My family has been known to enjoy a pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner multiple times a year.
At this point, I return the bones to the roasting pan, and bake them in a 250 degree oven until they have browned. I have found that this makes for a much thicker and richer product.
My slow cooker is the perfect tool for this task. The steady, constant heat will simmer your liquid more effectively than if you prepared this recipe on your stove top.
Plus, you do not have to be on guard, watching your pot at all times. This makes me think back to the time I fell asleep on the couch watching the World Series, and I charred the bottom of my good stockpot.
I could not get the smell out of my house for days. Thank goodness the only thing lost was the pot.
Cook the bones and liquid for at least eight hours in the slow cooker. If your slow cooker has a timer you may find yourself setting it multiple times, as you let the liquids develop and become richer and more intense as the hours go on.
To achieve a delicious full-bodied stock, I have found that it should be cooked for about 12 hours. The key to making this super useful base ingredient is allowing it to cook for hours over very low heat.
Depending on your preference, you can let it cook for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours you have probably extracted all you can from the bones and vegetables.
I have many uses for my homemade stock. During the cooler months, I make lots of soups and stews. I love to grab a batch out of my freezer to add to my grandmother’s famous Risotto alla Milanese con Luganega.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.