Leftovers Stock

While there is nothing wrong with going out and buying chicken necks and ox tails to make stock with, I assume many people don’t utilize what they’ve already got sitting in the fridge to make a perfectly yummy, if not superiorly flavored, homemade stock. We roasted prime rib for dinner one night and I simply tossed the leftover hunk of meat (including the bones) in a pot of water, added some cheap vegetables, and came back 4 hours later to a pot full of liquid meat gold.


  • 1 hunk of leftover, cooked, bone-in meat (chicken, beef, duck…whatevesss)
  • handful each of roughly chopped carrots, celery and onion
  • flavorings like: fresh garlic, fresh thyme (left on the stalk), peppercorns, salt


Fill a large soup pot with about 4 quarts of water. Dump in the meat, chopped up vegetables and flavorings.

Let the pot simmer for about 4 hours, until you have about 2-3 quarts of liquid meat gold, I mean stock.

Place a fine mesh strainer over the top of a large bowl (the bowl needs to be big enough to fit the liquid). Pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the meat and sad looking vegetables. Place the bowl in the fridge overnight, or long enough for the fat to come to the surface and harden.

Skim off the fat with a spoon. You don’t need to be too anal about this, a few baby blobs here and there isn’t going to hurt anything.

Use immediately or store in the freezer. If you’re going to put the stock in the freezer, be sure to leave enough room at the top of your freezing container to allow for the expansion of the liquid…don’t fill it to the brim or you’ll be sorry.


10 responses to “Leftovers Stock”

  1. This is a great reminder, I tend to do this with chicken and turkey but don’t always remember to do it with bones from beef.

    1. i also meant to write shrimp shells too. makes a nice seafood stock.

  2. This is also great do with just leftover pieces of vegetables. Hold onto the end chunks of onion, garlic, celery, twigs from herbs and the inedible scraps from vegetables like squash, cabbage and cauliflower. Throw them into a slow cooker on low for 8 hours along with some bay leaves and a half a cup of red wine and you have amazing vegetable stock for soups and general cooking. The left over vegetable pieces are then perfect for the compost.

  3. I also cheat and use a pressure cooker which cuts the time to an hour (or two for the ultra-gelatin version); also freeze them in 1/2, 1 and 2 cup volumes for easy recipe additions!

    1. brandon and i have been debating a/b whether or not to buy a pressure cooker. what kind do you use keith?

  4. David Abram

    MMMM.. stock..

    I just wanted to add–seeing salt in your list of flavorings–to be very careful when salting a stock or adding direct seasoning (whole peppercorns are not a direct seasoning because no solids are left behind). Most uses of stocks tend to call for reductions of the stock to points where the concentration of salt would rise so high that it would destroy the flavor of whatever you’re making. Just keep in mind, the stock doesn’t have to be perfectly seasoned to be a perfect stock, just hold off until the final use of the stock is formed.

    (this is especially true with sauces; the stock is sometimes reduced by half or more)

    Great info!

  5. I put some beef ribs in the crockpot the other day without any liquid. 4 hours later I was amazed at the amount of liquid that was in the pot. Since I was planning on adding a Paleo BBQ sauce later, I pulled the liquid out and put it in the fridge thinking that this liquid was probably mostly fat. I was very surprised that there was only a small layer of fat on top and the rest was broth. Took off the fat and put the broth in the freezer for later. Gotta love that grass fed beef!

  6. I throw all my leftover end bits (carrots, onion, pepper tops, etc) into a bowl in my freezer and then when I have bones/leftovers to make stock from I just chuck it in – no cutting up new veggies required.

  7. Jenni Jacob

    Can you give me some soup receipes to use with the stock? Has anyone ever made a soup with ham stock?

  8. Jenni, I use ham stock for soup all the time. My favorites for ham stock are soups using beans. 16 Bean Soup, Lima Bean Soup, Split Pea Soup, etc. It’s the very best type of stock for those types of soup. I would also use it for vegetable soup or beef veg soup.

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