Stock or bone broth is all the rage, dontchaknow. Everyone’s talking about it. You can get tote bags that say ‘Boil your bones’ to carry around the Farmers Market.
I never used to think it was worth it. All that standing over a hot stove, skimming off scum. Not able to leave the house.
And then I discovered the slow cooker method. And it CHANGED MY LIFE. Now I have a freezer fully stocked with the stuff, ready to whip up a risotto or sauce or soup made with MY OWN STOCK. Like a veritable domestic goddess.
And it takes less than half an hour of actual work.
So next time you make a Boursin Roast Chicken, why not save the bones and make this? Soon you can have a freezer stocked with liquid gold too. And feel like a domestic goddess.
I usually pop the stock on after a Sunday lunch to give it a good 4 hours or so on high power, then turn it down to low when I go to bed and leave it on low until I get back from work the following day. That gives it about 20 hrs in the slow cooker. I think it needs a good 12 hours in total, and I am of a view that the longer you cook it the better the stock, but if you’re time limited just cook it overnight.
makes about 1.6 litres of stock.
- A roast chicken carcass, stripped of all its meat (save that for any number of left over chicken recipes.) (Any really dry or chewy looking bits of meat can go in the stock for extra flavour).
- One white onion, skin left on for colour, halved.
- 1-2 sticks of celery, rinsed of any grit.
- 1-2 carrots, scrubbed but not peeled.
- 2 litres cold water (or as much as you can get in the slow cooker)
Nice additions, but by no means essential:
- other left over veggies (leek tops, cabbage – NOT potatoes.)
- Parsley sprigs
- a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. (The Hemsley sisters claim that this helps to break down the bones so it releases their flavour and goodness better. I have absolutely no idea if this is actually the case, but it doesn’t effect the taste of the stock and the Hemsley’s are absolutely beautiful, so it clearly isn’t doing them any harm…)
- 6 pepper corns.
- 3-4 raw garlic cloves.
- 2-3 bay leaves.
- Put all of the above in your slow cooker. Put the lid on the slow cooker.
- Turn the slow cooker on high for about 4 hours.
- Turn it down low for a further 8 – 16 hrs, depending on how long you have and what your schedule is like.
- Once you have decided your stock has had sufficient time, turn the slow cooker off and let the straining begin!
- I use a ladle and pour the stock through a sieve into a big mixing bowl, squidging the bones and veg in the sieve with the ladle to get all the liquid out.
- I usually strain it again through a sieve into a measuring jug.
- Pour into freezer bags. (I usually portion out 500 mls per bag as this seems to be about right for most recipes.
- HANDY HINT FOR FILLING FREEZER BAGS WITH HOT LIQUID: stand the freezer bag up in a pint glass, folding the sides over the rim of the glass.
- Leave the stock to cool and then lie it flat in the freezer (takes up less space that way.
- When I need the stock I either take it out a few hours before hand and leave it to defrost, or cut away the freezer bag and put the giant stock ice cube in a sauce pan and defrost over a low heat.
- Now you’re a domestic goddess. Well done.