Seeing your food or food ingredients get wasted can be really annoying. The thought of your veggies going bad before you even use them can make you really cranky and so you try your best to prevent this.
Some methods include refrigeration, reducing the amount of ingredients bought and so on. These could help but prove less effective in the long run. Another way that’s more effective is to create stock out of them. Read on to find out more.
What’s A Stock And Why Should I Make One?
Stocks are flavorful liquids used in the preparation of soups, sauces, and stews, derived by gently simmering various ingredients in water. They are based on meat, poultry, fish, game, or seafood, and flavored with mirepoix, herbs, and spices. Vegetable stocks are prepared with an assortment of produce, or intensely flavored with a single ingredient, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, or leeks.
Stocks are divided into white and brown categories. White stock is uncolored and subtle flavored, while a brown stock uses roasted components to create a rich color and robust flavor. But you’re not making stock simply for it’s flavor, even though it’s a pretty tasty excuse, but also to prevent your ingredients from spoiling and getting wasted. You get to preserve your food stuffs while creating a rich, tasty broth, it’s a win-win!
Tips On Making A Good Stock
Always remember to make sure the ingredients are of good quality, a stockpot should never be a dumping ground for old leftovers that are past their prime. Here are some extra tips that’ll help you with the best stock:
- For meat stocks, add gelatinous cuts like veal or pork feet that contributes a smoothness and richness to the stock; Un-smoked ham or pork shanks and pork rind can also be used for the same purpose. Use meat trimmings that are cleaned of fat.
- Make sure to balance the ingredients so that the flavor is harmonious. Too much mirepoix in a meat, poultry or fish stock will make it taste either too sweet or bitter and out of balance.
- For herbs and spices, prolonged cooking results in loss of flavor; add herbs towards the end of the cooking process to give it a fresh flavor boost. Avoid adding salt if reducing the stock later.
- For brown stocks, caramelize the ingredients for added color, flavor and complexity. This can be done for any type of stock including meats, poultry, fish and vegetable.
- Always start with cold water. Don’t add too much water as it will only dilute the flavor.
- Simmer gently and skim to remove impurities that rise to the surface.
- For a clear stock, never let it boil and never stir it.
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