Homemade Stocks

Homemade Stocks

Heart and Soul

A base. A foundation: No wonder why the French word for stock is “fond”.

If you have your own homemade stock in your fridge or freezer, you can create masterful soups, deep-toned sauces, aromatic gravies, rich risottos and hearty stews.

vegetable stock

Using ready-made stock is simply not the proper way to go about things! Roll up your sleeves and try these three recipes for chicken, beef and vegetable stock.


Moderately seasoning a stock with herbs and pepper also enhances the flavour of the final dish. Be sure to use whole peppercorns rather than ground pepper, as ground pepper can turn bitter after prolonged cooking. 
Most chefs avoid adding salt; it can make the stock too salty as it reduces. 

To keep your stock clear, remember to simmer, rather than boil, and frequently skim away any foam that rises to the top during cooking. 
Clarify the stock by straining through a metal sieve with a very fine mesh. 
Chill the strained stock until remaining fat solidifies on the surface, then skim off the fat.

Vegetable Stock

1 large onion, chopped

2 leeks, sliced

2 to 4 garlic cloves, cut in half (no peeling necessary)

2 to 6 celery stalks, chopped

2 to 4 carrots, chopped

1 bunch parsley

1 teaspoon whole, black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme

or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

thick sea salt


1. Fill a large stockpot with 3.8 litres of water and add the onion, garlic, leeks, celery, carrots, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Uncover the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes to slightly reduce the stock, intensifying its flavour. Remove from the heat and let it cool for at least a half hour before straining.

3. Pour the stock through a large, fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids. Season to taste. If not using stock straight away, cool completely uncovered, then refrigerate.

The covered stock can be refrigerated for up to 1 week and frozen for up to 1 year.

chicken stock

Chicken Stock


1 whole chicken (about 1.5 to 2.5 kg), cut into 8 pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into 4 cm length

2 carrots, quartered

2 medium onions, trimmed, and halved

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 bay leaves

1 thyme sprig

2 whole cloves

8 whole black peppercorns

4 litres of cold water

1½ teaspoons salt


1. In a large stockpot, place the chicken pieces, including the neck (discard giblets and liver). Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off the froth as it appears. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, skimming the froth occasionally, for 3 hours.

2. Remove the chicken pieces then pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl and discard solids. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any fat. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, then chill, covered, and discard any solidified fat.

The stock can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or you can freeze it for up to 3 months.



Homemade Stocks

Beef Stock



2.5 to 3 kg veal or beef marrow bones, (have your butcher chop them into pieces)

4 peeled carrots, cut into 6 to 8 cm pieces

4 celery stalks, cut to 6 to 8 cm pieces

2 big onions, peeled and halved

4 to 6 whole garlic cloves

½ bunch flat-leaf parsley with stems

4 thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

8 whole black peppercorns


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Roast the veal or beef marrow bones in a roasting pan, turning occasionally, until browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to the roasting pan. Roast, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are brown, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Transfer to a large stockpot; add cold water to cover. Skim off the fat from roasting pan, add ½ a cup of water and stir, scraping up browned bits; add this liquid to the stockpot along with a bunch of flat-leaf parsley stems, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 4 hours, occasionally skimming foam and fat from the surface and adding water as needed.

3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. If using straight away skim off and discard the fat from the surface. If not, cool stock completely, uncovered, then refrigerate, covered, until cold. Scrape off the congealed fat from the chilled stock.



Stock can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool, cover and chill in the refrigerator, or freeze up to 3 months.