swart