Building blocks for stocks
There are four basic stocks:
Use these as a starting point for all your stocks, adding vegetables, herbs and spices according to the season or a particular recipe you intend to use the stock in.
The best-quality stock is beautifully clear. This is achieved by clarifying the liquid after cooking. There are two methods for clarifying stock: the first will yield fairly clear results; the second method, very clear.
Straining Line a fine sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and pour the stock through; this will remove any small solids floating in the stock.
Eggwhite method Separate 2 eggs and whisk together the whites. Crush the eggshells and add to the stock with the eggwhites. Leaving the lid off, slowly bring to a simmer. When the eggwhites begin to set, remove the stock from the heat. Pour the stock through a sieve or colander lined with muslin (cheesecloth) into a large bowl; any floating solids or particles will be trapped in the cooked eggwhites. Discard the whites and shells.
Make your own stock cubes
While stock (boullion) cubes are convenient, you don’t have to buy them. When cooking a pot of stock, cook the liquid down to 2 cups (500 ml) – it will be thick and intense in both flavour and colour. Let the reduced stock cool completely, then pour it into ice-cube trays and place the trays in the freezer. When the stock cubes are solid, remove them from the trays, wrap each in foil and store them in a labelled, dated, self-sealing freezer bag. Each cube, diluted, will make 1 cup (250 ml) of stock.