beef, stock, thrifty, marrow, bones, frugal, living, life, cooking, food

Regardless of whether it is freshly made or in cube form, stock is an essential part of many meals, particularly soups, stews, casseroles and broths. Of course, there isn’t always time enough to make one’s own stock, but when one can find a few minutes it is certainly a worthwhile undertaking. It has the power to bring food alive – it’s not difficult to distinguish between freshly made stock and the slightly suspect supermarket hexahedron.

The local butcher will forever be one’s foremost ally in the pursuit of cracking homemade stock. As you might have guessed, a frequent by-product of their line of work is a hefty supply of animal bones. These are virtually worthless in monetary terms – mere superfluities to most meat eaters – but they do make for jolly tasty stock. So, simply pop down to your local butcher and ask for some stock bones (pork, lamb, beef… whatever) and you’ll almost certainly walk away with a clutch of bones, full of delicious marrow ready to add richness to anything it touches. Now, that really is frugal!

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The past couple of weeks really have been a soup filled fortnight in this frugal household. We have had three different types of soup and it is my honest opinion that the best has been saved for last. It has to be said that this soup, or broth, really benefits from the use of homemade chicken stock as it doesn’t have the rather salty taste that plagues shop bought stocks. This really allows one to control the seasoning of one’s dish, as one expects to be able to do. Indeed, so besotted have I become with the art of stock making that I think I shall soon post more recipes.

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Are you one of those types who, after having a delicious, succulent and potentially costly Sunday roast, looks at the carcass of your far from alive chicken and feels slightly guilty, both monetarily and in conscience, about wasting such fine remains? I have a confession, I am one of these ignominious characters who lets his penchant for laziness get the better of him week in week out and neglects to stew up the bones of his deceased hen with but one thing in mind; chicken stock. After all, let’s not beat around the bush, chicken stock does take a fair amount of time and effort to prepare. However, you must take my word for it that by making one’s own stock one really will be sampling the cream of the bone marrow crop.

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