This isn’t a recipe so much as a technique – a really simple technique at that. But, if you’re trying to avoid processed foods, stocks and bouillon can be a sticking point. Even the organic ones tend to contain sugar or “natural” flavors. And, really, who needs sugar in stock?
But, having stock on hand in the freezer takes up a lot of space. And, often, all I want is that jolt of flavor that you get from tossing a bouillon cube in with your sauteed veggies.
The answer? Concentrate your stock.
First, you need stock. Use your favorite recipe, or simply throw all your veggie scraps in a big pot with a lot of water and simmer, then strain. (I don’t recommend using salt in your stock. Concentrated salty stock is really salty.) You want about 10 cups of stock.
Great, now you’ve got stock. Now what?
Put it in a crockpot. Turn it on. Prop the lid open just a crack. (I use a popsicle stick under the edge of the lid.) And walk away. Come back a day (yes, 24 hours) later. Your stock should have reduced. A lot. Mine was about 2 cups. Exact time will vary depending on how hot your crockpot runs. Check it after 12 and 18 hours (or there-abouts).
Chill your concentrated stock, and then freeze it in ice cube trays. I used small, heart-shaped ice cubes.
(What? They’re cute and it’s heart-healthy. And, they’re just the right size.)
There, now you have frozen bouillon. Completely unprocessed, and taking up a fraction of the freezer space that stock would have.
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This looks amazing! One thing I wanted to point out, though – what about putting the plastic heart-shaped cube trays in the freezer? Have you found ones that DO NOT contain BPA? (I know, it’s a bummer question!)
It’s a good question, actually. Mine are silicone, not plastic. My square ones are plastic, which is another reason I prefer to use the heart-shaped ones.
I made homemade broth all of the time, but I never knew how to make it concentrated. I do not have a crock pot, but I might have to borrow one to try this out!
Must say that this is an amazing idea! Must try out some day soon – and figure out a way of doing it without a crockpot! 🙂 Can’t wait.
Thanks. I bet you could do the same thing by putting it in an uncovered pan in a low oven. I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would work.
thanks for this i have 3 big ice cream tub fulls of stock so i might just have a go at this ,24hours give me plenty of time to go and buy some ice cube tray. A great excuse to buy the fancy looking one
It IS a good excuse, isn’t it? And, the fancy silicone ones can be used to make fun chocolate shapes, too. Just sayin’.
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Reblogged this on Glutened and commented:
I mentioned about homemade chicken stock cube, and that i would post how they are made
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Concentrating stock is a nifty idea! Now that I have an empty freezer (thanks to Superstorm Sandy), I have plenty of room for different stock cubes. Good idea to me, I mean, everyone, to omit the salt.
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