Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Stock pile has gone up!

Yesterday, I canned turkey stock.

You may remember from my previous post that I had started it using butter, onions, roasted garlic, celery seed (I don't like Celery), and a bit of Poultry Seasoning.

I ended up simmering the stock for 36 hours, topping up the water twice. I also had returned the roasting pan to the oven, and put the resulting brown wonderfulness into the stock too. So, I needed to cool it quickly, as I had somewhere to go, and I needed to skim off the fat.

Hmmm... What to do?

I started in the sink, but there wasn't enough water surrounding the pot to absorb enough heat. But, hey - I have a bathtub! So I put the stock pot in the bath tub and filled it with cold water. In less than 20 minutes it was cool. Since I don't have enough room in the fridge for a big pot like that, I hit on the idea of using Mother Nature's deep freeze.

The ever-useful empty protein tub was pressed into service again - I put in some snow, put in the pot, packed snow around it, packed snow around the outside of the tub, and then inverted a small canner lid over the pot, and filled it with snow, too.

Because life happens, I didn't get to canning until yesterday, but the stock was still in the "safe" temperature zone, in spite of our warming trend (almost 50 degrees yesterday!).

After skimming the stock, I put it into a ginormous canner that was my mom's, and added the frozen stock from the Thanksgiving Turkey. It took awhile for the stock "ice" cubes to melt, but when they did, and I had a nice simmer going, I started up the pressure canner and started filling jars.

My canner will hold 7 quarts or 14 pints at a time. I chose to can quarts, as I use stock frequently for soup base, and a pint just isn't enough! It's been awhile since I used the canner, so in preparation, I had the local Extension Service check the gauge - it was right on. I also had to call a friend (Belinda, who got me started on pressure canning several years ago) to be reminded what to do next!

The process was interrupted by a meeting, so when the first batch was done, I just turned it off, and left the stock in the big canner on simmer. I came home and by 10:30 I was done with 12 more quarts.

My total was 19 1/2 quarts. There is one pint in the fridge that I'll use for rice or quinoa.

I'm feeling very secure in my larder right now, and this stuff is awesome. It's very rich, both in color and in flavor. I'm a firm believer in roasting bones before making stock, now. I think the amount of fat also affected the flavor, though it was completely skimmed before canning.

I still have 6 quarts of "proto-stock" - canned bones and chicken wings from several years ago, that I was using until now. It's good to have back up...


Michelle said...

You go, woman! You deserve to roar!

Theresa said...

That's it, I'm planning a raid on your pantry! The stock looks lovely. I can almost smell it..damn, why don't they work on smell-a-vision instead of say wars!

Leigh said...

I love the title of this post, :) And I love canned stock so I'm admiring your accomplishment. In fact, I still have goat bones in the freezer that I need to get into the stock pot.