Weekend Kitchen Tip – Stock or Broth

Stock up on stock and don’t let it go to waste.  Stock is a great addition to so many dishes.  It’s the base of soups, sauces, gravies and adds flavor just where you need it.

First let me make sure you know the difference between Broth and Stock.  The main difference is that stock is made with meat and bones and broth is made with just meat.  Simmering the bones for a long time produces gelatin, which gives a different thickness and mouth feel to the final product. Roasting the bones first can make a darker color stock, as well as enhance the flavor.  Stock is something you use to build upon when cooking but broth is more of a final version on it’s own.  Now since vegetables don’t have bones should it be a stock or a broth?  You can decide that one for yourself.  For an interesting discussion on Vegetable Stock vs Vegetable Broth check out this post on Fine Cooking.

When you purchase pre-made stocks and broths I can’t guarantee they’ve followed the rules on this either.  If you are purchasing them please read the labels.  There are many out there that have gluten in them and a whole slue of ingredients you just might not want to eat.  Making your own is easy and inexpensive, tip 1.

You can also freeze the stock you purchased so it doesn’t go to waste.  Say you get a box of beef stock and use a little for that wonderful sauce for your Boeuf Bourguignon Burger.  Now you have half a box left but no plans to use it for some time.  It will go bad in less than a week.  Grab you old ice cube trays and pour the stock into there.  Cover it with plastic and put it in the freezer.  After they are frozen you can either leave them there until you need them or take them out and place into a ziplock bag that you’ve labeled for future use.  These are great to have on hand when you just need a little touch of flavor or liquid, tip 2.  You can also do this with the stock you make, tip 3.

If you are heading out to the grocery ask the butcher for some beef bones.  If they don’t have any then ask if he can save some for you and ask when you can return for them.  They are very inexpensive.   Roast them first, toss into a large stock pot or even your crockpot with water for a couple of hours and add some onions, celery, carrots and even garlic if you want.   I actually roast everything together, then they all go into the pool at once.  It deepens the color and flavor and I like it best but you need to give both ways a try to see what you like.

One more tip for you, this makes tip 4.  If you are crazy like me and freeze your stock in glass containers, don’t fill it all the way to the top.  Liquid expands when it freezes and well you get the picture.  It doesn’t make a mess but you just lost that great container of stock.

So this Weekend Kitchen Tip turned into many tips.  I hope it wasn’t too long.  I’d love to hear about your version of making stock and broth.

So is it Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth?

2 Responses to Weekend Kitchen Tip – Stock or Broth

  1. gfe--gluten free eas September 12, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    I love your kitchen tips, Diane. Never too long for me … the original wordy girl, I think. 😉 I always say broth–right or wrong. LOL I always make my own or using Better than Bouillon (gluten free) to make whatever amount I need. I don't like that it contains soy, but I don't feel I am getting a lot, so I'm okay with it. It's easy to make one's own though. I freeze also. One thing I do when making broth is add a little apple cider vinegar to the mix. It helps pull the calcium out of the chicken or beef bones, and does not affect the taste. I have to remember not to fill all the way up either … for people like you and me, there should be a line on all glass jars that says Do Not Fill Above This Line. LOL We have a cooler that has refillable ice packs and they have that warning. 😉


    • Diane September 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

      Shirley- I've not tried the bouillon. I didn't realize there were any that were gluten free. I'll have to check that out. Sometimes I just want a little extra flavor and that would be great.
      I made soup today and was filling up the jars and started laughing. I was thinking about your comment that our jars should say Do No Fill Above. I hope I didn't fill them too high. That was great tomato soup. I'll share the recipe later this week.