Use kitchen scraps and a leftover ham bone to make something from nothing--your own ham stock.
If you have an Easter ham, don't just throw away the bone! Just like the myriad of uses for a leftover ham that I've blogged about (I even had Leftover Ham Week!) there are many ways you can use a ham bone after Easter. On this blog I've made Ham and Bean Soup using a ham bone. Not yet ready for blog prime time, I add a ham bone to my dry beans during cooking (I've been working up some bean dips). Today I'm going to share how I make ham stock.
|measuring the defatted stock before reheating to see how many jars I need|
You can freeze this recipe--in zip top bags or in canning jars. I used to freeze my ham stock in jars. I was even smart enough to slick a piece of tape on the wonderful storage lid (Amazon affiliate link) and scribble 'Ham Stock' on top. [That way the jar wouldn't be confused with the jars of vegetable stock or Thai turkey stock also in the freezer.] However, I really suck at the pre-planning aspect of cooking and would rarely have a jar of stock thawed when I wanted to use it.
After reading Cathy Barrow's pressure canning article in the Washington Post [because my mom mailed it to me!] I shared the article with my spouse. You can see it here. Cathy's calm and reasoned approach to pressure canning appealed to his engineer brain [or maybe it was an excuse for him to also buy an expensive toy, I don't know]. I am now the proud owner of a pressure canner. Yes, I could also cook in this, and that may be a future post, but it's 15 quarts which is double my pretty purple pot shown below and I'm not quite sure what I'd be cooking that much of. So for now--canning.
|ready to strain|
My recipe uses elements from the meat stock recipe that came with the All American® Canner (Amazon affiliate link) , the Ball Blue Book (Amazon affiliate link) , the National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Food in Jars--my favorite 'go to' blog when I want to branch out and play while putting up food.
|the set up--reheating the defatted stock while the pressure canner is standing by|
Ham Stock (for defatted stock, this is a 2 day process)
1 leftover ham bone (don't go crazy getting every last scrap of meat off)
1 Soup Pack (see this post for directions on how to save kitchen scraps over time to make one)
or 1 to 2 cups carrot peels + 1 to 2 cups onion skins + 1 to 2 cups celery leaves
1 bay leaf
10 to 12 peppercorns
water (4 to 5 quarts to start)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Place ham bone and soup pack in a large pot (mine is my 7 qt pretty purple pot but you ain't buying it from Amazon and I've already linked a whole ton of stuff so I'll leave it at that). Add bay leaf and peppercorns then pour water over, and add the shot of apple cider vinegar. Heat gently on the stove until it gets to a simmer (I use my fancy pants power burner on low for this). Skim off any foam that clings to the edges. Simmer for 8 hours, adding additional water as necessary to keep the bone mostly covered. Strain the stock (I just use my regular colander which has fairly small holes but is not a 'fine mesh' strainer) and chill overnight. The next day, scrape the solidified fat off and discard.
If you're freezing the stock, this is when you pour it into zip top bags or canning jars, making sure to leave room for expansion once the liquid is frozen, label, and freeze.
If you're going to pressure can, this is when I leave it up to the experts and direct you to this site.
|steam is escaping the petcock at a constant stream--ready to put the gauge on and start the timer|