Here's a traditional food preparation that I will always go to the trouble for. There's just no comparison when you make your own stocks, primarily beef and chicken. Here's a batch with beef bones.
First, save all of your meat and bone scraps. Toss them in a bag in the freezer. You can also save your scraps from cutting up vegetables, such as the tops of carrots, outer skin of onions (adds color) celery tops, and so on.
My procedure isn't a lot different that that found in Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook everyone should have. Step one is to get your scraps, and I also always go and get 3 pounds or so of marrow bones. There's probably also some scraps of lamb bones, maybe even baby back ribs. It's all good.
Simply put them in a crock pot, cover in water, and add anywhere from a couple of tablespoons to a half cup of vinegar. I use apple cider vinegar. Another popular thing to add is a calf's foot, as the collagen apparently gives you a thicker broth, requiring less reduction. I haven't done this but will try at some future point.
Optionally, you can cut up an onion or two, with skin and add that, 2-3 carrots, and/or a stock or two of celery. In this case, I added an onion and a couple of carrots. No salt or pepper.
I let mine got for 48 hours and add water as it evaporates. If you don't have a crock pot and choose to simmer on the stove or in the oven, keeping the water level up might be difficult. You'll want to stay on top of it.
When finished, remove the bones with tongs or slotted spoon. Then you want to put it in the refrigerator to chill and let the fat rise to the top. When the fat is firm enough, scrape it off. Why? Well, I don't always want the fat in a dish, particularly a soup. If a sauce, I can always add leaf lard, butter, cream, ghee, or coconut milk or oil for added fat. Alternatively, one could retain the fat from this, freeze it, and break off bits to use in the future.
The next step is to strain. Be sure to stir and stir that slurry around. You'll be surprised how much concentrated broth remains therein.
And here's how I store it in order to have different amounts for different things. mThose all go in the freezer and then the ice cubes and cupcake pucks are stored in a ziplock bag.
Does anyone have anything to add to the procedure, or helpful hints? How about uses for you stock? What are y'all doing with it?
Late today or tomorrow I'll put up the first thing I used it in: braised beef short ribs.