Taking Stock

6 years ago
Chicken Stock

Stock photo

Recently I made a version of Simon Rimmer’s White Chilli as a soup. Lacking either the requisite chicken stock and chipotle (so good, must order more from MexGrocer), I found something that would substitute for both. Enter the leftover smoked belly pork stock LINK. I carved off (it was frozen) only around 150ml, but it had the most incredibly unctuous and hammy flavour, somewhat reminiscent of the liquor left after making Nigella Lawson’s Coca Cola Ham, but without all the sweetness. I’ve made Nigella’s recipe for Black Bean soup in the past, which she recommends for using up said ham-coke, and although divisive, I thought it was pretty good (if a small enough quantity of stock is used to dilute the sugar). The resulting white chilli was so moreish that I almost went to go and check in the fridge again just now for leftovers.

Last night a friend cooked a delicious spiced roast chicken with dahl, and after adding some of the juices to said red lentils, we kept the rest and cooked it down with the chicken bones and got a delicious 1.5 litres of stock that’ll no doubt be the backbone of a risotto next week.

The moral of the story? If you’re cooking any meat with more than a couple of handfuls of bone leftover, then well, Carl Weathers put it pretty well – “throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going”. And you don’t even really need a potato (or any other veg) in my book. Making stock is quick, easy and saves you money while helping you make great meals.

White Chilli Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Simon Rimmer (modified)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Got some white beans? Got some stock? Make this delicious spicy and filling soup.
  • 330ml lager
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 fresh chillies (jalapeno or similar), chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed, dry roast and crushed
  • 200ml/14fl oz good, strong stock (preferably smoked pork, but vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian)
  • 2 chipotle or 1 ancho chillies (if not using smoked stock)
  • bunch fresh coriander, plus extra coriander leaves, chopped, to serve
  • 1.5 limes, juiced
  • 800g/14oz can cannellini or butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 150g cheddar, grated
  1. Bring the beer, onions, garlic, chillies, ancho/chipotle, ground cumin and stock to the boil in a large pan, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Blend three quarters of the bunch of coriander, all the lime juice and a good pinch of salt to a smooth paste.
  3. Add the coriander and lime paste, and the beans to the stock mixture. Stir well to combine, then continue to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by about three quarters.
  4. Add smoked paprika and oregano and stir well to combine.
  5. Serve topped with grated cheese and the remaining chopped coriander leaves.


Bone candles

Why not re-use beef shin bones to make candlesticks? Okay, sure it’s a bit macabre.

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