making stock from scraps

Mondays are typically slow days. I stay at home, make tea, and spend time in the kitchen in preparation for the jumble of days ahead. I cast my eyes over our meal plan and then scrutinise the contents of the fridge; leftovers, lacklustre vegetables and the fruit bowl will be given the once over. And then as a statement of intent for a day filled with domestic duties, I haul out the slow cooker and begin a nourishing chicken broth.

Hidden in the freezer are the past week’s vegetable scraps. As I prepare each meal I keep a small bowl next to me. And as I chop and peel, the discards are added to it. Think onion skins, garlic ends, carrot peelings and parsley stalks. Married with a frozen chicken carcass (bones picked clean from a roast dinner), a few bay leaves, 8 or so pepper corns and a small splash of apple cider vinegar, this brew will bubble and plop away all day and overnight until a rich and heavily scented liquor imbues the house with bolstering fragrance of homeliness and frugality.

Stored in upcylced glass jars in the fridge it will be the backbone of soups and stews, or simply warmed up and supped from a cup with black pepper and a tiny drizzle of tamari. A nourishing and frugal staple made purely from kitchen waste.

Scrappy Stock

a large bowl full of vegetable scraps (onion and garlic skins, carrot ends
and peelings, celery and parley stalks, avoiding too many strong flavoured veggies like broccoli)
a chicken carcass from a leftover roast chicken (omit this for a vegetarian stock)
a few bay leaves
8 or so black peppercorns
a small splash of apple cider vinegar

Add everything to a slow cooker (or a stove top pot with a lid) .
Cover with water.
Simmer away gently all day and overnight.
Strain off the amber liquid (compost the rest) and store in jars in the fridge
(freeze in wide mouthed jars also, remembering to leave a bit of
room at the top for expansion)
Use within a week.

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