Whether you’re making a hearty bowl of ramen, a simple casserole, or classic French chicken velouté, there are plenty of reasons to have some stock available. Most of us would simply just buy some stock cubes or a small carton of stock from the store whenever a recipe calls for it. After all, it’s convenient, it still tastes great, and you can still add flavors to it once you’ve added the stock to your dish.
But have you ever thought of making your own broth?
Stock is something that you can certainly make from scratch at home and it doesn’t always need to take a long time. Many people just shy away from the idea of making stock because they believe it’s a lot of work and that the results aren’t exactly worth it. However, if you do ever decide to make your own stock from scratch, you’ll realize just how tasty it can make your favorite dishes. Here’s reasons why you should consider making your own stock.
Stock can influence the flavor of lots of dishes
Stock is an essential ingredient for many soupy or stew-like dishes. For example, this cheesy grits recipe calls for one and a half cups of chicken stock. It’s a surprisingly important component of making the grits flavorful, and the type of stock you use will ultimately have a huge impact on the end result. This is why your dish might end up tasting different if you cook it on two separate occasions with different stock.
Stock is easy to make
Stock is surprisingly quite easy to make, especially if you’re making a simple stock. For example, you can make chicken stock by taking chicken leftovers from a roast and throwing it into a pot with some aromatic vegetables like leeks, onions, and carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste, fill the pot with water, and then bring it to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and then let it concentrate into delicious stock.
This entire process can take a couple of hours, but since all you’re doing is putting a bunch of ingredients into a pot with water, it’s actually really easy to do. You can start making your stock in the afternoon and it’ll be ready by dinner to use in whatever recipes that you want. As long as you keep an eye on it when it’s boiling and lower the heat as needed, you’ll have a delicious concentrated stock by the end of it. You can then strain the stock and even ladle it through a fine-mesh sieve into mason jars so you can freeze it and use it later.
This is just a basic chicken stock recipe, but you can add more meat, bones, vegetables, and even spices to transform it into something even better.
You control the ingredients
What I love about making my own stock is that I can control what ingredients are used. Gluten free, less sodium, organic, less preservatives. Making your own broth insures you know exactly what is in that broth, which is always better for you health and peace of mind.
I like to make a large batch of broth and freeze it in small easy to thaw batches. However, if you’re a newbie cook or just want to save a bit of time then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using stock from a store. If you do want to elevate your recipes and get a much more flavorful dish that you can customize to your liking, then making your own stock is a great idea. It helps you get out of your cooking comfort zone and gives you more control over how the final dish will taste. So the next time you’re thinking of cooking something that uses stock as an ingredient, consider making your own from scratch.