Veal or Chicken Stock

11:30 am on 29 October 2012

The Engine Room Eatery
Published by Godwit

The following recipe makes a basic stock that is a good all-rounder. We adapt the stock to suit the dish, thinking out and adjusting flavours. Sometimes we use whole chicken for a super-rich chicken stock, or add beef brisket or a pig's trotter to a veal stock. We may add a little rosemary or sage if the stock is to be used for something like braising oxtail. A stock can be as simple as Chinese-inspired chicken frames simmered with ginger and spring onions. Use your intuition here.

This recipe makes a brown meat stock. For a lighter stock, don't brown the bones or vegetables. Make sure the bones have some meat left on - naked bones will not make a satisfying stock. There is a fine balance between a stockpot being on too low and up to high. There should be enough movement in the liquid to extract flavour from the bones with the broth remaining clear; if the heat is too high, the stock will be cloudy. Take care of your stock while it is simmering, fastidiously skimming off the impurities.

(Makes 4 litres)


  • 2kg veal or beef or chicken bones, rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 onions, skin on, halved
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved (optional)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped and washed well
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 small handful parsley stalks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • few sprigs thyme


Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the bones in a roasting dish and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then turn the bones and roast for a further 20-25 minutes until browned. Transfer the bones to an 8-10-litre stockpot.

Place the vegetables in the roasting dish and roast for 30 minutes until browned. Transfer the vegetables to the stockpot. Pour off and discard any oil from the roasting dish, place on the stovetop and deglaze the dish with 1 cup of water, scraping up any caramelised bits, then pour the liquid into the stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and enough cold water to cover everything. Bring to the boil over moderate heat, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. Once the stock has come to the boil, reduce to a moderate simmer (do not cover) and simmer for 4 hours for chicken stock or 8 hours for veal or beef, skimming occasionally. Note that the stock will reduce.

Remove from the heat, strain the stock and discard the solids. Allow the stock to settle and cool then skim off any fat that has risen to the surface. At this point the stock can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen if not using straight away.