a stock pot with onion, carrot, celery and chicken

Stock to Impress

Stock to Impress

It's easy to do, delicious to make, and can be used as a great gift using any empty jars you have laying around.


  • 1kg of meat scraps including bones and trimmings; or a whole chicken carcass or equivalent of beef bones
  • 1 packed cup of carrot scraps, including peeled skin, ends and tops; or 2 large carrots, chopped roughly  
  • 1 packed cup of onion scraps, including peeled skin, and other scraps; or 2 large onions, chopped roughly 
  • 1 packed cup of celery scraps, including leaves (though the firm stems are preferable) 
  • 2 cup of mushroom scraps, including peel, stems; or 1 cup of mushrooms 
  • ¼ cup garlic scraps, including ends and skins; or 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns  
  • 2 sprigs each of rosemary and/or thyme; or a ½ tablespoon of mix dried herbs  
  • 2 bay leafs 
  • 6 cups of water

The easiest way to make stock is to cook it on the slow cooker.

On high, it should only take 4-6 hours, but on low, you can enjoy the smell of developing stock permeating your house for up to 12 hours. In the final few hours, remove the lid to allow some liquid to be evaporated. The flavour will be concentrated, but the volume will be easier to handle. The stock is done when the vegetables have lost their colour and the liquid is a golden brown. 

If you’d prefer it to happen quicker and have some time to be active in the kitchen, place the ingredients in an even-heating, thick bottomed pot with room for all of the ingredients (remember to allocate for displacement). After about half an hour of the liquid boiling, remove the lid to let some liquid evaporate.  

Due to the inclusion of meat, fat will foam and float to the top of the stock. All you need to do is skim it away with a strainer or thinly slotted spoon and dispose of it. Do this regularly until the stock is clear. Strain the stock and voila! 

You can either use it straight away, or portion and freeze for weeknight dinners.

Notes: You can use small portions of flavoured salts like smoked salt, chilli salt or herbal salt to add depth, but keep in mind stock is naturally salty. You can also use smoked garlic or black garlic for added flavour. If you don’t have meat scraps but want to use up vegetable scraps and create a delicious base for soups, stews or noodle dishes, you can include one crushed up chicken stock cube with your vegetable scraps to make a truly delicious base for many recipes.

If you have extra time and really want to impress, you can try roasting the meat, onion and carrot before you put it in the stock, to include some deep caramalised flavour. And of course, the longer you cook it the more depth of flavour you’ll get. Using unique ingredients like chicken feet, tongues or pork rind boosts the umami and the gelatin in your stock, making it creamier and even richer in flavour. If you know exactly what you’re using your broth for, you can spice up your broth even more. 

If you want to drink it on its own on cold winter mornings for a boost of energy and protein, consider adding tomato paste, cut up or ground ginger, or soy sauce, depending on what you like. If you’re using it for a tomato based dish like spaghetti bolognese, minestrone, ratatouille etc. add relevant flavours like tomato chunks, basil, chilli, parsley or a splash of white or red wine. If you’re making a base for ramen or udon, add seaweed, sesame oil, miso or soy sauce to draw out the excellent Japanese flavours. More thai flavours like green curry can benefit from the use of lemongrass, lime leaves or citrus salt.  

Other flavour-boosters like vinegars, leeks, fennel, spring onions or Parmesan rind can find their perfect place in your stock.  If you’re making your stock to freeze ahead and don’t have a specific idea in mind, keep it neutral with the base ingredients. You can always add flavour as you cook your dish.