Stock VS. Broth
Some of this information was found searching various links on the web and most of it has been shared By another member named Shirlie Ingram ..Thank you Very much Shirlie for all the great information and tips!!
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Cooking stock is generally derived from unseasoned bones (and sometimes leftover, less-desirable pieces of meat); it is boiled and reduced by about half. Unlike broth, stock is often thick and gelatinous due to the gelatin content in the bones and cartilage. Many times the bones (whether they're chicken, beef, etc) are roasted in the oven before boiling them with the mirepoix as that gives the stock an even richer flavor. Before you make your soup you can take all the fat off the top of the cold stock and you have a 99% fat free soup.
2The four main types of stocks are vegetable, chicken, meat and fish. You can often substitute one for another in many (but not all) recipes, with little to no ill affect to the overall recipe. Since stocks can make use of leftovers or items that might otherwise be thrown away, I find it handy to keep bags in the freezer for collecting ingredients such as vegetable scraps and meat bones. You can make any stocks more intense in flavors by simply simmering them for an extended period of time until their liquid volume is reduced. A good rule of thumb is to have about half solid ingredients to half water. Cover your ingredients with the water, bring to a boil and let simmer for about an hour. Cool and strain to remove any pieces of vegetables or scraps.
Broth is made by boiling water with flavoring agents, including vegetables, meat to yield a thin soup. Alternatively (and more efficiently), you can prepare broth by adding a small amount of concentrated stock to boiling water. Broth is the liquid that develops when meat and/or vegetables are simmered in water over a period of time. It really is that simple. Pure broth will stay liquid when cooled and will not taste quite as rich as a stock. This can be a desirable quality for light soups and other recipes that require a lighter flavour.
4There's nothing like making your own broth. The flavor is richer and more complex than store bought. Even the process of making your own broth is more satisfying. It is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to do. Your homemade broth can be used to make far more than legendary soups. Even more enticing, you can use your homemade broth to create better tasting stews, sauces and gravy, as well as the liquid in stuffing recipes and as a base for many supper dishes. Your ingredients can be as traditional or as unusual as you like. Most soup broth or stock recipes focus on one type of meat or seafood or they are vegetable based. The meat is what gives your stock its richness. You can use one meat by itself or you can use a combination. You can create different kinds of broth by focusing on specific ingredients. You can create a chicken broth by using the bones from a baked chicken. If you want a meatier flavor, add an entire chicken to your broth as it cooks. The meat will need to be discarded when your stock is done as all the moisture and flavor will have transferred to your broth.
5The following tips are from a member Shirlie Ingram..Thank you Shirlie.
TYPES OF STOCKS
1) WHITE STOCK - is made by simmering chicken, veal or beef bones in water with vegetables & seasonings. The stock remains relatively colorless during the cooking process.
2) BROWN STOCK - is made from chicken, veal, beef, or game bones and vegetables, all of which are caramelized before being simmered in water with seasonings. This stock will have a rich, dark color.
3) FISH STOCK AND FISH FUMET - is made by slowly cooking fish bones or crustacean shells and vegetables without coloring them, then simmering them in water with seasonings for a short time. For a FUMET, wine and lemon juice are also added. The stock or fumet is a strongly flavored, relatively colorless liquid.
4) COURT BOUILLON - is made by simmering vegetables and seasonings in water and an acidic liquid such as vinegar or wine. It's used to poach fish or vegetables.
The basic ingredients for any stock are: bones, a standard mirepoix, seasonings and water.
Standard Mirepoix is a vegetable mixture that generally consists of 50% onions, 25% celery, & 25% carrots. A White Mirepoix (sometimes used when making a white stock, so the stock is lighter) is made by replacing the carrots with parsnips and adding mushrooms & leeks. Sometimes mushrooms, parsnips and leeks are added to a Standard Mirepoix for additional flavor as well.
*Unless you know exactly what you're going to be using the stock for at the time (and not saving it for later uses), SALT is generally not added to the stock. If you season it to taste with salt during the stock making process, but then want to use it later as say...a reduction for another dish, when you reduce that stock, the then concentrated product will taste too salty. Salt can be added at any time during the cooking process.
6THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF STOCK MAKING
A) START THE STOCK IN COLD WATER - when you begin with cold water, the blood and impurities in the bones dissolve. As the water heats, the impurities coagulate and rise to the surface, where they can be removed easily by skimming. If you started with hot water, the impurities would coagulate more quickly and remain in the stock without rising to the top, making your stock cloudy. Be sure to keep the bones covered in water while cooking, as flavor can't be extracted from bones that aren't under water, and when the bones are exposed to air they darken and will discolor a white stock.
B) SIMMER THE STOCK GENTLY - your stock should be brought to a boil and then reduced to a simmer. Simmering will not only allow the flavors to release into the liquid, but will ensure that you have a clear stock once it develops. Rapid boiling, even for a few minutes, will cause impurities and fats to blend with the liquid, making it cloudy.
C) SKIM THE STOCK FREQUENTLY - you should skim the stock often to remove the fats and impurities that rise to the surface so your stock isn't cloudy.
D) STRAIN THE STOCK CAREFULLY - once the stock is finished, you need to separate it from the bones, vegetables and other solid ingredients without mashing or disturbing the solids. To strain it:
1. Skim as much fat and remaining impurities before removing the pot from the heat.
2. After you remove the pot from the heat, ladle the stock from the pot without stirring it.
3. Strain the stock through a china cap or sieve (if you don't have a china cap) that's been lined with several layers of cheesecloth.
7E) COOL THE STOCK QUICKLY - if you aren't going to be using the stock right away, then great care must be taken to cool it to prevent souring or food-borne illnesses.
To cool your stock and bring it below the temperature danger zone quickly and safely:
1. Keep the stock in a metal container. Plastic containers insulate the stock and delays cooling.
2. Vent the stock in an empty sink by placing it on racks or blocks. This allows water to circulate on all sides and below the pot when you add cold water to the sink.
3. Fill the sink with cold water or a combination of cold water and ice. Make sure your pot is heavy enough or has enough weight on it so that it won't tip over once the water is added.
4. Let the water fill into the sink, but not into the stock pot. Stir the stock frequently to ensure even & quick cooling.
** You can also use a Cooling Wand/Ice Paddle to speed up the process. These are plastic containers that can be filled with water or ice and then frozen solid. Then you use them to stir and cool the stock. Just be sure to clean & sanitize the wand after each use to prevent cross-contamination.
F) STORE THE STOCK PROPERLY - once your stock is cooled, transfer it to a sanitized container (plastic or metal) and store it in the refrigerator. As your stock chills, the fat will rise to the surface and solidify. If you leave that fat layer intact, it will preserve your stock. You can store stocks for up to one week in the refrigerator or for several months is you freeze it.
G) DEGREASE THE STOCK - this step is easy....once your stock is refrigerated and the fat rises to the surface and hardens, all you have to do is lift off or scrape away that fat layer before you reheat the stock.
8TROUBLES HOOTING FOR STOCKS Shared By Shirlie Ingram
2) Stock boiled during cooking
1) Start stock in cold water
2) Strain through layers of cheesecloth
Lack of flavor
1) Not cooked long enough
2) Inadequate seasoning
3) Improper ratio of bones to water
1) Increase cooking time
2) Add more flavoring ingredients
3) Add more bones
Lack of color
1) Improperly caramelized bones and mirepoix
2) Not cooked long enough
1) Caramelize bones and mirepoix until darker
2) Cook longer
Lack of body
1) Wrong bones used
2) Insufficient reduction
3) Improper ratio of bones to water
1) Use bones with a higher content of connective tissue
2) Cook the stock longer
3) Add more bones to the stock
1) A commercial base was used (bouillon cubes, granules, paste)
2) Salt was added during cooking
1) Change base or make your own stock
2) Do NOT add salt to the stock