The backbone of my kitchen is homemade stock. It's what makes the difference between a decent enough cook and a deadly serious one. If you're willing to take the time to make homemade stock you can seriously up your game in the kitchen.
I make two basic stocks: Chicken and Pork. Beef stock is another beast entirely. Easy enough to make in a professional kitchen but quite a difficult road to walk down in a normal home kitchen.
This formula relates to pork stock.
5 lbs Pork Neckbones or Pig's Feet [I prefer the feet but the neckbones work fine too]
1 bunch Celery
5 each Bay leaves
3 each Onions,sweet,quartered
3 T. Peppercorns,Black
6 quarts Water,municipal
Heat oven to 300 degrees
Place pork in casserole pan
Roast 2 hours
Place half the vegetables in pan
Roast 1 hour longer
Place pork, pepper, all vegetables, both raw and roasted and bay leaves in large vessel
Cover with 6 quarts municipal water
Bring to boil
Dip out 2 cups of boiling liquid and use it to deglaze the pan you roasted the meat and vegetables in [Absolutely crucial step, do not omit, Classic French methodology]
Add deglazing liquid to vessel
Reduce to simmer
Cook for 4 hours
Skim foam off surface as needed
Strain stock into large vessel through colander
Discard vegetable and bone matter
I like to refrigerate my stock at this point and let it sit overnight. In the morning you can remove the layer of fat off the surface and prepare to use your delicious, homemade stock. It'll last about a week in the fridge or 5-6 months in the freezer.
While I'll use this stock as a base for just about anything it's really my primary weapon when making bean dishes. If you like Borracho Beans, Refrieds or Charros then you haven't lived til you've had them prepared with homemade pork stock.
Hey y'all thanks for checking out my site. I'm a writer living and working in Austin Texas. Here are a few of my favorite articles and recipes I've written for this site.
How To Make Chicken Stock http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2011/3/6/
How To Make Authentic Texas Red Chili http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2009/11/1
How To Make Tex Mex style Chile Con Queso http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2010/3/27
How To Make King Ranch Casserole http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2010/2/23
The Art and Science of Fried Chicken [ A Recipe ] http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2009/11/2
How To Smoke Country Style Pork Ribs http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2010/6/14
Scrumptiouschef First Essay on the State of Dining in Austin Texas http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2009/12/1
Scrumptiouschef Second Essay on the State of Dining in Austin Texas http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2010/12/2