akCOOKS | All Stocked Up!

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Is there a such thing as a “Food Hoarder“?! Asking for a friend…

This past weekend was an exercise in emptying – and subsequently refilling – all THREE of my freezers.

For a few months at a time, all our spent marrow bones, turkey carcasses, crab/clam/mussel/oyster shells and fish heads/spines get frozen as we go for just this occasion. Sometimes Kid Tt brings home Peking Duck carcasses by the box-load from work, and those get done up too. Even the butt ends of veg when cooking big meals get saved like little goodie bags and stored in the freezers. ALL so we can eventually get ‘Stocked Up’!

Once that freezer is all full with a wide variety of foodie treasures, along with anything fresh or needing to get used in the fridge or garden, the InstantPot comes out and a-stocking we will go.

I first did stock in the pot at Cooking school and loved how clear and quickly the broth cooked – and how I didn’t have to nurse it for hours on end (so lazy). It’s my new best friend.

Rationed veg for multiple batches of the same stock helps keep flavors consistent

That said, I’ll often still reduce it by half on the stovetop. This round I combined 4 batches of seafood stock into one big pot and reduced it until it became a godly nectar. I label these ones “GOLD” since they’re so extra flavorful! I did the same w 2 batches of Turkey, and 2 of spent Marrow bones.

pro TIP

Veg is happiest if you dry sear it on cast iron for a bit, giving it a little extra charm in the final flavors of your stock.

theakhomekitchen
Kid Tt loves fileting fish, so we end up with loads of these heads staring
at me from the freezer LOL

I’m REALLY lucky to have 3 (potentially soon 4) freezer spaces, although I really should just be canning it. Now I have enough homemade stock for months’ worth of Pho soups, meat or seafood Gravies, Risottos, and perhaps even a Bouillabaisse or two. Next up, I want to try some creamy stocked-up Polenta.

My personal fave? Pho by a landslide. I’ll do up the recipe one day, but for now a photo will have to do!

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akHOME MYakHOME theakHOMEkitchen akCOOKS Food Home Cook Entertain Cooking Blog Kitchen Design Pho Steak Bone Marrow Stock

Steak Pho

Protein-filled, this Pho recipe is a beautiful warm bowl of YUM!
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese

Instructions
 

STEAK

  • One of the best ways I've found to cook steak is actually in a pan! Use HIGH heat and a Tbsp of oil with a high flame point, like Rice Bran Oil. Sear a beautifully marbled 1.5" thick steak on all sides.
  • Turn heat down to a medium-low and after a minute add 2 Tbsp of butter, a clove of garlic, and a sprig of Thyme.
  • Baste with the buttery oil and turn until the steak feels to the touch about the same as the pad of your thumb when touching it to your middle finger. Practice will make the perfect medium-rare! Try these other methods, too > http://www.clovermeadowsbeef.com/touch-test-steak-doneness/
    clover meadows beef finger steak doneness test
  • Let steak rest on a board while you make the SOUP. Add a Tbsp or two of white wine to lift up all the steak goodies, along with the butter and other fats.

PHO SOUP

  • In a pot, add your beautifully made frozen bone marrow stock. Add water to taste, until you have approximately 3-4c per person.
  • Add a splash of fish sauce and a double splash of soy sauce.
  • Add chopped YUMMIES – I keep Kaffir Lime Leaves, Red Thai Chilis and cuts of Lemongrass in my freezer to pull out for just these occasions. Fresh sliced mushrooms are a great addition if you have them on hand. Squeeze in a half of lime, and add all your steak pan GOODNESS.
  • Once boiling, add a handful of vermicelli noodles per person and let simmer for 3 minutes longer. While simmering, THINLY slice your buttery steak.
  • Pull out some noodles into each bowl, add a few scoops of broth and top with your sliced steak!
  • Add as many sides as you like. I usually place cilantro, extra lime wedges, bok choy, bean sprouts, sliced jalapeno, Siracha and Thai basil on the table and let the family DIY from there!
  • For a creamy version, add a 3.5 minute poached egg – once broken, the silky yolk combines with the broth for a whole 'nother level.

Notes

Looking for a bit more variety? I’ve got’cha.
 
SEAFOOD : JUST as tasty, try a seafood version w shellfish/fish stock. Fire grill some lime-marinated prawns and scallops for some extra flavor!
 
VEGETABLE : Fresh vegetable stock is easy to make with scraps from your other meals. Add some dried mushrooms in the first boil, then strain (or keep them!). High heat sear a vegetable medley around some quartered button mushrooms in a cast iron pan and VOILA!
 
DUCK : Since Kid Tt keeps bringing duck bones home, we have a lot of duck stock. To top it, we grab a frozen smoked duck breast out of the freezer (from our favorite butcher), thin slice it and add some poached quail eggs to top it all off.
 
PORK : There’s nothing quite as satisfying as some crispy pork belly. I don’t typically have pork stock around, but the duck stock does nicely for this. Add in a Tbsp of bacon fat – and some sliced bacon – to the stock at first boil, then top with the Pork Belly and a healthy dose of chives.
akHOME MYakHOME theakHOMEkitchen akCOOKS Food Home Cook Entertain Cooking Blog Kitchen Design Pho Steak Bone Marrow Stock
Keyword Pho Soup
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What’s your favorite soup / stock / stew? Have some great Pho flavor recipes? Share below!

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