Simmer Up a Hearty Homemade Broth!

With cooler days ahead, a steaming kettle of satisfying soup is sure to warm up guests and family alike.

from Taste of Home

For soups with old-fashioned goodness, you can’t beat the flavor you get when you start with homemade broth.

With that in mind, the home economists in the Taste of Home test kitchen are happy to pass along their top recipes for making rich soup broth — or “stock”, as it’s sometimes called. They also share some pointers to help you make a better broth.

So when you find you have “time out to cook,” try your hand at one of these savory broths: Homemade Beef Broth or Homemade Chicken Broth. With one taste, you’ll know it was worth the bit of extra effort.

Hints for a Better Broth
There are several “secrets” to successful homemade beef or chicken stock. As you prepare yours, keep these tips from our test kitchen in mind:

  • For a more flavorful broth, use a high proportion of meat/bones and vegetables to water.
  • Be sure to use cold water when starting to make stock.
  • Bring the broth mixture to a boil slowly to help release more meat juices. An initial rapid boil tends to seal the juices into the meats.
  • Feel free to use additional seasonings in the broth such as basil, dill, sage, turmeric, cloves or lemon peel.
  • Do not add starchy vegetables like potatoes to the broth mixture.
  • During cooking time, if necessary, add just enough hot water to keep meat and vegetables covered.
  • If cheesecloth is not available to strain stock, use dampened paper towels or a large coffee filter.

1. While the broth simmers, use a slotted spoon to skim foam from the surface. Skim frequently during the first 30 minutes, then as needed or every hour as the broth cooks.

2. To strain broth, line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and place in a large heat-resistant bowl. Gradually pour broth mixture into colander. Slowly lift colander from bowl, letting broth drain.

3. When ready to use the broth, take chilled mixture from refrigerator and use a spoon to remove the hardened fat from the broth’s surface. Discard fat.