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Beef Marrow Bone Stock


Many stores or butcher shops have beef marrow bones on the cheap, which make a dense and highly nutritious stock and excellent soup base. Although I’ve made my own stock using oxtails I’ve been wanting to try my hand at other soups, so marrow bones seemed like the best starting spot.

Before we dive into this recipe, let’s have a quick culinary lesson. “Stock” refers to a liquid that’s made from simmering bones, and “broth” is made from meat. You can use both, and as far as I know that’s still referred to as “stock”. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s make some food.

You’ll need: 4-5 lbs beef marrow bones, 8 garlic cloves, 3 chopped carrots (or 12 baby carrots), 2 chopped stalks of celery, 2 tsp coconut oil, 10 peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, some fresh parsley

I should note that we were out of celery when making this recipe, so I’m lacking in that department. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place the bones, garlic and veggies in a roasting pan that’s lined with the coconut oil. Roast the bones in the oven for about 45 minutes, flipping the bones after about 30 minutes.

Take the nicely-browned chunks and add them to a pot. If there are any pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan (there’s shouldn’t be, thanks to the coconut oil), scrape them up and add them to the pot.

Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, and parsley. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones with an inch of water. Bring the stove to medium heat.

When the water shows its first signs of starting to boil, reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for at least 6 hours without stirring. The longer you simmer, the more potent and reduced your stock will be – you can even simmer it for 24 hours if you’d like. You don’t want to bring it to a boil at any time – a slow simmer is best.

Take a different pot and place a colander over it, and then a cheese cloth over the colander. Pour everything into the colander and let it drain for 10 minutes.

You should get a clear, beautiful beef stock. Pour it into some mason jars and let it cool before putting it in the fridge.

As a word of warning, straight bone stock smells and tastes unlike what you might expect. This is normal, and your soups will still turn out great. If you want a more traditional, “beefy” taste from the outset, you can add some beef chunks with the bones.

Homemade Chicken Stock


There are four main benefits to making your own homemade stock:

1. It saves you money, especially if you use leftover chicken parts. As you’ll see in this recipe, even buying chicken parts specifically for stock is still cheaper than buying commercially-available stock.
2. You get to control the taste of the broth, especially how much salt goes into it – which in my case is NONE. I prefer to add salt to my dishes as I cook them, without having to worry about how salty my broth is going to make my dish.
3. You can make it as concentrated as you’d like, which helps you save valuable freezer/fridge space.
4. You have control over where the chicken comes from, and how it was processed, by purchasing your birds/parts from a local farm or from awesome places like U.S. Wellness Meats.

For this recipe, I used chicken parts from U.S. Wellness Meats; specifically, chicken backs and necks. I used these parts because they have lots of bones, which house a lot of nutrients that are imparted into the broth. U.S. Wellness Meats were out of chicken feet at the time of my order, so I got some locally. These are great because they are full of bones and collagen, which create a rich, flavorful, and gelatinous broth. Other options for chicken parts are leftover chicken carcasses (store them in the freezer after roasting a chicken, until you have a few ready to go), or whole stewing hens (older chickens that are too tough to eat using quick-cooking methods).

You’ll Need: (recipe yields approx. 5 quarts / 10 pint-sized jars)
5-10 lbs chicken parts (backs, necks, and/or feet)
2 onions, peeled and halved
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery (with leaves), coarsely chopped
1 handful each fresh parsley, thyme, and dill
6 cloves garlic, peeled
20 peppercorns

Because we’re going to be cooking these chicken parts over a long period of time, you don’t really need to thaw the necks or backs out before cooking. You definitely want the feet thawed, though.

Most chicken feet come dressed already (the outer, yellow membrane has been removed). If it hasn’t, rub the feet with salt and dip them in boiling water, then in an ice bath, then remove the membrane. The picture above is of membrane-less feet.

Your next step is to cut the talons off the feet at the first knuckle. I’m not sure why this is done; lots of people say it’s for sanitary reasons, but I also think that it helps break down the chicken feet faster as the broth simmers.

In a large stock pot (20 quarts), add all of the ingredients and fill the stock pot almost all of the way full with water.

Bring everything to a boil on med/high heat, then reduce the heat to low. The broth should be bubbling, but very gently. Continue to simmer for at least four hours, but keep in mind that the best chicken stock flavor comes from simmering for 24 hours. Stir the pot every few hours and try to break up the bones with a wooden spoon as it cooks. If your liquid is quickly evaporating, reduce the heat and add water if needed.

Here’s what my pot looked like after 24 hours. About half of the liquid evaporated, and I didn’t add any more water to it because I like my stock to be pretty concentrated.

Next, put a colander over another pot, and line it with a cheese cloth. Pour everything into the other pot through the colander. If you only cook your broth for 4-6 hours, you may be able to salvage some of the meat from the chicken backs to use in a future soup. As you can see, after 24 hours my chicken parts were pretty mushy, so I didn’t save them.

At this point you have a choice: either you can just pour your stock into jars and skim the fat off the top the next day, or you can use a fat separator like I did and not have to worry about it. Either way, pour the stock into jars and put them in the fridge, uncovered, overnight so they can cool.

The next day, seal the jars and store them in the fridge (should last a couple weeks) or in your freezer (should last several months).

Attukal Paya (Lamb’s Feet Soup)


Attukal Paya (sometimes spelled as Aattukaal Paya or just Paya) is a hearty soup made with lamb, sheep, or goat feet served in South India. What fascinates me about this dish is that it’s often served for breakfast – initially this sounded strange to me, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense; why not start your day out with some nutritious bone broth soup?

I also love the idea of throwing together a bunch of ingredients at night and waking up to breakfast already made!

1.5 lbs lamb’s feet
1 onion
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (14.5oz)
1 tsp coriander seeds (or ground coriander)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp each ground cayenne pepper and turmeric
1″ ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 dried bay leaf
4 cups water

for serving -
salt to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

I have to admit, having these feet thaw out in my fridge was a little unnerving. But as far as lamb’s feet go, I couldn’t have asked for a cleaner, easier product that the US Wellness Meats feet, which were completely prepped for this recipe. It took about two days to thaw them out.

To start, we want to get a nice, roasted flavor in the soup, so we’re going to broil the feet. Place the feet on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes per side.

The feet will only brown slightly during that time, but the hooves will start to turn a rich brown color.

While the feet are broiling, combine all of the other ingredients (minus the water) in a food processor (I used our handy Ninja) and process until smooth.

Put the processed ingredients into a dutch oven or crock pot, add the broiled feet, and stir in four cups of water. Add the bay leaf and heat everything on med/low heat, uncovered.

Once the soup starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 hours.

The next morning, your house will smell wonderful, and you’ll have breakfast ready and waiting for you.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and feet (don’t forget to dish out any small bones that are hiding at the bottom of the soup) and add salt to taste – I ended up using 1 tsp of salt to get the taste right.

I should note that in many authentic recipes they eat the feet. I wasn’t a fan of the consistency, since it had cooked for over 10 hours and was very mushy; this dish is often cooked with a pressure cooker, which likely breaks down the bones’ nutrients but leaves the meat still firm, which would probably be much more palatable. Either way, don’t let the fact that this is a liquid soup deter you – it is still a very nutrient dense and rewarding dish, and a perfect way to start out a day.

Chop up some cilantro and throw it in, and serve. Couldn’t be easier.

Some people like to eat the meal with some leftover cooked white rice, which I tried and liked. It gave the soup a stew-like quality and a heartier feel.

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Lobster Stock (and a Giveaway)


Phew! January has come and gone, which means that my tradition of sharing only Whole30 recipes during the month is over. While I think that Whole30 recipes are easy to make and fun to work with, I miss cooking with alcohol the most each January. So let’s dive right into February with an easy, tasty recipe that can be used in many different ways – lobster stock. Most people associate stock with long, boring hours of slow-cooking. The opposite is true with lobster (and all shellfish) stock, as it’s just a matter of sautéing vegetables and the shells, then adding water and wine, and cooking until it’s super delicious (about 45 minutes).

The folks at Lobster.com were kind enough to donate a lobster for my stock recipe. They ship overnight to the continental US, and it was quite an experience to receive a package in the mail that contains a live, breathing animal; not only was it alive, but it was the most lively lobster I’ve ever worked with! I par-boiled the lobster (instructions in the recipe below) so that I could use its shell for stock, and its meat for a Lobster and Mussel Bouillabaisse. I bought a couple lobster shells from my local grocer to add to this recipe and I was amazed at how thick and hearty the Lobster.com shell was compared to what I usually buy!

I was also able to arrange a giveaway through Lobster.com: two 1.5 lb live lobsters, delivered to your door ($65 value)! To enter, click here to enter via Rafflecopter. The giveaway is limited to continental US residents and ends midnight, Saturday, Feb 8th, 2014. Good luck! Okay, let’s move on to the recipe.

Lobster Stock

  • Servings: Yields ~2 quarts
  • Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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3 whole lobsters or 2 lbs lobster bodies and tail shells with gills and tomalley removed
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 small onions, skins included, cut in half
2 stalks celery, leaves included, coarsely chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine
3 quarts water

1. Many stores sell lobster tail and body shells, or you may have some carcasses from a previous lobster feast; if so, skip directly to Step #2. If using live or whole uncooked lobsters, par-boil them for 3 minutes in salty water (the water should taste like the ocean), then immediately place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. After 10 minutes, remove the lobsters from the ice water bath, then remove the claws (all the way to the shoulder) and tail meat; place in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 24 hours.

2. Prep your lobster bodies by removing the gills and tomalley (the yellow mustard-looking stuff). Tomalley is delicious, though possibly toxic if taken from a lobster that was harvested in contaminated waters. Tomalley can be used in many ways (some people add it to melted butter for dipping), but will create a grayish and smelly stock.

3. In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat then add everything but the wine and water. Sauté, crushing the lobster shells with a wooden spoon, until aromatic, about 8 minutes. Pour in the wine and enough water to cover everything by at least 1/2″, about 3 quarts.

4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to med/low and simmer for 45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the broth, which can ruin the smell and taste.

5. Strain through a colander lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth, then cool. It will last a week in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

* Make a shellfish stock using the same method but with shrimp, crab, or crawfish shells (or a combination).
* Uses for lobster stock: soups (bisques especially) and braises are especially rich and delicious, and nothing beats making a risotto or paella using lobster stock.

Homemade Fish Stock


Gluten-Free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet

There are two types of people: those who make stock all the time and don’t need or want someone else to tell them how to do it, and those who are intimidated by the process and never start in the first place. The other day, when writing my Blue Crab and Chipotle Bisque recipe, I realized that simply calling for fish stock was a little mean to the latter group, since they might not have some fish stock handy. Honestly, it was a little negligent of me to have this blog for over four years and not post a fish stock guide – after all, what if it was the only thing stopping you from making my delicious Brudet recipe?

One thing in particular I like about fish stock is that it’s surprisingly cheap to make. For example, most fish markets will give you their unused fish heads for free or super cheap. Additionally, I find that the best herbs for making stock are actually the stems of fresh herbs, which means you can save the actual herbs for other cooking creations. Fish stock keeps well in the freezer; we tend to divide the stock into pint jars and leave them in the freezer until we need them. We often use it to whip up a quick fish-based soup, or to add to risotto or fish curries.

Homemade Fish Stock

  • Servings: ~12 cups (3 quarts)
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
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2-3 lbs non-oily fish heads and/or bones, gills removed (see note below)
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 handfull dill stems
1 handfull parsley stems
4 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 cup white wine

1. Prep your fish head(s) by removing the gills with a pair of kitchen shears. The gills will be attached to the head on each end; I like to cut the gills right at the joint where they attach. Discard the gills (they give the broth a bad color and an off-tasting flavor).

2. In a large stockpot, warm the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients (minus the wine). Saute until aromatic, about 1 minute, then add the wine; simmer until the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the fish head(s) and enough water to cover the fish by 1″. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. You want a very low simmer – it should only bubble slightly. Simmer for 45 minutes, then strain through four layers of cheesecloth. Divide into jars and use within two weeks, or freeze and use within a few months.

** The best fish for stock are mild, non-oily fish, like cod, halibut, rockfish, or flounder. It’s best to avoid fish like salmon, mackerel, or trout.

Half a rockfish head, with its gills removed.

Other uses for fish stock:

Seafood Stew (Virginia is for Hunter-Gatherers)
Ginger and Lime Fish Soup (Things my Belly Likes)

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Shellfish Stock


I can’t believe that in five years of blogging, this recipe hasn’t been posted on The Domestic Man. There’s no excuse, it was very shellfish of me (sorry, I had to). To be fair, I did post a lobster stock recipe last year, so there’s that.

The idea for writing a shellfish stock recipe came from the fact that over the last couple months I’ve basically eaten my weight in crawfish; since we now live so close to Louisiana, it’s really cheap when in season, and super fresh. Heck, there was even a crawfish festival in the town we live in a while back. But I was always bothered by the fact that everyone throws their crawfish shells away afterwards, so I started bringing them home to make stock. Instructions on how to make stock with other shellfish, like crab and shrimp, are also provided below.

One of my favorite aspects of making shellfish stock, or any stock in general, is that it presents an opportunity to cook with some items that often end up in the garbage (or compost bin). For example, I prefer using parsley stems in my stocks because it frees up the leaves for other recipes, and it’s one of the better ways to use up celery “hearts” (the center part), since they’re mostly leaves.

Shellfish Stock (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Whole30-friendly)

  • Servings: yields ~2 quarts
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
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4 lbs cooked crawfish, 2 lbs crawfish shells, 2 lbs crab shells, 3 lbs shell-on shrimp (head-on preferred), or 1/2 lb shrimp heads/shells
2 tbsp butter (ghee okay)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery plus leaves, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley, stems only, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp whole black or white peppercorns
1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay)

1. Prepare the seafood. Peel the crawfish, reserving the tail meat for a future cooking adventure (hint: next week’s recipe). If using crab shells, be sure to remove the tomalley (the yellow “guts”) as they can give your stock a bitter taste. If using unpeeled shrimp, peel them and set the shells/heads aside; at this point the only appropriate thing to do would be to make my Bam Bam Shrimp recipe with the peeled shrimp. A small confession: when peeling shrimp for stock, I like to throw a few whole shrimp into the stock with the shells for good luck.

2. In a large stockpot, melt the butter (or ghee) over medium heat, then add the onion and celery. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the shells, parsley stems, and peppercorns. Sauté until the shells are brightly colored, and the parsley is bright green, about 2 minutes, then add the wine; simmer until the wine evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add enough water to cover everything by 1″, about 3 quarts. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to med/low and gently simmer for 40 minutes.

3. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth, then cool. It will last a week in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

** Wondering what to make with shellfish stock? Look no further: Blue Crab and Chipotle Bisuqe, Blue Crab and Chipotle Bisque, or Brudet (Croatian Seafood Stew) will all do nicely, and risotto with shellfish stock can’t be beat (inspiration here). Better yet, next week’s recipe will feature this stock!

** The easiest way to save up shells for stock would be to just save them as the opportunities arise. Going to a fancy seafood dinner, or making a seafood feast at home? Save the shells in a doggie bag, then freeze them in a resealable bag for when you want to make stock.

** To make this dish Whole30, use ghee in place of butter and 2 tbsp white wine vinegar instead of the white wine.

finished product

Now that my mind is set on crawfish, here are a couple examples of my crawfish eating/cooking adventures this summer:

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo