If you find yourself regularly buying expensive commercial stocks, concentrates and cubes from the supermarket - resolve to transform your cooking experience, and start making your own!
Stock does seem to have a touch of mystique about it, which means that many competent cooks still avoid making their own. However, there is nothing easier, or more satisfying, than the process of making home-made stock. It is also more environmentally friendly - as it reduces waste - and thrifty too, saving you money in the process. However, the most compelling reason of all, is the incredible taste and nutritional power punch of true home-made stock. Whether added to cooking vegetables, soup bases, sauces or gravies, the taste will be unmistakeably good.
To make your own, gather up leftover bones and carcasses over a few weeks and freeze them in a tub. Then, add them to a slow cooker, and cover with water. Add seasonings and flavour enhancers according to preference; an onion, carrot, celery stick, bay leaf, thyme and parsley sprig are classic choices, with salt to taste.
Allow the stock to simmer overnight, and then sieve it whilst it's still warm, to remove any 'bits'. You can then skim off the fat once it's cooled if you like - but wise cooks will keep it for cooking! Animal fats are packed with protein and taste, and work wonderfully when frying your vegetables! With the stock itself, enjoy a mug on its own for a sublime taste of your achievements, or refrigerate and use as a base of your week's cooking. You'll be amazed at the difference!