4 Easy Steps to a Homemade Halal Stock
Stocks are vital for making soups, stews, sauces & gravies tastier, but buying a good, inexpensive halal stock isn’t easy. Here’s how to make your own…
Stocks available to buy can be expensive and tasteless. It’s so easy to make and store your own halal stock, but today, time constraints have meant instant stock is a more popular option, coming to flavour so many of our homemade foods. Stocks are a great move towards zero waste, as well as making your home-cooking more delicious and authentic — and of course this way, you know exactly what is going into your food.
If you’ve roasted a whole halal chicken, keep the carcass. Equally, vegetable peels and herb stalks and bones are the bases of a good stock. If you need to make a fish stock, you’ll often have to call a fishmonger ahead, and in most cases you’ll pay very little for a bag of whole fish bones. You can also buy halal lamb and halal cow bones relatively cheaply from halal butchers.
Wrap up any bones (poultry, beef, lamb or fish) that you have and freeze until you have enough. It goes without saying that big batches are the most economical. 1.5kg bones will make roughly 1 litre of unreduced stock.
You don’t need a recipe for stock, as much as a good idea of the basic steps and ingredients: water (we use bottled for greater purity and a lesser chlorinated flavour), bones, trimmings (for meat and fish stocks), celery, onion, carrot and herbs like herb stalks, a bay leaf or thyme sprigs, and some peppercorns, as well as turmeric powder and cumin seeds. You needn’t salt the stock, as it could become too salty when finished.
All stocks are boiled first. This brings froth to the top. To remove this, sweep a large spoon across the pan and take away as much as possible.
- Extract Flavour.
A good, clear stock is simmered slowly and gently. Once it boils, reduce the heat and then cover. You can be largely free to get on with your day at this point, as the stock is not demanding at all at this stage; just check it isn’t losing liquid, adding more boiling water if necessary. Putting a stock in a slow-cooker is ideal.
Removing the vegetables and bones from the stock, sieve the liquid and and cool completely. Remove the remaining fat.
- Reduce and store
To enhance the flavour of the stock, reduce it, by boiling it down to half. When you need to, you can add water to the stock to make more, but this makes the base tastier and richer, as well as making it easier to store. Chill the stock and use it within 3 days. Alternatively, freeze it. Before storing it, cool the stock quickly to avoid the development of bacteria. To aid with this, plunge the stockpot into a large sink or bucket filled with cold or iced water. For storage, use air-sealed jars like mason jars, or freeze them in a freezer bags, or for small quantities for gravies or sauces pour into ice-cube trays.
To vacuum seal jars, use the following method: Place lids on mason jars; screw on the rings and lower jars back into the pot of boiling water. The water should almost cover the jars, but not the lids. Boil jars for 10 minutes. Transfer the jars to a folded towel and allow to cool for 12 hours; you should hear them making a pinging sound as they seal.
We promise that making your own homemade stocks will make for tastier dinners!
Let us know if you have any tips for making delicious homemade halal stocks of your own.