Stock (or Bone broth) forms the basis of many soups, stews and sauces. It is made by simmering animal bones and vegetables in water or wine. Stock is also commonly flavoured with herbs or spices and seasoned well with salt.
You can make it at home or buy it premade. Stock can be sold in many different forms. Liquid stock usually comes in a carton and can be used straight away. Stock concentrate needs to be mixed with a bit of water before using. Dehydrated stock can come granulated, as a powder or pressed into cubes. Dehydrated needs to be dissolved in hot water before using.
Most stock is gluten-free but if you have a glutin allergy or intolerance it is always best to check the label first!
Types of stock
The most popular kinds of stock are beef, chicken and vegetable.
Beef and chicken stock is made by simmering the animal bones in water for roughly an hour. Leftover meat and vegetables like carrot, onion and celery are commonly added as well. A good way of speeding up this method is to use a pressure cooker.
Vegetable stock is usually made with onions, carrots, celery but other vegetables can be added too. The vegetables are usually roughly chopped and often unpeeled.
What is the difference between stock and broth?
There is much confusion surrounding stock and broth. Many cooks use the terms broth and stock interchangeably as they are used in the same ways. The differences mostly lie in the preparation methods.
As mentioned before stock is made with animal bones, which slightly thickens the consistency. This is because when bones are cooked they release gelatin and it thickens the water.
Broth, on the other hand, is made with meat and maybe vegetables. Broths also ten to be more flavourful.
On a different note, the word ‘broth’ can be used to describe a kind of soup which includes solid pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables.