Always great to have a vegetable stock on hand. It’s easy to make and is good to use when you wish to add extra flavour but don’t want a meaty taste. It freezes well and it’s also a handy way to use up stray vegetable scraps. Use this recipe as a guide and feel free to be creative but sensible with the vegetables and herbs you use.
This recipe can be adapted for beef, lamb or goat. Simply substitute these for the chicken. For an extra-rich meat stock, first, roast the bones in the oven for about an hour. You can use bones from a leftover roast chicken, buy them from a poultry supplier at the market, or use chicken necks.
This is a light fish stock, good as a base for soup or gentle liquor for poaching fish.
Invest time in building complexity in the prawn stock. To make a rich prawn stock, toast 8 prawn heads and shells in a dry large saucepan over high heat for 5 minutes or until the shells have turned red and are slightly charred. Add 1.5 litres of water, 4 cleaned coriander roots, 2 stalks of lemongrass, a 5cm piece of galangal, 8 white peppercorns and 4 kaffir lime leaves. Gently simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the flavours have developed. Strain the stock, discarding the solids. This is a perfect base for a seafood tom yum soup, recipe right here.
5. Veal or beef
Veal stock is used regularly in the French kitchen and veal or beef Osso Bucco can be used interchangeably as the protein base. Bringing it to the boil with seasoning, herbs, carrot and onion a beef or veal stock can be a great starter stock for richer stews and low and slow braises that you can build on flavour like in this Georgian beef soup, kharcho. Get this beef short rib bowl here.
Ichiban dashi translates literally to “first stock” and it is one of the most fundamental components of Japanese cuisine. It is incredibly versatile and often used for soups, stews and simmering liquids. Where a European stock recipe may involve bones or vegetables being simmered for hours to extract flavour, ichiban dashi relies on the umami-rich compounds in kombu seaweed and bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and is ready in minutes. Get Adam Liaw's recipe right here.
Here’s a classic Italian sauce, which uses high-quality veal stock combined with vegetables and herbs. Take your time making this sauce and let it gently reduce to develop flavour. Then use it to make these veal and pork balls with polenta.
8. Rabbit stock
To make the stock, place all the rabbit pieces in a pot and cover them with cool water by about 1 cm. Bring this to a boil, then turn off the heat. Skim off any the impurities that float to the top. Fish out all the good pieces of rabbit – legs and saddle – and put them in a separate bowl or in the fridge. Add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 10 crushed juniper berries, 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns and salt to the stock. Return everything to a bare simmer and cook for 1 hour. Strain stock and set aside. Use this stock in an Italian braised rabbit served with mashed potatoes, polenta or rice.
"Stock is the basis for all cooking, and broths are really my ‘thing’. I just think a meal isn’t complete without a good stock or broth to sip on." says Dan Hong. A masterstock is the classic liquor in Chinese cooking to braise meats. With most masterstock recipes, you put everything in and boil it. This one is different because you fry off the aromats until they’ve caramelised and released their flavours before you add liquid and boil it up: this adds real depth.
Now out your stock to delicious use and get your hands around our soup recipe collection right here.