Cooking 101- Pork Stock

Cooking 101 - Pork Stock  001 edited re-sized

Several months ago, I had posted an introductory article called “Homemade Stocks – The basis for Delicious Food” (Click here). You may have noticed in the photo above that the plastic bags of stock are marked differently. As long as both my helper and I know what it means, it doesn’t matter.

Now, I am sharing comments about my Thermos Shuttle Chef. Serves me well for making Pork Stock. I like the fact that it is non-electrical and it doesn’t occupy space on the stove for brewing the stock. Neither does it require anyone to watch the water level etc whilst the stock is cooking.

Some comments about the Ingredients

Pork bones. You are not limited to shopping at the wet market to buy a selection of pork bones. Photo above shows what can be purchased at the supermarket. To save on cost, I do use frozen meats and bones for making stock. In Asian markets elsewhere, neck chops are also most suitable.

Basic aromatics. Carrots, celery stalks and leaves, onions, English parsley, pepper corns, and bay leaves.

The above image was taken from the Thermos website. This is the model of my Shuttle chef. I chose this one for its versatility – I can cook the same dish twice to serve a larger crowd or I can cook a soup and a stew or curry. There are several brands selling thermal pots in different sizes.

COOKING

Some cooks prefer a caramel coloured Pork Stock and they achieve this by roasting the pork bones in the oven or pan frying them until the bones caramelise.  I find a lighter clearer Pork broth to be more versatile for the varied cuisine that we serve so we blanch the pork bones first.

STEP 1. Blanch the pork bones and spare ribs with freshly boiled water. Leave them covered for about least 10 mins. Drain.

STEP 2. ( I prefer to make a more concentrated Pork Stock so that precious freezer or fridge space is not taken up by water).

  • Using a pressure cooker. Add all the aromatics into the pressure cooker. Next, add the drained pork bones and spare ribs. Pour in enough boiling water to cover all the ingredients by about 3 cm, cover, set pressure cooker at the highest pressure, place it on the stove over high heat. Once it starts hissing, lower the heat and cook for an hour. Cool to release pressure and twist to un-cover pressure cooker lid.
  • If you are using the Thermal Shuttle chef or its equivalent. Pour in enough boiling water to just cover all the ingredients. Heat all the ingredients in the inner pot/s for about 15 to 20 mins. Remove and lower stainless steel pot/s into the outer pot. Leave it for about 1.5 hours, take the stainless steel pots out to re-heat for about 10 mins, lower them into the outer pot again and leave for another 1.5 hours. Lift each stainless pot out and cool contents.

These notes from Thermos are useful

“There are only a few major points to remember when cooking thermally:

  1. The system only works effectively if there is adequate heat developed within the saucepans and food to be cooked.
  2. To last the longest period and still be above food safety temperatures the saucepans need to be approximately 75 to 80% full and to have been at simmering temperature for the required period (this is to ensure that everything within that saucepan, including the saucepan has reached the highest temperature)
  3. When using the RPC 6000 W Shuttle Chef with the two inner saucepans, both saucepans must be used at all times. If you only require a small meal (even less than 80% full) then the other saucepan must be filled with water and brought to the boil on the stove top to act as your “heat bank” to provide the necessary retained heat to satisfactorily cook and keep your meal hot. 
  4. Do not freeze the inner saucepans as they are constructed of a special sandwiched ply base with dis-similar metals for maximum heat and cold retention and as such they will expand and contract at differing rates however you can certainly chill the saucepans in a refrigerator.
  5. By placing ice cubes in the bottom 3 litre saucepan you are able to place butter, cheese or cold meats etc in the top saucepan and keep these foods really cold for an extended period.”

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo pork bones (a mix of knuckle bones, back bones, spare ribs, neck chops)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • tops of a whole bunch of celery (including the leaves) or 3 to 4 celery ribs
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 Tbsp peppercorns (black or white)
  • about 10 cups of water

Method:

  1. Blanch the pork bones with boiling water. Leave them covered for about least 10 mins. Drain.
  2. Depends on whether you are using a pressure cooker or a thermal pot or a stock pot.
    • Using a pressure cooker. Add all the aromatics into the pressure cooker. Next, add the drained pork bones and spare ribs. Pour in enough boiling water to cover all the ingredients by about 3 cm, cover, set pressure cooker at the highest pressure, place it on the stove over high heat. Once it starts hissing, lower the heat and cook for an hour. Cool to release pressure and twist to un-cover pressure cooker lid.
    • If you are using the Thermal Shuttle chef or its equivalent. Pour in enough boiling water to just cover all the ingredients. Heat all the ingredients in the inner pot/s for about 15 to 20 mins. Remove and lower stainless steel pot/s into the outer pot. Leave it for about 1.5 hours, take the stainless steel pots out to re-heat for about 10 mins, lower them into the outer pot again and leave for another 1.5 hours. Lift each stainless pot out and cool contents.
  3. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander (lined with a filter if you desire a very clear stock) and discard the solids.
  4. If you are using stock within 3 days, chill stock overnight and remove fats. Otherwise, pack into smaller amounts that suit your lifestyle (e.g. ½ cup or ¾ cup marked plastic bags) and freeze till it is needed. De-frost and skim off fat before using.
  5. Stock keeps for 3 months in the freezer.

RECIPES using Pork Stock

Chinese Soups

1. Jin Hua Ham and Winter Melon. Click Here

2. Lotus Root Peanut and Pork Rib. Click Here

3. Radishes with Dried Squid.  Click Here

 

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