Plenty of recipes call for stock to create richer soups, stews, and casseroles. There are plenty of stock mixes available in the market – mix in the packet with water and some oil and you are good to go. However, barley stock is still one of the best options if you are looking for stock that is healthy and delicious. Barley is a grain that has plenty of fibers to help your body remove the excess waste. It also has a distinct and delicious flavor that many people love. Here are the steps to making your own barley stock.
- Prepare the ingredients. Make sure that you have a large pot before you begin to make your barley stock. Usually, people prepare large batches of stock which is later stored in the refrigerator or frozen into blocks. This will allow you to have stock available anytime you need them, which is important especially since stock needs time to prepare. The ingredients you need are ground pepper, a stalk of celery, 2 carrots, 2 leeks, 2 cloves of garlic, a bulb of fennel, six cups of broth, salt, and half a cup of pearl barley.
- Cooking. To cook the barley stock, you need to cut the leek into thin strips. Do the same for the celery, carrots, and the fennel bulb. Once this is done, crush the two garlic cloves and prepare the pot by melting butter in it. You can also use nonstick sprays to prevent the stock from forming clumps in the bottom of the pot. Add all of the vegetables into the pot and sauté until the vegetables have turned into a mild brown color. There are variations to barley stocks. You can also add meat. To do this, you should remove the vegetables and then introduce the meat. Sauté this until it is cooked, then add the vegetables into the pot. Once the ingredients have been sautéed, add broth and seasoning.
- Simmering. The key to a tasty and delicious stock is the time you spend keeping the mixture simmering. Partially cover the pot and let the stock simmer for at least an hour. Check on the stock every few minutes to give it a stir and to remove the layer of fat that forms on top of the stock. The foam that accumulates on the top is the dirty and residues from the meat and the vegetables.
If you want your stock to soak in the taste of the vegetables and the meat more, you should let it simmer for up to two hours. Once this is done, take the stock and use a strainer to remove the chunks of meat and vegetables. This should give you with a fine stock that can be used for casseroles, stews, and excellent soups. Store in the refrigerator, or pour into large ice cube trays to get stock cubes that you can easily pop into dishes that require stock. Through these steps, cooking meals that require stock no longer has to take up hours of your time.