How to Make Homemade Stock from Leftovers

Here are recipes for making stock from your leftover meat, bones, and vegetables.

Yield: This recipe can be as large or as small as you want; you can make stock out of whatever is left over.


·        Medium to large stockpot

·        Colander or strainer

·        Optional: Cheesecloth

·        Optional: For freezing—canning jars or freezer containers; for refrigerating—sealable rigid containers

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·        Vegetable Stock: Vegetables, whole or trimmed, any or all of the following:

·        Carrots, including roots, ends, and peels

·        Onions, including bulbs, skins, and peels

·        Garlic, including cloves and skins

·        Celery, entire stalks with leaves

·        Potatoes, including tubers and peels

·        Scallions (wash root ends if still attached)

·        Shallots, including bulbs, skins, and peels

·        Herbs (bay leaves, rosemary, sage, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme), fresh or dried, complete branches or leaves only

Seasonings to taste

Meat Stock: Use the ingredients list for vegetable stock, plus anything remaining from the carcass, such as bones, poultry skin, cooked meat, or raw meat.


 Put all of the ingredients except seasonings into the stockpot. Add enough water to cover everything (if you’ve steamed your vegetables, you can save the water and use that) and bring to a boil. Once the contents are boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and let the stock cook slowly, covered. While it is simmering, add salt and other seasonings to taste. Cook vegetable stock for at least an hour; cook meat stock longer, especially if you’re using raw scraps. Stock is one of the few dishes that I feel comfortable leaving on the stove for hours; it’s one of those rare dishes that cannot be overcooked. The longer it’s on the stove, the more the flavor is enhanced. Remove the stock from the heat. Strain it through a mesh strainer or colander to get rid of any bones or any big chunks of vegetables or meat, and reserve the liquid. For a clearer broth, strain the liquid a second time through cheesecloth. If the strained vegetable and meat pieces are usable, chop them up for soup; otherwise, compost or throw away the vegetable matter, and throw away the meat and bones. Use or store the stock right away. You can refrigerate it in a glass jar or plastic storage container for up to a week. For longer storage, pressure-can the liquid in jars (refer to project 10 in this section, Canning and Pickling) or freeze it, leaving room in the containers for expansion.

Voila! You’ve just taken what would have otherwise been garbage and turned it into something delicious that can be used in many more meals.

This article was excerpted with permission from the book Urban Farm Projects: Making the Most of Your Money, Space, and Stuff, copyright 2014, I-5 Publishing, LLC. For more budget-friendly and environmentally conscience projects and recipes, pick up a copy today!

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