Good stock is the building block of great winter recipes. Every culture and corner of the world uses fish, meat and vegetable stocks as the foundation for soups, stews, and sauces. Homemade stock and broth is more delicious than anything you can buy in a box. Its easy to make, and once you are in the routine, you will never go back to the store-bought stuff.
Not only does homemade stock taste better, its health benefits far outweigh commercial stocks because of their long cooking time and natural ingredients.
Minerals – Homemade stock is an abundant source of minerals. When we are stressed out either physically or emotionally the body produces cortisol, a stress-related hormone that zaps the body of magnesium and vitamin D. Roasting and simmering bones extracts calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals.
Gelatin – Gelatin is a protein abundant in the amino acids glycine and proline. These aminos are non-essential amino acids because the body can produce them, and does not need to receive them from food. However, evidence suggests that while the body is able to produce these amino acids, it may not be able to produce fully sufficient quantities without dietary support. Proline and glycine are needed for the production and maintenance of the body’s cartilage, and, along with other amino acids such as condroitin and glucosamine, can aid in the prevention of osteoarthritis.
Stock is pretty flexible. All you really need are bones and water, but a few things will maximize the flavor and nutritional content.
- Roast your bones first, for 30-45 minutes, to maximize flavor
- Keep a ziplock bag in your freezer. Toss the tops of carrots and leeks, extra herbs, mushroom stems, and other scraps into the bag and add the contents of the bag to your pot.
- Adding ¼ cup vinegar to the water helps optimize the extraction process
- Stock needs to be simmered for a long time to extract all the good stuff so put it on in the morning and let it go all day.
- Chicken stock should be simmered for 8-12 hours, and beef and pork stock should be simmered for up to 24 hours.