Home Made Stock

There is nothing like home-made stock. The knowledge that when it is done, it will be a perfect base for soups and stews; adding just a little bit more flavor to anything you choose to include it in.

soup, stew, stock, ham, hock
Ham Hocks

Stock from ham hocks is easily made.

Using a large pot, fill it with 10 cups of water (or so). Place the ham hocks in the water with some chopped onion, celery and carrots. Add 3-4 bay leaf, some fresh basil, salt & pepper to taste, along with any other items or spices you might see fit to include. Cover and bring to a slow boil on med/high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling for about an hour. Turn the heat down and simmer for 4-5 hours.

Remove the ham hocks and let them cool before removing the meat from them. Chop or shred the meat and set aside. The bits of ham can be added to storage vessels prior to freezing or canning. It can also be frozen on its own for future use in soups or omelets.

Strain the stock. Remove the bay leaves from the vegetable mixture. You have a few choices as to what to do with the vegetables that have been cooked in the stock: 1. Puree and add back to the stock; 2. Freeze as they are and add to a stew at a later date; and,3. Discard.

Once the stock is completely cooled, some suggested options for storing are: 1. Freeze in freezer proof bags or containers in the freezer; 2. Preserve in jars using a pressure canner or hot water bath; and, 3. In a sealed container in the fridge – only if it is going to be used in the next few days.

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