The inspiration for the best lamb stock
Nothing ever hit the spot quite like a Chinese lamb bone hot pot. When it was cold and dreary outside or when everyone succumbed to the same nasty flu, off we went to the lamb bone restaurant. There, huddled around a large bubbly vat of long stewed lamb stock, we put on plastic gloves, fished out large bones and meticulously picked the meat off with chopsticks. We added cabbage leaves, mushrooms, bread balls and fresh noodles to the salty lamb stock to complete the feast. At the end of the meal, my cold was better and my soul was comforted.
Sometimes on these similarly dreary and dark Scottish winter days, I find myself craving that same salty lamb broth. Luckily for me, my local supermarket carries stewing lamb for cheap allowing me to pick up a kilogram or two for culinary experimentation. Happy to report, this recipe for lamb stock is the closest and best tasting recreation of my beloved Chinese lamb hot pot broth. I put it in everything from Scotch broth to noodle soups and shepherd’s pies, that is when I am not drinking it by the mug.
Slow down and make stock
For those of you who have never made stock, be not afraid. The process is time-consuming but fairly easy overall. Just toss some roasted bones into a large pot, add vegetables and seasoning, fill up with water and let bubble away for hours. Drain the stock from what’s left of the meat and veg then season it with salt to your liking. You’ll find that what you make is head and shoulders better than what you can buy in the supermarket. Plus, nothing builds flavor to your recipe or dish quite like a good stock be it chicken, beef or lamb. So take the time and start simmering away. You’ll be glad you did!
Sumptuous homemade lamb stock made with shallots, leeks, garlic, coriander, and ginger. Use it to boost up your recipes or drink by itself. #stock #lamb #leek #garlic #recipe
1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) stewing lamb bones (mostly bone but with a little meat attached)
2 large leeks (roughly chopped)
4–5 shallots (peeled and cut in half)
5–6 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed)
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 tsp coriander seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 220C/450 F or 200C/400F with fan.
Place uncooked lamb and bones into a roasting tray and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until thoroughly browned. You want to get it as brown as possible without burning it so use your best judgment.
After the lamb is finished roasting, transfer along with all the juices to a large pot. Make sure that you get all the brown goodness off of the bottom of the roasting tray by pouring a cup or two of boiling water into the tray and scraping the bottom to release any bits stuck to the bottom. Let the water sit in the tray for 5-10 minutes then pour into pot.
Add chopped leek, shallots, smashed garlic cloves, sliced ginger and coriander seeds to the pot along with the lamb.
Fill the pot up with water (about 2-3 liters/ 7-10 cups) and cook on high heat until brought to a boil.
Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium-low (or whatever heat level that keeps a steady simmer going), cover and let simmer away for 3-4 hours. You will know when the stock is ready when the meat falls off the bone and all the vegetables have turned to mush.
When stock is ready, separate the stock from the debris by running it through a sieve or strainer. Let the meat and veg debris cool before discarding it.
Let the stock cool then season with salt to taste. You may want to skim the fat off the top or do what I do and pick it off the top after it has cooled in the fridge.
Let cool completely before dividing it into portions and packaging it away in the fridge or freezer.
- Prep Time: 45 min
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Stock, Soup
- Method: Simmering
- Cuisine: Western
Keywords: lamb, lamb bone, stock, slow cooking, lamb stock, leek, garlic, shallots, ginger, coriander