Making Stock

Caution: not for veggies or vegans!

Those of you who have been following my £5 a week January challenge will know that I make a habit of pulling various types of stock out of the freezer in order to liven up my cooking. Some of the stocks which I freeze are incidental leftovers, usually liquid from my slow-cooker, and are therefore never the same twice. However I do sometimes make stock in the traditional ‘boil a bird carcass to death with herbs and onion’ way, which I thought I would share with you as a nice example of frugal cooking.

You probably don’t need much more instruction than ‘boil a bird carcass to death with herbs and onion’ but I will elaborate a little below. wp-1454599578095.jpeg


  • the leftover carcass of a roasted bird (the one pictured above was a duck, which my mother cooked last time I visited for a meal)
  • an onion, quartered
  • a couple of sprigs of rosemary
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • a dried chilli
  • a teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • a generous grind of black pepper
  • a teaspoon of salt

The rosemary and bay leaves are from my garden; they are both good winter herbs which are useable all year round and are not difficult to grow.


Take any remaining easily accessible meat from the bone (good for sandwiches!) and then place the carcass into a big pan. Add the onion, fresh herbs, dried chilli, mustard seeds and black pepper and cover the whole lot with boiling water from the kettle.

Simmer for about 3 hours. Add the salt towards the end.

Put a colander or sieve over a large bowl and carefully tip in the contents of the pan. Dispose of the bones and herbs.

When the liquid is cool divide it between pots for the freezer or, even better, pour into a silicone muffin tray to make big stock ‘ice-cubes’. You may find that with fatty birds such as duck you have a layer of fat on top of the cooled liquid; this can be skimmed off first and is rather good for roast vegetables.




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