green apothecary

A Jersey girl going local, green, and clean in Massachusetts; looking for delicious, sustainable, affordable, and healthy ways to do it.

Star Stock


I have a large list of projects for the winter, just like every winter; many are food-oriented. Imagine that.

My cats, on the other hand, had this as a project:

Charging the solar batteries on a winter morning.

I was stocking up at the last market of the season in Braintree and the farmer who brings the meat had soup bones. Soup bones? I always want to make stock. I’ve only ever made chicken stock from one of the rotisserie chickens we bring home from the grocery store occasionally. Let’s try beef stock! I can handle bones. I don’t have to touch the marrow…

Excited to get to this project, I pull the bones out of the freezer this past weekend, and look in to the bag.


What’s that? THAT is a freakin’ JOINT bone, dude. Ok – I think, don’t freak, don’t retch. SO real, so very Right From the Source. Whoo. Breathe. Wow – even having trouble looking at the picture! Gotta be brave sometimes when you’re trying to change the way you interact with the world.

Nevertheless, I did not use the joint bone this time. I’ll use it next time.

I used some nice, simple, femur bones; these.


Into the oven for browning, 350, 90 minutes.

The smell, I must tell you, was heady. It was just so rich, so undeniably beef based. It was almost palpable in the house.

And here they are.


Now to make the stock.

12 cups of cold water, bunch of root veggies and a mesh ball full of herbs:



  • 2 rutabega
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4 small carrots
  • the inner stalks of celery (ones with leaves) from two bunches
  • several red potatoes
  • 1 spring onion with the top
  • bunch of salt


  • your standard Simon and Garfunkel mix(parsley sage rosemary and thyme)
  • savory

Then I poured the bones and everything else from the roasting pan in to the pot – like so:


Rolling boil for a while.


in a couple of hours it was down to this:


at this point it was far sweeter than I had imagined. I threw in more salt.

got it down a little further – see the progression of the liquid level on the herb ball


Time to strain


for the liquid gold.


Like I said, the final product was less savory than anticipated. I realized later I forgot to add the left over red wine I had for it in the fridge. Again with the next time.

OK – for the ‘Star’ part of this.

I had to figure out how to store it, and I wanted to make some stock cubes.

And I got a wonderful gift from a clever, hilarious friend.


Can you see it?

For those of you who don’t know, a) I’m a sci-fi fan girl and b) this is a mold of Captain Han Solo after he was encased in carbonite by Darth Vader at Cloud City in the movie Empire Strikes Back; my favorite of the original Star Wars trilogy.

He was one of my first loves.

So I thought it only fitting to bring two loves together when given the opportunity.

Here’s what I got from all that stuff:


at this point I put it in the fridge to solidify the fat. I didn’t get rid of all the fat. I let what stuck to the edges, which was a fair amount, stay out and poured the rest into smaller containers.



I yielded the two containers on the left and the one tray of cubes. Probably about 3 cups.

As I closed the freezer door and dreamt of the soups to come I said, “Beef stock, I love you.”

And I swear I heard a low, beloved voice say, “I know.”

Author: kzflynn

I'm a late blooming working mom trying to save the planet with my mind and my money.

16 thoughts on “Star Stock

  1. I LOVE the Han Solo cube trays! Genius! He was also my first love. I am tempted to make the stock primarily for the wonderful smell. I wonder if I could deal with the joint bones…..ewhhhh. Thanks for the post lovely Kate!

  2. Very nice! (Love the Han Solo line) I save the leaves from Celery Stalks and dice them just for this purpose. Over the course of a few weeks, we have lots of celery leaves.
    Couple of questions: Did you de-glaze the roasting pan? Once you roast the bones, remove bones, take a bit of hearty red wine, and pour into pan. Scrape the crusty bits form pan, use the wine to gather. Pour this into the mix. this extra “brown bits” adds a but more roasted flavor. Also, not sure how you feel about garlic, but it never hurts.

    Love the writing style and love the food tips.

    • ah, yes – garlic. love it. but didn’t want to have it be a pushy flavor within. now I know better. the strange thing is that there weren’t any brown bits in the roasting pan – I fully expected there to be some. maybe I didn’t brown them at a high enough temp? thoughts?
      and thanks for liking my cheesy humor… ;p

  3. Han Solo mold is hysterical!! I have made a similar stock, it smells wonderful. I had the butcher cut the bones into small pieces that way I did not know where or what they had been. Worked for me! They cut them into maybe inch pieces. Ordered them and went back a few hours later. Probably more $ per lb..Used this stock to make a brown sauce that i used to make Chicken Marscela. Wonderful! I will send you the recipe for the brown sauce since you have the stock made.
    As always, loved reading your blog!

  4. Those cats sure look like slippers to me 🙂

  5. There’s nothing like making soup on a cold winter’s day. Now with your own stock, most of the work is done. Only save Han Solo for last. That should be a very special recipe – something worthy of a true hero. How very much you are still that wonderful child you once were!
    Love, Mom

  6. So many of my favorite things altogether in this post…soup making, Han Solo and of course, kitties soaking up the sun! Took a vegetarian soup-making class earlier this winter (I now make a mean butternut squash soup), and this now makes me want to graduate to the next level.

  7. I want to eat all of your meatballs….wash them down with the soup which I have dipped a calzone in. Yum!

    In Jamaica there is something called a beef pattie. Ground beef with Jamican spices places in a pastry similiar to cazone but much smaller. They are sooo good, not spicey either. Ok off to the gym, even thinking of your delightful delicacies is making my butt spread. :O
    Love you

    • you are ridiculous! I love those little meat pies – I even had Carrie send me her fave British pasty so I can make those. beef and guinness of course…soon!

  8. Great story! I make tons of stock myself (as you know), albeit veggie stock. It’s amazing how subtle differences in flavors arise depending on the veggies and herbs you use. Also, no Han Solo ice trays, which are just completely awesome. That is in fact hilarious, and will certainly make every time you use the stock even more special. (As if it weren’t special enough all on its own. 😉 )

    Hey, I’ll bet you’ve used those to make popsicles? No, perhaps not as I didn’t see a place for a stick, and maybe that becomes a little too, well, overt…

    • that was the first time I’d used the trays, as they were a christmas gift. but a Han Solo popsicle – that does sound, um, forget it – I think I’m blushing…

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