Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part X – Stocks

This is a great chapter!  Like I’ve found any that aren’t!  I guess I probably like this one because I already make my own stocks and who doesn’t like a pat on the back every now and then!  I haven’t make fish stock, though, so that is going to be added to the to do list for the year!  We eat fish every now and then, but seafood isn’t super popular in our home… or should I say, not popular with the cook!  
My kids will eat just about anything that is served and LOVE shrimp and I know dear hubby will eat any type of seafood raw or cooked except sea urchin.  So, the problem herein lies with the cook!  We even have an Asian market nearby, so there is ample opportunity for good quality fresh seafood!  In fact we even had crabs for $1/lb this past summer!  No excuse as all!
Anyway… I’ve gone off topic.  Fallon has the greatest summery of the benefits of stock that I can’t even hope to explain, so enjoy this excerpt from the book on page 116.
Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate.  Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth. 
The book contains lots of different types of recipes for all types of stock, fish, shrimp, beef, lamb, venison and chicken!  I have to say my go to is chicken stock since it is so much easier to obtain the bones!  I usually will cook a whole chicken for dinner one night and save the left over meat for another meal and use the bones to make stock.  That way I get 3 meals off of one bird.
I know this concept is new for some people, but I’m very thankful I grew up eating like this.  My mother always made her own stock like her mother did and I’ve reaped the benefits!  I don’t think my mother or grandmother has ever purchased stock or gravy from the super market.  They’ve always made it themselves.I’m still hoping upon hope that dear hubby will get a deer this year.
As we are contemplating moving and condensing and packing and updating to get our house on the market, I think it is going to leave precious little time for hunting!  It sure would be nice to have some venison for the winter, packed away in the freezer.  Last deer he got I didn’t even think of saving the bones, but if I can fine enough precious freezer space I’ll be sure to save them for making stock with!
As I mentioned earlier Fallon has many different recipes for stock in her book.  Mine is listed below and is very similar to what she writes.  I don’t have the feet, which she uses and I tend to add a few more veggies.  She uses the basics: carrots, onion and celery.
Bethanie’s Chicken Stock
Bones from whole chicken (I usually don’t pick it completely clean so there is a little meat left on it.)
gizzards, liver, neck and whatever else is left in the cavity at purchase
1 onion – chop into about 4 pieces and leave skin on
2-3 carrots – chop in half don’t peal
3-4 cloves of garlic with skin still on
2-3 stalks of celery
large piece of ginger with skin still on
About 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Sometimes I just add what else is in the fridge – cabbage, spinach, beets, turnips, parsnips, etc.  All add or change the flavor a bit!

Break up the bones of the chicken a bit so that the marrow can be more easily cooked out. Add all other ingredients and into crock pot and cook on low setting for about 24 hours.

After the 24 hours, strain the broth through a cheese cloth and store in quart sized jars.  I make sure it is an older cheese cloth, because my stock is usually pretty dark and will stain the cloth.

Fallon says the broth will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. I have found that to be different for me.  If the stock smells sour or rancid I don’t use it, but that has only happened less than 5 times for me.
I don’t skim the fat off mine and once it is in the fridge mine usually has a thick layer of fat on top which seals it off.  I’ve kept mine in the fridge for at least 3 months with no problems.  Once the fat seal is broken I use it with in a week, but prior to that it has kept with out a problem.
Also, a huge benefit of the stock is the gelatin that comes from the bones and marrow.  By cooking the stock on low for a long period of time it pulls the gelatin out and doesn’t break it down.  Don’t allow it to boil.  The majority of the time my stock is so gelatinous that it can’t be poured out of the jar, but needs to be scooped out unless it has been warmed up.
How do you make your broth?  Do you have any additional pointers for me?

2 thoughts on “Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part X – Stocks

  1. What are some ways you use the stock in cooking? I have never made stock and don’t really know how to use it once it is made, esp if it is very gelatinous. thanks!

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    1. When it is gelatinous it will thin out when you warm it and can use it for any types of soups or stews. I use stock for EVERYTHING! Mostly for stir fry, but I’ll also use it instead of water for cooking quinoa, lentils or rice. We probably have soup or stew once a week in the winter which makes us go through it much more quickly. Hope that helps. I’ll have to note the next time I use it. I always have a jar in the fridge and feel like I’m constantly getting it out, but can’t think of anything else I use it for off the top of my head…

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