Introduction: Broth (Vegetable, Beef or Chicken)
I use a lot of broth when cooking. I like to add flavor as many ways as possible to my dishes, so broth is always my go to cooking liquid for most things instead of water. I keep boxes in the pantry at all times, but I don't like to waste food, and if I can get a little more out of my food dollar I am happy!!
I save meat trimmings, bones and skin, store in zipper bag, label bags and freeze. I also keep all my veggie "scraps" and freeze them as well. Carrot, onion and garlic peels, the trimmings from bell peppers, all go into a bag in the freezer and when I have enough I toss it all in a pot with water and make my own broth.
Step 1: Ingredients
The main ingredients are simple...
Add to this some meaty beef bones, or chicken and simmer for a couple of hours and you have it!
Step 2: Vegetable and Meat Trimmings
I save everything in the freezer. Veggie trimmings, chicken bones and skin, meaty bones for the pot of beef broth. Not much waste in our house. You can of course use a whole chicken, but I have enough "scrap" to make mine. I do buy beef - normally neck bones and stew meat for this because we don't normally get a lot of beef trimmings in our normal menu items.
Step 3: Chop Vegetables
Just chunk all the veggies up, no peeling required, no precision chopping. Just get it in the pot.
Step 4: Add Herbs
I have an herb garden outside my kitchen so I add them to most everything! Not a required ingredient at all, but a few bay leaves and some parsley just add a little something. I also add thyme to mine, just because I can. I also throw in a good amount of whole peppercorns.
Step 5: Add Water, Boil
Once all your ingredients are in the pot, cover completely with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it go for at least an hour. I usually let mine go for a couple of hours just because I get easily distracted by shiny things, but that is a whole different story!!!!
Step 6: Strain
Strain the liquid from the solids and throw them away, they have done their job. All the flavor has been cooked out and the liquid you have left is a rich, golden color, full of flavor!
Step 7: Let Cool for Beef or Chicken Broth and Slim Fat Before Storage
I always chill the completed beef and chicken broth, that makes it super easy to skim off any fat that has hardened, giving you a fat free, sodium free broth to add to your dishes. It makes me feel better knowing that I am in control of the salt in my diet. And no preservatives either!
Step 8: Store and Use Later
I got these awesome containers and use them for EVERYTHING! I freeze the broth and pull it out to use as needed. Label everything, once frozen it's hard to tell veggie from chicken broth. I thaw a container and keep it in the fridge to add to dishes. You could also freeze some in ice cube trays for those times when you just need a splash of something. I hope you enjoy!