While preparing the ingredients to put venison stew in the slow cooker, I decided to take the opportunity to make a batch of “junk stock” for the freezer. What is junk stock? It’s stock made with ingredients that usually get junked, or thrown away.
I have two slow cookers. The white one in the pictures cooks food, but it’s older, stained, and has no handles left anywhere because they’ve all broken off. The black one is newer, doesn’t show stains as much, and has retained all of its handles. So far. It’s easier to remove a hot slow cooker lid with a handle, so the black cooker is my primary one, but I keep the old one as a backup for just these occasions.
So I started putting venison stew ingredients into my black slow cooker. But as I did I made sure to scrub the carrots and onion very, very well before I prepared them for the stew. And as I peeled them, I let the peelings fall directly into my white slow cooker. Then I went to the freezer and pulled out a turkey carcass I’d frozen after removing the usable meat. I didn’t thaw the carcass, just dropped it in the white slow cooker on top of the carrot and onion peelings.
After that I went out to my little garden plot and trimmed some of the outer stalks of celery from my “junk garden” experiment. (More about that another time.) I brought them in, cleaned them thoroughly, and put those in the white cooker, too. Then I filled the white cooker almost to the top with water and turned it on “high” to cook.
About eight hours later I turned off the slow cooker, strained the broth, and packaged it for storage. The carcass and veggie peelings had given all they had to give; to they really were junk and ready to be tossed. (Those who are better gardeners than I, is it safe to put veggie peelings cooked with meat products in the compost?) By the way, the stew was pretty good, too!
If I’m not making broth right away, I add the peelings to a container that I keep in the freezer for just this purpose. Then when I have time I can pull out frozen peelings and frozen bones to make more junk stock. I don’t like this stock as well as stock from freshly-cooked meat for broth-based soup, but for recipes that call for stock as an ingredient, junk stock is the best! And it’s free!
I have to admit I get kind of a kick out of “making something from nothing” like this. There are probably those who do it better than I do, but that’s all the more reason for me to appreciate when it happens for me.
What’s your best tip for making something from nothing?
I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.