Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ham Stock

If you have been to family party for Christmas, chances are you have had ham.  My B-i-L was nice enough to save me a Honey Baked Ham bone.  I used to be one of those people who wondered why people take turkey carcasses or ham bones home?  Now I that I am canning I know.  You can make a rich stock to serve as the basis for many a meal.
Ham Stock
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium carrots,cut into 1-inch chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 pounds ham bones (shank, hock, or left over from spiral ham)
1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves (about 4 sprigs)
10 black peppercorns
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
4 to 5 quarts cold water

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables just begin to brown. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits. Add the bones and the parsley, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf and water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then drop the heat to medium and simmer for at least 2 hours, preferably more. Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer into a clean pot, discarding the solids. Use immediately, or cool and transfer the stock to the refrigerator or freezer (or pressure can it) for later use.

Cook's Notes: The longer you simmer the more flavor you get.  Some people will do it 6-7 hours.  It all depends on your time frame.  For a frugal tip, save the outer celery leaves and the bottom you usually cut off.  Carrots that are a bit past their prime and onions that are starting to sprout, can be frozen along with the celery, until you are ready to make stock.

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