ham stock

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This ham stock is one that I like to make after having a ham dinner for Christmas or Easter. The stock, along with bits of left over ham, is used for rich split pea and bean soups.
Servings:
makes 8 to 10 cups of stock
Preparation Time:
Prep: 30 minutes, Cook: 10 to 12 hours
Tools
  • 12 to 16 qt. heavy stock pot (taller than it is wide) with lid
  • cutting board & knife
  • long handled tongs or slotted spoon
  • fine wire strainer or cheese cloth

Ingredients

A

  • 2 t. olive oil (no need to sacrifice the extra virgin in this case)
  • 1 t. peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • 6 cumin seeds

B

  • 2 carrots, washed & snapped into two or three pieces
  • 2 medium onions, remove dirt and cut in half
  • 1 celery rib, washed & snapped into two or three pieces

C

  • 1 orange or red flesh sweet potato, washed & cut into four pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bone from whole ham with connective tissue and meat scraps attached (you can also use one large or several small ham hocks or a couple of pounds of smoked pork neck bones)
  • 1 whole dried chile (seeds and ribs removed)
  • cold water
Cooking Instructions
  • Prepare the carrots, onions, celery, and sweet potato.
  • Pre-heat stock pot over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil to pot and let it heat through. If the oil starts to smoke turn the head down a bit.
  • Add peppercorns, cloves, allspice, and cumin; stir; heat through until you can smell the spices or the cumin starts to pop. (Should only take a couple of minutes.)
  • Add carrots, onions, and celery; stir to coat w/ oil; let sit until they start to pick up a bit of colour. (Give this at least four minutes.)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add water until everything is under 2" of water.
  • Turn heat up to high until water just starts to bubble.
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer partially covered for 8 to 12 hours.
  • Add hot water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. (You should only need to do this once after 6 to 7 hours unless your heat is too high.)
  • Remove large ingredients from stock pot. (Squeeze all of the liquid out of the soft ingredients.)
  • Pour the stock through a fine strainer or cheese cloth.
  • The stock can be kept refridgerated for three days or frozen for six months.
Notes
I did not like the texture of a stock the one time I used a yellow flesh sweet potato, so I stick with the orange or red flesh ones when making stocks or vegetable broths. I suspect that it is because the yellow ones either have more starch or release their starch more easily when heated.