Admittedly not as useful as veal or chicken stock, pork stock nonetheless makes a good basis for certain soups and for sauces to accompany pork. Use only uncured pork bones to make it. The smoky flavor of ham bones or those from other cured cuts would overpower the stock; they are best added to lentils or beans.
As with any bones, they can be saved in the freezer until you have enough, or ask you butcher to set them aside for you. Skin, feet, and ears are good additions to the stock because they increase the gelatin content. A small pig’s foot (have your butcher cut it into pieces) or a piece of skin about 6 inches square, with the fat removed, will be enough for this stock. Add either one with the bones.
4 1/2 lbs. Meaty Pork Bones, cut into 2-to-3-inch pieces
1 Small Pig’s Foot, cut into pieces, optional
2 Medium Carrots, sliced
2 Medium Carrots, sliced
2 Celery Stalks, sliced
1 Large Onion, unpeeled, cut into wedges
Green Tops of 3 Leeks, sliced
6 Flat-Leaf Parsley Stems
1 Large Thyme Sprig
1 Bay Leaf
A Large Strip of Lemon Zest
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 tsp. Black Peppercorns
Kosher Salt, optional
- Rinse the bones and foot, if using, under cold running water, then place in a large stockpot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, leeks, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, lemon zest, and garlic. Pour in enough cold water to cover the bones, about 12 cups, and bring slowly to a boil. As soon as the stock begins to boil, reduce the heat so that it simmers. Using a soup ladle, skin off any scum that has risen to the surface (rotate it’s bowl on the surface of the stock to make ripples: these will carry the scum to the edges of the pot, and you can then use the ladle to lift it off.) Add the peppercorns and simmer, uncovered, for 5 hours, skimming from time to time.
- Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the debris left in the sieve, and cool the stock quickly by placing the bowl in a larger bowl or sink filled with ice water; stir occasionally as it cools. When you taste the stock, you will notice that something is missing–the salt. It was deliberately left out so that you can reduce the stock, if desired, without any fear that it will become too salty. If you will not be reducing the stock, add about 1 tsp. salt.
- Refrigerate the stock for 6 hours, or overnight, to allow the fat to rise to the top and the debris to sink to the bottom. Remove the fat before using (and discard the debris at the bottom of the bowl). Divide into 1-cup quantities and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.
Concentrated Pork Stock (Makes 1 1/2 cups)
If your freezer pace is tight, reduce your stock by following the method for Concentrated Brown Stock (found here).
º6 cups Unsalted Pork Stock
The reduced stock will become syrupy and turn a deep golden color.
The information and recipe, contained within, is excerpted from Bones by Jennifer McLagan and can be purchased here.