Sunday, May 3, 2009
Wasting food is not an option these days. Fortunately, it never was an Armenian trait.
As in most Old World cultures, Armenians practiced frugality out of necessity. We're as clever as anyone at finding ways to use every last scrap, clean down to the bone -- which is where some of the best meals start.
Making a stock from bones is just about one million times better in every way than buying canned broth.
It's tastier, and it's better for you because you control the fat and sodium content. It's also incredibly satisfying in the way that made-from-scratch recipes always are. Plus, you can congratulate yourself on saving money.
Home-made stock isn't just for soup, either. You can cook rice in it for a more flavorful pilaf. Add it to green beans, fasoulia, and other vegetable recipes. Use it as a base for gravy, or simply pour it over any meat.
Or just go ahead and dip your lavash in it!
Next time your butcher cuts lamb for shish kebab, make sure he packs the bones. The possibilities are endless.
How to make white stock: (lamb, beef, chicken, veal or fish)
Preparation time: about 2 1/2 to 3 hours
1. Rinse the bones with cold water.
2. Place bones in a large pot and cover with cold water.
3. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Impurities will rise to the surface.
4. Skim impurities from the top as necessary during the cooking process. Continue to simmer for about an hour.
5. During the last 1 to 1 ½ hours add a mixture of roughly chopped carrots, onion, and celery (mirepoix) to add flavor.
6. Continue to simmer until stock is finished.
7. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and strain the stock.
8. Place the stock in small, shallow containers. Cover, label, and freeze until ready to use.