Many people are intimidated by making their own gluten free stocks, thinking that it’s too complicated or time consuming. Really it's not! This is among my favourite things to make. Having my own homemade stock on hand gives me a tool to make just about any meal more flavourful and appealing. The most boring meal can be spiced up with a savory sauce or a tasty soup. Want to impress your friends? Top of the roast chicken with a mushroom veloute or the pasta with a creamy béchamel that you whipped up while chatting in the kitchen over drinks.
So easy and so satisfying. The stock pot simmering for hours fills the house with this amazing homey aroma. And once you get past the initial few steps it takes very little effort. Yes you can make your own gluten free stock and I promise you will feel so proud when you do!
The basics are vegetable, chicken and beef. Though you can make veal or fish stocks they are less common.
Knife for chopping
6” square of cheese cloth
8” piece of string
Bones for meat based stocks – 8lbs
Vegetables for flavouring (called mirepoix) – 1 lb (4lbs for vegetable stock)
The standard mirepoix is carrot, celery, onion. About 8oz of onion and 4 each of the others
For gluten free vegetable stock you can use other types as well, just avoid starchy veggies like potato, they will make the stock cloudy. Also avoid strong flavoured veggies like cabbage or broccoli.
For beef stock you also need about 2 tbsp of tomato paste
Herbs and Spices for your gluten free stock: the standard spice bag is thyme, crushed peppercorn, parsley stems, bay leaf. You can add garlic and whole cloves if you like. Place the herbs in the cheese cloth, pull the corners together and tie with the string.
Beef stock 8 – 10 hours
Chicken stock 3 – 4 hours
Vegetable stock – 30 – 45 min
Do not add salt. Stocks are a base for sauces and soups, you will season the end product not the stock
Skim your gluten free stock a few times throughout the simmering process and last thing before straining make sure you’ve got as much of the fat off it as you can get.
When the stock is done strain it through a cheese cloth lined colander
Cool rapidly in an ice bath. I fill my sink with ice water, pour the stock into a few tall narrow containers like juice jugs and immerse it in the ice water.
When cool you can use it, store it in the fridge for a few days or portion into containers and freeze. A good way to get any remaining fat off the stock is to cool it for a few hours in the fridge. The fat will solidify on top, then you can just scrape it off with a spoon.
I have little containers that I freeze in 1 and 2 cup portions. I’ve also used freezer bags which is quite space efficient. Just be careful they don’t tip when filling and lay flat in the freezer until solid.
Gluten Free Stock: There is absolutely no reason for stock to have gluten in it, yet for some reason, some manufacturers seem to think it’s necessary. What exactly is up with that anyway? They have extra gluten lying around and just decide “hmm, we don’t want this to go to waste, let’s toss it in the stock pot”?
Although homemade is nicer and much much less expensive, I often do pick up a ready-made stock if I’ve used up everything in the freezer. I recommend the organic section, partly because the stock will be organic (no pesticides, chemical fertilizers, GMO’s} but also because organic producers seem to be more careful about what goes into the product and gluten is less likely to creep in. As always, read labels.