The Basic Stock


  • 400 g (14 oz) cheaper cuts of meat
  • bones
  • celery leaves
  • bay leaf
  • slice of ginger
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) water


Brown the meat and bones first in a heavy saucepan, then add the flavourings and water. Simmer for two to thre hours and strain into a bowl. Once cool it can be refrigerated. And once chilled, the layer of fat can be lifted off. Browning the meat first gives a good colour to the stock.

A cheaper way of acquiring stock, for a casserole for example, is to buy your meat in a whole piece, trim it, dice it and use the trimmings to make a little stock while you fry the meat, onions and vegetables.

To make fish stock, use uncooked fish bones, which your fishmonger will give you for nothing, and the same flavourings, but simmer for no more than 20 to 30 minutes before straining and rapidly cooling.