One year ago today we began our journey towards master stock. For the uninitiated master stock involves making a base stock then repeatedly re-using the base while adding additional bones…some families and/or restaurants have master stocks that are over a hundred years old.

Ours turned one today.

Over the course of a calendar year we make stock roughly 50-60 times. Generally we roast or smoke a few pounds of ham hocks, pig’s feet or tails, chicken backs, turkey necks or other high collagen bones then put them in our old Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker with plenty cold water to make stock.

Master stock is no different. But each weekly batch grows stronger and stronger as you constantly reintegrate the old stock with the new bones plus fresh water.

Want to get started on the path to master stock greatness?

First you’re going to need to make a batch of pressure cooker pork stock or pressure cooker chicken stock

Our pressure cooker makes roughly eight quarts. Use 1/4 to a 1/3rd of it for your needs at the moment, and reserve the other portion as your base.

Now when you need more stock, take the reserved base, add fresh, roasted bones and fresh water and recreate the recipe.

Do this over and over, week after week.

Year after year.

Decade after decade.

Tasting notes:

Our regular stocks that we’ve been making since the 90s are terrific but master stock is an entirely different beast. The stock is much richer, more nuanced, the character is like a deeply talented basso profundo working at the top of his game.

It’s our secret weapon in all of our dishes. Two days ago we smoked an 8lb pork shoulder on the antique Weber for a few hours then pulled it off and submerged it in master stock and pressure cooked it for 10 minutes.

This outrageous cooking method yielded the finest pork roast we’ve ever eaten.

A little history lesson

  1. RL, is Pig Tail Master Stock significantly different from your words about Master Stock? I’ve read Chuck Taggart and Tom Fitzmorris on the benefit of stocks as a basis for gumbo, any form.

    I believe!

    • Any stock will work as long as you take your time, and use good ingredients. Master stock is a lot of constant effort but it is the ne plus ultra of stocks.

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