Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to Make Homemade Ham Stock

Homemade stock made from a ham bone or ham hocks.

How to Make Homemade Ham Stock

For most Southern households, major holidays mean ham and most often ham means a leftover ham bone. If you don't have an immediate use for that ham bone, save it and freeze it, or use it to make a stock that you can freeze for later.

It's very simple to do and it provides an amazing boost of flavor for many of your favorite bean dishes and all kinds of soups. One of my favorite recipes to use a good ham stock with is Bean with Bacon Soup. It really puts that soup over the top.

Here's how I make it.

It all starts with a ham bone, of course, although you may also substitute a few meaty ham hocks in place of the ham bone. Once you've trimmed the bone of all the ham for sandwiches and chunks for other dishes, place it in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover the bone, plus about another 2 inches. It will depend on the size of the bone and the pot, but somewhere between 8 to 10 cups of water will usually do it.

Add to the pot, 2 whole ribs of rinsed celery that has been cut into large chunks and include the leaves. Add 2 large rinsed carrots, cut into large chunks, 1 large onion, quartered, 4 sprigs of fresh parsley or a heaping tablespoon of dried, 2 bay leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of whole peppercorns.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, longer if you have the time, until liquid has reduced.

Strain, reserving the bone and stock; discard vegetables. Once cooled, pick off any meat from the bone, reserving the meat and discarding the bone, unless you are using the stock right away, then include it in the pot of soup or beans. Stock may also be cooled and frozen to use later.

Recipe: Homemade Ham Stock

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 large meaty hambone
  • Water to cover, plus two inches
  • 2 whole celery stalks (ribs) with leaves, rinsed and cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots, unpeeled, rinsed and cut into large chunks
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of whole peppercorns

Place ham bone in a large stockpot, along with the remaining stock ingredients, cover with water plus another 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. Strain, reserving the bone and stock; discard vegetables. Once cooled, pick off any meat from the bone, reserving the meat and discarding the bone. Use stock as needed for soups, stews and beans, or freeze stock and meat separately, to use later.

Cook's Notes: May substitute dried parsley for fresh and also use 2 to 3 large meaty ham hocks. If using the stock right away for a pot of beans or soup, I strain out the stock, discarding the veggies and returning the bone or hocks along with the stock to the pot.


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©Deep South Dish
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