This ham stock will quickly impart its rich flavor to whatever is cooked in it. Use the stock for cooking greens, beans, peas, and root vegetables, or as a base for soups, stews and sauces. Both the marrow from the bones and the dissolved collagen in the stock will help thicken your soups or sauces and adds richness. The real smoked ham also adds a great flavor that is both rich and complex....a flavor that you just won't get out of a bottle of liquid smoke.
*Traditionally, ham stock is made from "country ham": dry cured in salt, smoked, and aged (but not cooked). Cured smoked pork shoulder is a less available but more affordable alternative that can sometimes be found in Chinese or Hispanic markets. Ham hocks or shanks are both the easiest to find and the most affordable alternatives and are fine for stock. Just be sure to use real "smoked ham hocks". Many supermarkets don't actually smoke their ham hocks but instead process them with chemical smoke. Chemically processed hocks taste fake and are unacceptable for stock.
Rinse the ham hocks or shanks then place them in a large stock pot and add enough cold water over to cover them. Place over a moderate heat. As liquid comes slowly to the simmer protein scum will start to rise. Remove it with a spoon, ladle or small sieve until it almost ceases to accumulate.
Add the remaining ingredients and pour in more water so that the liquid covers the ingredients by about 1-inch. When liquid is simmering again, skim as necessary and partially cover with lid, leaving a gap for steam to escape. Maintain the liquid at a very quiet simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming off accumulated fat and scum periodically. If liquid evaporates below the level of the ingredients, add boiling water.
After 3-4 hours pour stock through a fine sieve into a large pot. Pick through the ham bones for any meat you wish to reserve. For immediate use; let stock settle for 5 minutes and skim off the excess fat, or pass through a fat separator. For future use; let stock cool and place, uncovered, in the refrigerator until the fat has congealed on the surface and can be scraped off and reserved for other uses.
Before using the stock, taste for strength. If the flavor is too weak, boil it down (after stock has been degreased it may be boiled with no ill effects) to evaporate some of the water content and concentrate the flavors. Correct the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and the stock is ready for use or storage.
Yields: about 2-3 quarts.
When the stock has cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate or put into small tightly sealed containers to freeze. Stock kept in the refrigerator should be brought to the boil every 3-4 days to keep from spoiling.
Strained and defatted stock may also be boiled down until all of the water content has evaporated and becomes a glace de viande (meat glaze) or flavor concentrate.
To make a glaze, bring the stock to the boil in an uncovered saucepan. Boil very slowly until the stock has reduced to about 1 quart. Strain through muslin or a very fine sieve into a smaller saucepan and continue to to boil down until it is reduced to a syrup thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, being very careful during the final stages to be sure it does not burn. Strain into a jar. When the liquid has cooled and has turned into a jelly cover and refrigerate or freeze.
Refrigerated glaze will last for 2-3 weeks. If a few spots of mold develop, no harm is done. Simply pry the glaze out of the jar, rinse under cold water and simmer in a saucepan over low heat with a tablespoon of water until again reduced to a thick syrup. Frozen glaze can last for 4-6 months.
Basic Stock Tips:
When making stock never allow the liquid to boil (Fat and protien protein scum incorporate themselves into the stock if it boils, thus making it cloudy).
Cooking of a stock can be stopped at any time and continued later.
Never cover the kettle airtight until its contents have cooled completely or the stock will turn sour.
The stock will have finished cooking when your taste convinces you that you have simmered the maximum flavor out of the ingredients.
If you are going to use the stock to make sauce, keep in mind that you may want to simmer it a little longer to intensify the flavor.
pittbullyrescue 2y ago
sgrishka 6y ago[I made edits to this recipe.]
sgrishka 6y ago[I made edits to this recipe.]
sgrishka 9y agoBasic Stock Tips: When making stock never allow the liquid to boil (Fat and protien protein scum incorporate themselves into the stock if it boils, thus making it cloudy). Cooking of a stock can be stopped at any time and continued later. Never cover the kettle airtight until its contents have cooled completely or the stock will turn sour. The stock will have finished cooking when your taste convinces you that you have simmered the maximum flavor out of the ingredients. If you are going to use the stock to make a sauce, keep in mind that you may want to simmer it a little longer to intensify the flavor, or make it into a glace de viande (meat glaze) or flavor concentrate. [I posted this recipe.]