Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stock or Broth: What Did I Make?

My friend Lynne and I are always wondering what the difference is between stock and broth. Now that I've entered the club of people crazy enough to stock their freezer full of it, I figured I should know which one I made. So I did a little googling and the difference has to do with whether you use meat or just the bones. The term "broth" defines liquid made by boiling meat while the term "stock" defines liquid made by boiling bones or inedible parts. Vegetables can be used in both to enhance the flavor of the liquid. Generally you can substitute one for the other but broth is said to taste better if served on it's own.

My friend Jen told me that Martha Stewart's Cooking School cookbook had a similar definition:

"Though the terms that describe stocks are sometimes used interchangeably, the distinctions are useful to understand as you start to cook. A stock (with the exception of vegetable stock) is made of water simmered with bones. The meat on them provides flavor while the bones, and the gelatinous connective tissue between them, slowly break down and add body to the liquid. A broth, on the other hand, is usually made with just meat (or bone-in meat, such as a whole chicken) and/or vegetables; it is typically lighter bodied and served on it's own."

Well there ya have it... I made broth.

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