You want the most wholesome ingredients going into this base. It’s what good cooking is about. And, good cooking refers both to tasty and healthy. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers knew that instinctively, so they chose whole and fresh vegetables and bones from animals of which they’d already consumed the meat. (Back then, it wasn’t labeled organic or grass-fed because everything already was those things! For our times though I would recommend starting your dishes off well and going with as much organic as possible and definitely, grass-fed, pastured, free-range, farm happy animals.)
Bone stocks provide nutrients from the bones of the chicken, beef, fish, whatever you’re using. There you will find minerals such as calcium (bone-building), phosphorus (regulates intracellular pressure) and magnesium (regulates over 300 enzymatic reactions). The latter of which is a mineral most of us (in the U.S.) are chronically lacking. Equally important are the cartilage and gelatin found in bones. These goodies literally moisturize our joints and skin, aid in repairing of bone and our own cartilage and help our digestion along. For more in depth info, I found this page at The Jade Institute to be really informative.
Ingredients need not be limited to the ones below. You could throw in leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, squash, tomatoes, etc. Stay away from cruciferous vegetables for stocks and also spinach. They don’t do so well in stock company. This is a simple stock, so simple you can easily throw it together weekly. There are many lovely stocks with earthy or sweet flavors, fish or curry flavors, or the roasted flavor of mushrooms. Yum. Those recipes to follow…eventually!
Stock up and enjoy!
2 T extra-virgin olive oil 2 red onions, quartered 3 carrots, chopped in 2″ pieces 2 stalks celery, chopped in 2″ pieces 3 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat side of your knife 2 potatoes, quartered 1 sweet potato, quartered 1 bunch of parsley (or stems) 1 2 square inch piece of kombu 8 black peppercorns 1/4 t fennel seeds 1 chicken carcass 10 C filtered water large container of ice
In a stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add all the vegetables. Saute for a few minutes, just so the vegetables are coated and starting to brown.
Add parsley, kombu, spices, and chicken carcass. Then add water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and partially cover.
Simmer for 4 hours.
When stock is done, strain the chicken and vegetables out as soon as you can. Then place the pot in an ice bath (a larger container filled with ice) to cool it quickly. Divide stock into containers to either refrigerate or freeze.
*If refrigerating, use stock within 5-7 days. If freezing, stock will last at least 2 months.