November 30, 2011

Homemade Stock

I trust everyone had a good Thanksgiving with family, friends and too much food! My gardener and I have been busy the last few weeks. We had five guests from California who came up for deer season. Early mornings, hunting nearly every day, cooking, butchering deer, packaging meat, lively dart games, lots of laughs and staying up too late made for an enjoyable, if not tiring, two weeks. Everyone went home with plenty of venison and more importantly, everyone made it back home safely.

I hope you've made your own stock before. If you haven't, please try it - the difference homemade stock makes in soups is great... plus, it's really easy to make the stock!

I save bones and not just the carcasses. I save chicken bones that we've eaten the meat from. Why not? I keep a plastic bag in the freezer and just put bones in there as they become, shall we say... available. After Thanksgiving, I had a turkey carcass, two pheasant carcasses and a gallon size plastic bag full of chicken bones. What I got from that? Six quarts of gelatinous, rich stock that I'll use for soups now that winter has arrived in Montana.

Here's what you do: Put bones in a big pot. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then simmer for hours. The longer you simmer it the better it will be. I simmered mine for 9 hours the first day. At night, I turned off the stove and left it. The next morning I continued simmering for another 6 hours or so.

Include wings and feet if you can. These parts contain more collagen, which will give you a more gelatinous broth. If you want beef stock, just use beef bones... roasting them first will give a richer taste to the stock. After the stock has cooled a bit, strain it and pour into Mason jars. I can't see wasting a canning lid for stock, so I use a doubled piece of plastic wrap. Then, put the jars in the freezer. It's that simple... and that good.

Homemade Stock
Bones (chicken, turkey, pheasant, beef)
3 ribs celery
3 carrots
1 large onion, cut in half (with peel)
2 bay leaves
10-12 peppercorns
1 T vinegar

Put everything into a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10-12 hours. Strain, pour into containers, and freeze.


  1. What a great idea to place the bones in the freezer for stock making at a later date. It seems when I do have the bones, I am too tired to make the stock, I will do this now and save a bunch and do it all at once. Great idea Karen, thanks!

  2. This is a great reminder that I really need to pick up a whole chicken soon so we can have yummy home cooked comfort dinner then soup/stock for months! I generally do my stock in the Crockpot because leaving the stove on that long makes me nervous for some reason. Regardless of how though, soup is soooo winter food! Thanks!

  3. I have some stock in my fridge that I made, that I need to put in freezer containers. I love using up the carcass to make stock, waste not want not!

  4. wow, this is so impressive and I'm sure nice to have when you need it!

  5. If you've got a huge turkey's worth of bones, making stock is just the right thing to do! Great post!

  6. I love homemade stock! Yours sounds rich and delicious,Karen!

  7. Karen, I came over from your comment on Sippity Sup about a sign you saw. Too funny! Anyway ... this is great. I love homemade stock, made great turkey stock last week. But I need to get on the ball about clearing some space in my little freezer for some stock bones.

  8. Wow, I need to start making my own stock. You have made a believer out of me.

  9. The Barefoot Contessa always is stating that homemade stock is so much better than the can, or box. :)
    I do need to do this. I totally believe it.
    Sounds like you had a great time with your company.

  10. I have to try this! It sounds great for soup in the winter. And it's a good way to control the salt as their is always so much in stock from the grocery store, even low-salt broth has too much, in my opinion. Now I'm sorry the turkey bones went into the garbage!!! It snowed huge snowflakes here an hour ago.

  11. Homemade stock is like liquid gold. I have a container in my freezer for leftover vegetables, chicken bones, whatever would go into the stockpot. It's amazing how much accumulates and I love the fact that nothing is wasted. Excellent post, Karen.

  12. What a blessing to be able to make your own stock.
    Last time I had was 5 years ago and even though we like it a lot there is not way to find it around here.



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