Broths and stocks are the foundations of so many delicious meals. And it's easier than you might think to make your own with wholesome, nourishing ingredients.
Jennifer McGruther’s latest cookbook, Broth & Stock, helps home cooks better understand these nutrient-rich creations, with plenty of tips to help you get simmering. We had a quick chat with Jennifer about what we can all learn from a simple stock.
Broths can teach us a lot about thrifty cooking, different cuts of meat and reducing food waste. What have you learnt over the years?¨
When you make broths and stocks at home, there are two avenues that help you to reduce waste in the kitchen. First, you can use food that you might otherwise throw away, like spent bones from your roast or carrot peelings and celery leaves. Second, you can take inexpensive cuts of meat that are often overlooked, like oxtails, and transform them into absolutely luscious stews.
Focusing on getting the most from the food you purchase, and wasting little, helps food budgets go further and it also helps to combat the ever-growing global issue of food waste.
"If you can boil water, you can make broth."
After the dark depths of winter, what lighter, fresher broths do you suggest for spring?¨
I love the whole chicken broth from the book, made by simmering a whole chicken – bones, meat and all – until tender. It's light, pleasant and it partners beautifully with spring vegetables in chicken soup with parmesan, rice and peas. Green broth, a vegetable broth flavoured with watercress and kale, makes a lovely choice for lighter weather too.
For a beginner broth maker, what combos do you recommend to get started?
If you can boil water, you can make broth. When I teach workshops, I recommend that newcomers to cooking begin by roasting a chicken, as it's a pretty easy technique to learn. Once they've enjoyed the chicken for dinner, I encourage them to plop the bones into a pot, cover them with water, pour in a glug of wine and simmer it for a few hours to make broth.
Broth & Stock by Jennifer McGruther, published by Hardie Grant Books, is available in stores nationally.