Almost all restaurants make their own stock – it’s one of the things that gives restaurant food that additional depth of flavor and texture. Traditionally, this process takes 8 – 12 hours at home, but the method here takes less than 2 – and most of that time is hands off – thanks to using a pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
Restaurants make their own stock because they also produce a lot of scraps throughout the course of the day – odds and ends of onion, shallots, garlic, celery, carrots; stems of herbs; bones and carcasses of various animals – and the list goes on. Rather than letting all that go to waste, restaurants repurpose this material to save money.
But it’s not just about saving money – it’s also about delivering a superior product. See, bones are rich in marrow, colagen and gelatin which provide for a stock which is easier to emulsify in sauces and has a fuller, silkier mouthfeel. Make your own stock, and you can rule the world (or at least your kitchen).
This method works equally well to make all types of stock.
- For a clearer, more consommé-like broth, allow pressure to release naturally rather than utilizing the “quick release” option. Be sure to strain the stock twice – once through a colander to remove the large pieces, and then through a mesh strainer when pouring into the fat separator.
- If you don’t have a fat separator, it’s worth making the small investment; otherwise, refrigerate the stock overnight and skim the fat off the top the next day before freezing in 1 quart freezer bags.
- To get the ingredients for homemade stock, save the odds and ends of celery, carrots, onions, garlic as well as bones from chicken, turkey, shellfish (for seafood stock), pork or beef in your freezer; when you’ve accumulated enough, it’s time to make stock!
Please note the following instant pot times for various types of stock:
Ingredients (Use some or all of these depending on your mood and your desired outcome)
- Stock Base – Depending on type of stock, choose one of the following: Lobster/Shrimp Shells, Turkey/Chicken Bones, Pork Bones/Ham Hocks, Beef Bones. For a rich vegetable stock, include umami-rich ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, and add a few tablespoons of soy sauce to the broth.
- Mirpoix – Celery, carrot and onion – in approximately a 1:1:2 ratio
- Aromatics – Garlic, ginger, pepper (I like Aleppo Pepper for a little extra zing!)
- Herbs – Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Bay Leaf
- For a very full-bodied stock add 1 packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatin (optional)
- Preheat Oven to 450°F
- Place Stock Base and Mirpoix (and garlic if you wish) on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil
- Roast for 20 – 30 minutes until well browned (a little charring is desirable, but not too much, so keep an eye on it)
- Place roasted items into the instant pot
- Add aromatics, herbs and gelatin if using
- Add 1 gallon (16 cups) of water, or fill Instant Pot to capacity (MAX line)
- Seal pressure cooker and cook on high pressure according to the times in the chart above
- Release pressure (or allow time for a natural release if a clearer stock is desired)
- Strain large items through a colander – it’s okay if a few smaller bits of stuff are in there
- Allow stock to cool to around 100°F
- Pour stock into a fat separator through a mesh strainer. If allowing stock to cool in the fridge to separate the fat, strain the stock through a strainer before refriderating
- Pour cooled stock 2 cups at a time into 1 Quart Freezer bags and freeze until ready to use
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