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Making homemade stock means you can transform bones and ragged stalks into an amazingly flavored liquid. You might not want to have the stove on all day because this uses a lot of energy, so what about learning how to make stock in a crockpot instead?

Stock is necessary for making gravies, sauces, soup, and other recipes and using a homemade stock rather than a store-bought one will give your recipes an edge and make them taste super fresh. Crockpot stock is economical, free from the artificial agents you find in many commercial stocks and it will taste wonderful.

Your crockpot has the ability to keep a low simmer all day and bring out the juicy flavors from a carcass and from any vegetables you use, plus your kitchen will smell great while this cooks.

What You Will Need

To make stock in a slow cooker, you will need leftovers. These can be pork or beef bones, a chicken carcass, vegetable peelings or cut-off stalks, fish heads, skin or fish bones. You will also need water, herbs, and a strainer and you can use wine if you want to enrich the stock’s flavor.

How to Make Stock in a CrockpotIf you want to use a turkey or chicken carcass, instead of bones, you will need an oval slow cooker so you do not have to break the carcass. This is just timesaving. If you have to break it, it will not affect the end result.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Put all the leftovers in the crockpot, adding enough cold water to cover them. Use cold water because the stock will come out clearer. Cook on low for two hours, and then add a cup of wine and some herbs.

For a robust, hearty stock use oregano, thyme or rosemary. For a delicately flavored one, choose chervil, borage, or parsley. The finished stock will have a concentrated flavor so do not add too many herbs.

You can also use spices if you want a spicy stock. Again, go easy on the flavorings. Do not add salt to soup stock recipes. It is unnecessary because the meat adds a salty flavor and you will be adding other ingredients when you make the soup.

White wine is nice for a fish, goose, vegetable, turkey, or chicken stock and red wine is good for a pork, beef, or duck stock. Keep cooking the mixture for a minimum of four hours. You can leave it cooking overnight if you want. If the stock is too strong, you can dilute it a bit with water.

How to Strain and Store the Stock

Let it cool down, then strain it into a bowl and let the fat congeal so you can skim it off the top. You can keep the fat for other recipes, like roasted potatoes, or throw it away. If you want the stock to be really clear, strain it through a coffee filter, several layers of cheesecloth or a paper towel. You can use the strained vegetable pieces for compost or throw them away.

Pour the stock into ice cube trays and freeze it. Tip the cubes into Ziploc bags, labeling each one with the date and contents. Homemade stock keeps in the freezer for up to eighteen months.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

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