All Good Food Starts Here
This is the base to soups, stews and most dishes. Many recipes call for broth, because broth makes most of the flavour. Starting with a good broth is the secret to successful cooking that is packed with good flavour. Broths are the base of flavour layering and creating deep flavours in your cooking. Not just flavour but broth is an injection of body and nutrition to anything you cook.
This right here is the base of all cooking, where all good food starts. This is exactly how you take charge of your kitchen and how you own and manipulate recipes. Master this and you have mastered 3/4 of all cooking.
What is broth?
Stock, is the liquid of cooking bones. Usually stock is not flavoured except with the cooking bones. A broth on the other hand is a stock that is flavoured with aromatics (herbs and spices) as well as vegetables (many options here but the most classic is the mirepoix: celery, carrots,onions) It can also be made using bones and meat/meat alone. The bones and meats used are the ones that determine the type of broth. So chicken bones and meat is a chicken broth, beef/lamb/pork/goat…etc and the same applies to fish and shellfish. With that said, a broth can also be made using only vegetables for creating a vegetable stock/broth. This is of course used for vegan and vegetarian cooking, however not limited to just that, as you might want to create a dish that concentrates a specific flavour like a mushroom broth for instance to use in making a mushroom risotto. Another example is an eggplant broth for cooking eggplant maqloobeh….etc.
Sometimes, you can mix both a meat broth and a vegetable broth to get both flavour concentrates into the dish you are cooking. This is a bit more advanced as it does require extra steps and time, but this is usually a procedure followed in professional cooking (high end restaurants/ chefs)… While this is not exactly practical for the home cook who has to fit the whole world into their day, but on special occasions is really worth the extra effort as it produces amazing food, with flavours that are present and concentrated (very highly developed flavours here).
On a more practical note, when simmering the bones and/or meats with vegetables, spices and/ or herbs, you are already establishing and layering flavours. The choice of spices, herbs, vegetables and even the type of meat depends on the preparation in which the broth is going to be used and the overall desired flavours of a dish. Therefore, there is no rule to stick to when making broth, it all relies on the use. There are general guidelines, but don’t get stuck there. Use the guidelines as guideline and decide what you feel is needed and what could enhance the experience. After all this is exactly why different chefs produce the same risotto differently! All good nonetheless, however uniquely different. This is why we eat steak at different restaurants! See, it’s all about the unique, individual vision that you have and translating that into a dish.
Broth Or Stock
Broth is similar to stock and can be used interchangeably with it. A broth usually includes all the aromatics and flavouring. You can of course build on that, however, you will have to take into consideration the flavours already in it. Meanwhile a stock gives you a plainer option to build on freely. With that said, home-made broths and stocks are far more superior in flavour to those that are store bought. Needless to say how much healthier and better for you the homemade ones are. Remember the long storage liquids, the bouillons and store bought fresh stocks are most likely filled with flavourings, food colouring, and /or preservatives.
The homemade broths make all the difference to the flavour of your food, because at home, you will be using all fresh and good quality ingredients, which is always the key to good quality flavourful food. When you make your own broths and stocks you can control the flavouring from spices to herbs, and even the vegetables that go in it. This way you can guarantee that no flavours clash or overwhelm the preparation you are making. Most important of all, is that you know exactly what is in your broth. You won’t include artificial flavouring, preservatives and any health risking ingredients such as MSG among others.
Homemade broth is healthier and guaranteed to tremendously enhance the flavours of your food.
Throw away those stock cubes, and processed broths. Go for fresh, home-made broth and listen to your family and friends rave about your food.
All exquisite cooking starts right here, in the making of broth.
“But am too busy for all this!”
If you lead a busy life, and think that making broth is time consuming; worry not my friend! A simple broth takes at most 1 hour to make, sometimes less. Once you have made your broth, strained it and let it cool, you can pour it in freezer safe, airtight jars, freezer bags or ice cube trays, and freeze it. It will last beautifully for up to 4 months (could be longer), then, just use these when needed instead of those processed ones stocks, bouillons or cubes. One broth recipe can make you lots of frozen cubes, which can last you a very long time! I am sure you can spare 1-2 hours every 4-6 months!
Here are links if you want to make
Follow the guidelines and do feel free to experiment with spices, herbs and vegetables to change the flavours for different concoctions.