Secrets to Making Clear Broth and Consommé from Scratch, It’s Practically Free and Healthy, too.
Use this easy method for making soup stock and bone broth to have healthy broth to feed those recuperating from illness and enhance your cooking. Making clear broth or consomme at home is easy, cheaper, and better than store bought.
“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” Ludwick Von Beethoven
Stocking up – making clear broth from scratch
This is day 27 of the 30 Days of cooking from scratch challenge – #30fromscratch. We’re almost done. How has the challenge been for you? Are you achieving your goals?
In week 2, we talked about how to make cream soups and béchamel sauce. Today I want to take you through the steps to make a clear consommé or bone broth. You will use a clear consommé or bone broth in place of a can of chicken stock, chicken or beef bouillon, or beef consommé – a clear, strained beef broth. One cup of rich, reduced stock is the equivalent of a 10 oz. can of chicken stock or beef consommé, or 2 bouillon cubes or 1 tsp. of powdered bouillon base. But homemade is healthier and tastier. It’s real food, not MSG-laden, chemical fake food that passes for real food from a can.
Stock, consommé, broth, are terms that are used interchangeably.
Making your clear broth uses ingredients that you might be throwing away or feeding to your chickens. So it’s practically free but so healthy you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this for years. Clear stock and chicken soup are traditional foods fed to sick and convalescent folks. When you buy it in a can or a dry package it’s full of MSG, corn syrup, and other unhealthy ingredients, but when you make it from scratch you control the ingredients, as well as the process.
Stock or Broth is another easy to make soup. You probably take the Christmas Turkey carcass and make turkey soup, by simmering the turkey bones in water for a few hours, removing the bones and taking off any meat and returning the meat to the broth and tossing the bones. That broth may have been reduced to half the amount by continued simmering and then either packaged in smaller portions for later use or preserved by freezing or canning. When you make turkey soup you are making a stock from the bones.
The properly made broth will gel when cold. It contains the minerals, collagen, gelatin, and protein leached from the bones, muscles, and connective tissue of the animal that you are using. It is a very healing draught that repairs and strengthens the stomach, and the teeth. Traditionally it was prescribed by doctors to get patients back on their feet after a serious illness.
Having clear soup stock or bone broth on hand makes meal preparation from scratch easier. You can make the stock when you have extra vegetables or meaty bones. The clear soup is called consommé and many recipes call for a can of “chicken stock,” “beef consommé,” or “vegetable broth.” I’m going to show you an easy and inexpensive way to make stock or broth, that you can freeze for quick and easy meals, in the future.
What equipment you’ll need:
You’ll need a stockpot, or pasta pot, and a stove that you can safely simmer a large pot on. If you are busy you can even do this in a large crockpot and leave it cooking all day, instead of just a few hours that are required for stovetop cooking.
Easy stock method:
Many people save vegetable peels, onion skins, leftover meat, extra bones, the green, leafy ends of celery, and even vegetable trimmings for soup stock. Meaty bones will offer their collagen to the broth, making it richer, healthier, and higher in protein. Ideally, you want to have a gallon container in a freezer that you can add clean trimmings, peels, and bones as you get them. Add meat drippings leftover from roasting meat or poultry, extra gravy, and small amounts of leftovers. Do not add fat, grease, pasta or bread, mayonnaise or milk based foods. Once the container in your freezer is full, you simply dump it into your stockpot and fill it with water to cover the vegetable scraps, add 1 tbsp. of cider vinegar to draw more minerals into the broth. Simmer on the stove for at least two hours on medium to low heat. You want it to simmer but not boil rapidly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Once it is safe to handle, strain it through a coarse sieve to remove the peels and bones. Reserve the liquid and return it to the stockpot. Remove any meat from the bones and add it back into the stockpot with the liquid. Discard vegetable peels and scraps. You can feed these to chickens or compost worms, once they are cool.
Meanwhile, finely chop onions, garlic, celery, parsley, and sauté in coconut oil or butter. Add to the strained broth in the stockpot. Add savoury herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage, and bay leaf, tied in a bundle (bouquet garni), and simmer together with the stock. Simmer together with broth, with the lid off, until the broth is reduced by half. Remove the bouquet garni spices. Strain if desired to make a clear broth. The meat has leached its collagen and protein into the broth and will be fairly tasteless, so you can strain it out or leave it in, depending on your final purpose for the broth. It’s up to you. Remove the fat from the surface of the broth, either by chilling to solidify and spooning off or by skimming the surface to remove as much fat as possible.
Pour broth into pint canning jars and pressure can on 10lbs pressure for 20 minutes. You don’t need to add salt before canning, but you may if you wish. Or allow to cool, and put into freezer containers and freeze.
Use broth on a 1 to 1 ratio in any recipe calling for consommé or stock. You can also serve it heated up as soup and add noodles, grains, cereals, and additional vegetables, and cooked in the broth before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Let’s see the stock making method in action:
I have a 1 gallon bucket with a lid in my chest freezer. The bucket came with coconut oil and now that the coconut oil has been used up I’ll re-purpose this for my stock making scrap bucket. I chop up some onions for hamburgers. I check the peel and outer segment of the onion for mold. If there is no mold it can go in the bucket, including the paper skin. Don’t put anything that has even a speck of mold into your scrap bucket. Cut the mold away, before saving the good part. I wash and peel some carrots and put the peels into the scrap bucket. I bring in some peas from the garden and shell them and add the shells to the scrap bucket too. It doesn’t matter if the parts of the vegetables are normally edible because they are added for flavour, vitamins, and richness. They will be strained out of the final stock. Even the ends of lettuce or the leaves of celery can be added to the stock to increase its richness and flavour. If you are making vegetable stock, add some spicy vegetables and herbs to give a more complex flavour – peppers, garlic, celery, fennel, for instance.
Any meat juice from roasting or frying meat will also go into my bucket. If I have a roast, I might add the bone to the bucket, when I serve the roast to my family for dinner. I usually keep bones separate in Ziploc bags in my freezer, because this lets me make a poultry broth or a meat broth as I need it, rather than being stuck with what is already frozen in the stock scrap bucket. Make your broth as soon as the bucket is full.
When stock is reduced, skim any fat from the surface of the broth, before packaging or preserving it by pressure canning. Fat may be clarified and used for other purposes.
If I just have one of two pints of broth, I will just put them into a Ziploc bag in my freezer. But when the garden is producing well and I have a lot of vegetables to use up before they spoil, I might do a mega-session of stock making over a few days and can it all in my pressure canner.
Pressure canning guidelines for clear broth or consommé:
For clear soup stock from beef, venison, lamb, goat, or chicken – Process at 10 lbs. pressure; 25 min. for quarts, 20 min. for pints.
How to spice up the broth:
Spices are what give stock its characteristic flavour. Parsley, sage, and thyme give chicken stock its “chicken” flavour. Beef stock is traditionally seasoned with onions, garlic, and dry mustard. Pick from the list below, according to your tastes and your ingredients on hand.
Chicken or rabbit stock – parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, marjoram, summer savoury, onions, shallots, green onions, chives, turmeric, peppers
Beef stock – onions, garlic, leeks, carrot tops, ginger, turmeric, peppers, dry mustard, paprika, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, chives, shallots.
Venison or game meat – onions, garlic, turmeric, hot peppers, dry mustard, paprika, green pepper, celery, dill, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, marjoram, allspice, dry mustard, horseradish, thyme.
Now you’re ready to make clear stock from scratch – and it’s cheaper and better than store bought. Go to my Facebook page and tell me what you made.
Use this easy method for making soup stock and bone broths and you will always have health giving broth to feed to those recuperating from illness, or to enhance your scratch cooking adventures, without ever buying MSG laden, fake-soup again.
Arpita Patel says
Great basic recipe. We prefer our soups loaded so I’d increase the amount of veggies and make some homemade egg noodles which have better texture. This is our go-to recipe for leftover turkey using rendered turkey fat in place of the chicken fat called for here. Fresh thyme is a nice touch.
Thanx so much, I have used your recipe for bone broth and it was perfect. I will double the amount tomorrow to freeze some, first batch was gone in minutes. My question vegetable broth kind of veggies and amounts for 2 litters. Appreciate your site tremendously and look forward to your response.
Joybilee Farm says
Hi, Wanda, I usually use celery, onions, parsley, and carrots for vegetable broth as a foundation. You can also add pumpkin, zucchini, parsnips, and leeks. Leeks have some mucilage and so they make add body to a 100% vegetarian broth. Avoid sulfurous veggies like turnip, cabbage, or cauliflower as the long simmering can make it bitter and the smell is harsh. (Great for borscht though).
Very good article. I have been making broth for years but hadn’t thought about using meat drippings or gravy. One thing I do different that you may want to consider: adding eggshells. As an arthritis sufferer, I want all the help I can get, and the shells have all the stuff in them that we spend good money on at the vitamin store for joint health. I did know about the vinegar trick and it’s a good one. Sometimes I let the broth simmer in the crockpot for two days and the bones come out soft and easily crumble when you add vinegar. This means I’m getting all they have to offer in my broth. Now I just need a pressure canner because I’m running out of freezer space!
Thank you so much for this post.
I’ve been making my own chicken broth for years (and keep a large ziplock freezer bag in my freezer for all the trimmings and peals) and had never heard to add the cider vinegar to the broth to draw more minerals into the broth. I’m looking forward to trying this in my next batch.
I usually just put everything in my slow cooker and leave it for the day. At the end of the day I strain it and freeze it. But freezer space at my place is becoming a premium so I’m looking forward to trying your method with the second simmering (with new veg) to reduce the liquids (and make it stronger) and canning it.
It may just become my new favorite method of making stock as it will reduce the space requirements needed for storage, while still providing me with a great tasting broth.
Thank you so much for sharing.