Homemade stock in the slow cooker

I really got into making my own stocks last year around Thanksgiving. I had never done it before but I had been researching all the health benefits* and had looked up a couple recipes and thought to myself how hard could it be? So on Thanksgiving I asked if anyone minded if I took the carcass and I made my first batch of stock and was hooked. With the chilly weather upon us there seems to be no shortage of good home cooked meals that revolve around a roast of some form or fashion. As long as the meat has bones in it you can cook yourself up some healthy bone stock after you're done with the roast. Best part of all you can cook some up overnight while you are sleeping. How easy is that?

 Here's what you need to make your own stock- The carcass of  2 chickens* or a turkey OR bones from a beef or pork roast Water to cover the bones 1 onion 2 carrots 2 garlic cloves 2 stalks of celery Fresh parsley You can use any vegetables to make this but root vegetables are the best option for making stock. Remember the larger the carcass the more vegetables you'll need. * If using chicken I always do 2 at a time. I've even picked up 2 rotisserie chickens to turn into stock after stripping the meat for meals that week. Throw your bones and whatever leftover meat that is still clinging to them into your slow cooker along with the veggies. Add enough water to cover by no more than an inch.

 Set your slow cooker to cook at least 10 hours or overnight. The longer it cooks the better, so you can cook it up to 24 hours for maximum nutrients.
When it's done cooking it will have cooked to a delectable simmer of perfectly blended nutrients almost ready to be used. With a slotted spoon remove all the bones and vegetable scraps from the slow cooker. Strain the liquid using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. I use a pitcher for this so I can just pour it straight into the containers I use to store it.
Once strained, you can either store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer in a ziploc bag or freezer safe container. Don't use glass to store in freezer. When you're ready to use it you will now have healthy stock on hand to use anywhere a recipe calls for broth or stock. *For more information on the health benefits of bone broth or stock here is an article from MindBodyGreen, 10 Benefits of Bone Broth.

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