This summer I started gathering scraps from every meal I made with fresh meat, herbs and vegetables: chicken carcasses, ham bones, squash butts, basil stems – you name it, I threw it into a plastic bag in the freezer until I had enough to fill my 8-qt Instant Pot to the brim with delicious wholesome ingredients. After a quick pressure cook the resulting stock was absolutely spectacular! What a fabulous use for something that would normally go into the compost. It’s definitely something I’m going to start doing every year with our kitchen scraps.
I had to do quite a bit of research to determine how to name this concoction; while we may not think much of it in our home cooking, there is a big difference between stock, broth, and bouillon. I think I would call this more of a master stock but that can be easily confused with a soy sauce-based product that is used more as a cooking base for many Asian dishes.
This particular batch included a few ham bones, two rotisserie chicken carcasses, lots of tomato, squash, cucumber, fennel, onion, garlic, and other vegetable scraps; and all the stems and leftover bunches of herbs leftover from this year’s dehydrating. Off the top of my head this included basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, dill, and sage. To this I added about a tablespoon of dried peppercorns, a couple tablespoons of good quality salt and two bay leaves. I think this addition of the herbs really added to the fullness and depth of flavor this broth has because it’s truly outstanding!
I finished cooking the bouillon two nights before I ended up getting a really nasty stomach bug and it couldn’t have been better timing! The hot, nourishing liquid was so soothing to my tummy after hardly eating for two days. Luckily I was the only one who got sick and we still have some in the freezer which I can’t wait to cook with! I’m thinking it will make a wonderful base for a hearty beef stew.
While it’s more of a guide than a recipe I’ve written up my garden bouillon process below. I highly recommend experimenting with the meats and veggies you add to the stock pot for an interesting flavor combination!
Bountiful Bouillon – Master Stock Recipe
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- scrap bones ham, chicken, beef, or a combination
- vegetable cutoffs
- mixed herbs
- 1 head garlic
- 1 whole yellow onion halved
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- warm water to fill pressure cooker
- Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker and top off with warm water to the FILL line. Pressure cook on HIGH for 1 hour and allow pressure to natural release. Strain the scraps from the liquid and prepare stock for freezing, canning or immediate use.