According to Minnesota TV host and food writer Andrew Zimmern, a good homemade stock is an essential building block of cooking that can transform the flavor of a dish.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • If all the bones are raw, Andrew likes to spread half on a sheet pan and roast at 350° until browned, about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, place the remaining raw bones in a large colander in the sink. Rinse with cold water first, then with a kettle of boiling water.

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  • Place all the cooked and rinsed raw bones in a 3- or 4-gallon stock pot. Add 2 cups each chopped carrot, celery and onion; 1 split and rinsed leek; 1 bay leaf; 4 sprigs parsley; 2 smashed garlic cloves; 1 teaspoon peppercorns; and 2 whole cloves. Top with 2 gallons of water. (Andrew doesn't salt his stock. That way, you can control seasoning in each recipe where you use it.)

  • Bring to a simmer. As soon as you see small bubbles rising, lower the heat so the liquid steeps quietly with no visible movement. (If you have a candy thermometer, use it to keep the stock's temperature at 200°.) The longer it cooks, the richer the stock: You’ll be in a very delicious place by 12 hours, but Andrew goes for a full 24! Plan to transfer the pot to a 200° oven for that kind of long-haul simmering.

  • Strain slowly through a cheesecloth-lined colander placed over a large bowl. Discard solids. Let cool for at least an hour. Skim the fat from the top. Cool completely in refrigerator. Andrew likes to freeze stock in 1-, 2- and 4-cup portions in zip-top bags for easy use in cooking.

*Prep tip

Bones are the foundation of a full-bodied stock. So grab your freezer bags and get in the habit of saving the central cage left after carving a roast chicken or the scraps that remain after butchering a raw bird, such as the neck, back and wings. (You can also buy a package of chicken wings to use.) It's all very flexible. (Andrew likes a mix of raw and roasted bones, but stock is forgiving. Use what you have.) When you've built up a good stash in the freezer, pull out a pot to make stock!

Nutrition Facts

26 calories; 1 g total fat; 12 mg cholesterol; 18 mg sodium. 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein;

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