We've spent the school half-term away from home, hence the long break between posts. Today I've been trying to get things back in order so that it'll be easier when the usual routine starts again. This has mainly meant doing (a lot of) weeding in the garden and trying to clear the freezer out a bit. I did make some space by taking out all the bones that I'd saved, bagged up, ready to make stock. Only problem is, after a stock-making session I've filled up all the space again. Oh pants, and double pants. At least the freezer looks rather less like something out of The Texas Chaiunsaw Massacre now, though.
Stock is easy. Believe me, it is. I save all the bones from roasts that we have and keep a bag (one for each type of meat) in the freezer, adding to it as I go along. I even keep bones from things like chicken leg portions and lamb or pork chops, after all they go in the same pan in the end and it boosts the quantity faster.
When I have a decent amount of bones, I bung them in a large pan, cover them with water from the tap and bring it to the boil. Simmer on a very low heat for at least a couple of hours (and we nipped out and did some shopping while the beef stock was on the stove). Sieve out the bones and bits, throw them away and pour the stock into freezer containers of some kind.
You can, I know, add all sorts of other things to the pan (vegetables, herbs and the like), but I never do, reasoning that the "something for nothing" pleasure of stock is more that slightly diminished if you chuck loads of fresh vegetables in as well. I eventually made chicken stock, beef stock and lamb stock today, all by the same method that I give you above. I didn't bother to wash out the pans and things in between, either, lazy cow. I now have a freezer's-worth of homemade stock and would seem positively holy, I know, to anyone who didn't know how easy it was. Until I tell them, which I always do, because I want them, and you, to feel as good as I do this evening (albeit illogically and unjustifiably so).
Go on, I dare you...