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In the interests of not wanting any of my hand reared pork go to waste, I saved all the excess bones and bits and pieces and made a stock out of it.

This recipe, modified ever so slightly by one by River Cottage (www.rivercottage.net), is simply outstanding and I cannot wait to use it for legume soups, Asian dishes and pulled pork slow cooker meals. It is so wonderfully aromatic I even had the neighbour pop his head over the fence to tell me the place smelt like his Nanna's....and that is a compliment I'm more than happy to take!

To extend the shelf life of the stock, I'll be freezing these mason jars however if you would like to do the same, make sure your storage jars can be used for freezer storage. Alternatively you can ladle the stock into plastic containers and then pop them in the freezer to use within 6 months.

I just had to share this recipe, please tag both me and River Cottage if ever you decide to make it!

H xx

Makes: About 4L
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours

Ingredients:
3-4 kg pork bones, including any trimmings you may have
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
3 onions, peeled and quartered
3-4 large carrots, roughly sliced
2-3 celery sticks, leaves and all, roughly sliced
1 whole garlic bulb, halved horizontally
8-10 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
6 bay leaves
6-8 sprigs thyme
4-6 parsley stalks

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the pork into a large, unlined, baking tray. Season well then pop in the oven for 45 minutes, turning the bones at about the halfway mark.
  2. Place the bones in a 10L stock pot. Strain the excess fat into a glass jar* then place a glass of water in the bottom of the baking tray and place the baking tray over a medium heat. Scrape away all the browny caramelised bits on the bottom of the dish as these are simply little pieces of flavour that must go into the stock! Pour the water, along with the scrappy bits, into the stock pot and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add enough water to cover everything in the pot then place over a medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Lower the heat and allow the stock to simmer away for 5 - 5 1/2 hours, topping up the stock with a glass or two of water if it needs it along the way.
  4.  Strain the stock through a fine sieve and then allow it to cool before placing in individual containers or jars. Chill before placing in the freezer to enjoy over time.

*Cook's note - the excess fat can be transformed into lard by pouring into a super clean container and then popping in the fridge overnight. You can then use it to make super crunchy potatoes, in pastry or anywhere else you may be inclined to use the good stuff!




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