Tuesday, January 18, 2022

T.T.: Reduce, Reduce, Reduce

I make a lot of stock. I have spent years making a lot of stock. This is what happens when you raise animals and butcher them: There are lots of bones, and therefore, lots of stock.

The big problem with stock, however, is that it takes up a lot of space. If you freeze it, you end up with big quantities of stock in the freezer. If you pressure-can it (my preference), you end up with dozens of jars of stock.

It's just a lot of real estate for meat-water, you know?

Given my continous making of stock, and therefore continous problem with storage of stock, you'd think it wouldn't have taken me literally years to realize that because stock is mostly water, I could reduce the water significantly and make a stock concentrate that would then take up significantly less space.

Years! But better late than never, I guess.

So now whenever I make stock, I continue simmering the stock after I've strained out the solids. I do this for however long it takes to reduce the stock by half, usually at least a few more hours. That way, I only have seven quarts to can or freeze, instead of fourteen.

Stock reducing after pressure cooking the roosters and straining the liquid out . . .

Until it fits in my 8-quart pot, at which point I have just about enough for a pressure-canner load of 7 quart jars.

This makes a very, very concentrated stock. And it is delicious. The water can be added back when you drink it or cook with it if you want, but really, the stock is so much better when it's left pretty strong.

And that's it! Reduce your stock, both for space-saving purposes and much better flavor. 

(Still can't believe it took me so long to think of this.)


Kit said...

It took me 30 years to figure this out, so don't feel bad!

mil said...

As you know, I always advocate for having and reading good complete basic cookbooks--in which writers share their insights about things like managing stock, all the way down to demi glace. That said, no cookbook I've ever encountered has explained an easy way to get the veal bones that they advocate for stock. Beef is easy. Chicken is easy. But veal? I guess one has to live in a bigger market for veal bones to be easy to find.

Gemma's person said...

Same for tomato juice as well.

Gemma's person said...

But you can just let tomato juice settle in the fridge and the solids go to the bottom...then just drink the remaining clear juice.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

MiL: I would guess one has to live in the 1960s, when people still ate veal.

Claire said...

Yes! I do the same, but I make smaller batches (usually 1 liter) which I concentrate even further, and freeze in ice cube molds. Then the cubes are super easy to pop in the pan after cooking meat to deglaze with a splash of white wine and a few sage leaves, tadaaaa a sauce!

Elaine N said...

Thank you for this -- my freezers are bursting at the seams with way too much watery broth!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Elaine: You are most welcome. Reduce away!