How to: Ham Stock


the basics:
cold water
1 large ham hock or the bone leftover from a roasted ham
3 carrots, cut up
2 onions, quartered
1 large shallot, quartered
1 bunch celery, cut up
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon mace blades
1/2 stick cinnamon

Place the ham, spices and the vegetables in a large stockpot (I use my lobster pot). Add water until the pot is nearly filled. Bring to a rolling boil. After 4-5 hours, strain into a large bowl or smaller stockpot. Cool immediately by placing the bowl in an ice filled sink. Do not refrigerate hot stock. Refrigerate the cooled stock overnight, then skim off any fat that rose to the surface. Package in air tight containers or freezer bags to store. I like a mixture of 2 and 4 cup quantities.

I suggest freezing any stock you don’t use right away. In using freezer bags, lay the bags flat so they freeze in a shape that takes up the least amount of room. To defrost simply remove the block of stock from the container and place it in a sauce pan. Heat on low for 3-5 minutes.

Yield: about 8 quarts

My thoughts:

I love making my own stocks. Not only are they more flavorful than store bought, they are incredibly cheap to make and I feel good about making something from something that I normally would thrown away. I always hesitate about posting stock recipes here but invariably every time I call for a stock I get an email from someone asking how they can make it themselves, especially for the more difficult to find stocks. So after a lot of requests for a ham stock tutorial, here it finally is. While you can a more neutral tasting stock similar to chicken or turkey stock, I like to use the flavors often found in ham dishes or spice rubs for ham in the stock because the foods I end up using the stock in are often enhanced by those flavors. Don’t worry, the stock isn’t too heavy spiced, it is just a wonderful background note.

One Comment

  1. I have never made ham stock. I usually use the hambone for beans or pea soup, but I will have to try this!