Beef and Chicken Stock

There’s nothing like a nice bowl of soup when you’re not feeling great, and if it’s made with home-made stock, all the better! I have spent years looking for a stock cube that’s not full of rubbish, and have come to the conclusion that they don’t exist… So, the only thing to do is make your own. Yes, it’s smelly, and it takes ages to cook, but it’s super easy, really tasty and good for you. It’s also really, really cheap. Your local butcher will always have bones to sell you for peanuts (or even give you for free). My husband always jokes that our butcher must think our dog ‘Stock’ is the most spoilt animal in Zurich!

I freeze stock in ziploc bags and write the quantity on the bag. I also put some of the stock in an icetray. Then you can just add a small bit to veggies for a bit of extra flavour.


freezer bags and ice bag full of stock


  • 3 kg beef and lamb or chicken and poultry bones (carcasses from a roast are also fine)
  • optional extras – a generous splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (helps extract nutrients from the bones), onion, leek, carrot or celery, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, a few bay leaves
  1. Place the bones and any optional ingredients in a large pot and cover with cold water (to 5cm above ingredients with some space at the top)
  2. Cover with lid and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer with the lid on. If there is some meat on the bones, remove after 30 minutes and take off any meat to use for salads etc.
  3. Leave with the lid on for at least 12 hours (beef and lamb) or at least 6 hours (chicken and poultry)
  4. Strain the liquid, using a sieve (do this when still hot, or it gets cloudy).
  5. Store in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze. If you leave in the fridge, a layer of fat should form on top which can also be used for cooking

Adapted from ‘Hemsley Hemsley, The Art of Eating Well’

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