Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Challenge: Make Your Own Broth

"Good broth resurrects the dead" - African proverb

The leaves are falling, the air is crisping, and in my house, the broth is simmering. November is an ideal time to start experimenting with your own broth. If there was ever a month in which I could eat soup every day, it is November. Broth is inexpensive to make while adding 5-star richness to the meals you serve at home. It is additionally great on its own to help kick a cold or flu.

I use stock (or broth) primarily for soups and sauces. Any high caliber restaurant does the same thing. If you have fallen in love with a soup or sauce when eating out, it is probably because they make their own stock.

Stock refers to a liquid made for its own sake from whole ingredients (for example making chicken stock with whole chickens and using the cooked meat for something else later), whereas broth typically refers to liquid made from "leftovers". Broth is usually what simmers here because I use leftover chicken carcasses rather than a fresh bird, though I always add fresh feet and necks as well as fresh vegetables (following the bone broth recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon)

Making broth from your leftover carcasses is economical and adds value to your original purchase. Also, consuming stocks and broths allows your body to utilize proteins better so that you do not need to eat as much meat to gain the same benefit, which can save you even more.

Challenge Level One:

With Thanksgiving approaching, I challenge you to make your own stock and boil down a 5-star sauce from the turkey drippings. With cold and flu season upon us, I encourage you to stock up on stock. Keep it in the freezer to have on hand when the sniffles come. The gelatin and nutrients in broth are also good for numerous other health problems (especially digestive ones).

Challenge Level Two:

If you take the plunge and experiment with making your own broth, write about it! Or if you regularly make your own broth, share a recipe or write a reflection spurred from the simmering brew, and let me know by leaving a link in the comment section.

5 comments:

  1. I have been making my own broth for quite some time. It is so much better and richer than store bought. I save my cooked chicken and turkey carcasses and also any backs, livers, necks etc in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a large pot. I also will save my onion skins, celery and carrot peels in the freezer as well and add them to the simmering stock. After I have simmered the stock all day, I usually will pressure can in pints and quarts and always have it on hand. Of course the stock can be frozen if you don't have a canner.

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  2. Terri - Canning the broth is an excellent idea! We do not have a canner, so the freezer serves us well (though truth be told I can usually make enough soup and sauces to get through the broth rather quickly).
    I've been saving onion skins as well, and this was the first broth where I used them. It gave it a richer color that was quite nice. Saving the celery bits and carrot peelings is a great idea. What are your thoughts on dirt from the peelings and scraps getting into the broth. Do you strain it out in the end?

    On an unrelated note, I have also started freezing the butter wrappers when I am done with the butter that sits on my counter. I use them to butter baking dishes later. It has been wonderful! They are perfect to use, and I used to just throw them away not realizing they still had enough butter left on them to be useful.

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  3. I have also been canning left over soup as well as the broth. I don't worry about dirt from the peelings because I wash them before I peel or cut into them anyway. Yes I strain the broth so it is pretty clear with no veggie chunks in it.
    By the way, I love visiting your site.

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  4. I am in love with broth! I try to do a gallon a week and usually have it used up before I can make more. A few days ago I did fish broth for the first time. I was very happy with the results. I use my onion ends and carrot peels too. I try to invent ways to use up the broth and have had some great successes (and some meals that needed a little more work). I'm glad you participated in the Twister, I look forward to reading over your blog.

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  5. Thanks for stopping by Millie!
    I added my carrot peelings to our compost pile tonight and nearly felt guilty! They were quite dirty though. I am going to have to start saving them.

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Questions and Comments welcome! If you would prefer to contact me privately, please email mariannescrivner (at) gmail (dot) com.

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