One of the things I’ve started to do is a Sunday Roast and I use beef bouillon in my recipe. Since life moves fast with two kids, I don’t always have the time to assure that beef stock is on hand so I often use store bought bouillon. Ignorance is bliss so I skipped over the ingredients because I knew it was going to be bad, but I loved the convenience. When I finally looked over the ingredients, I was pretty sure most of it was chemicals and flavorings. I couldn’t keep using it and I had to find an alternative.
It is important to me to have the knowledge of making real food. While I love the convenience of having grocery store products available, I am finding that the food industry has an “interesting” relationship with truth in labeling (from additives, sugar, and GMO). However, I am also finding that it is not as hard as I thought it would be.
Making Stock into a Bouillon
There are several ways to make stock. It is considered the basics of food preparation. Here’s how Martha Stewart & Bobby Flay do it. Real, homemade stock has amazing health benefits of added nutrients and makes a dish taste delicious! With two kids under age of two, I wanted to make something homemade that had the health benefits of using real stock, that eliminated the need to make fresh stock every two – three weeks, and was more compact than freezing fresh stock. I started looking up different ways to do this and found two that satisfied my needs: Gelatin vs. Salt Pack.
To learn a great deal more about how to make an excellent stock as well as the complete recipe for a gelatin based stock, please check out http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-bouillon-portable-soup/
The condensed version is this:
1 c stock
1 pkg gelatin
1. For each cup of stock, add 1 pkg of gelatin.
2. Place in a square container. Refrigerate for 8 hours. Cut into 1″ x 1″ cubes (each cube = 1c stock)
3. Place cubed gelatin squares in container and store in refrigerator. (I believe freezing would require you to wrap each cube).
Salt Pack bouillon
The condensed version is this:
1. In a bowl, add the stock.
2. Add the salt and herbs in 1/2 c increments and stir.
3. Use the T to make ‘bouillon’ circles.
4. Bake @ 225F for 45-90m.
5. Wrap in tin foil and store.
The conclusion is based cooking up a cup of basmati rice. I made one serving with the gelatin and another with the salt pack.
The Salt Pack bouillon was almost more of a soup starter because of all the extra flavors I could add such as using Mediterranean Salt from Whole Foods, ground to a powder Oregano, Basil, and other dried herbs. The flavor was delicious, but I do have to say that I was SHOCKED at how much salt was needed (3c for every 1c stock!!!) I think its bad because I’ve been browbeaten salt is bad. It’s not. Salt of the earth people are considered to be of great worth and reliability. Salary comes from the Latin word of Salt. People used to be paid with salt, seriously. Salt is still important, but with the advent of processed foods, we clearly have way to much of it in our diet, especially in our processed foods. The point of making homemade bouillon is that you can control the type of salt you use, whether its iodine, sea salt, or unprocessed salt.
The Salt Pack bouillon ranked higher on the taste test for me (at least for the rice aspect of it). The problems of using the Salt pack was ultimately I’d have to watch the rest of the meals salt input, the taste was so strong it overpowered the food (which was great for the rice, but maybe not so much for a Mexican vs Thai dinner). I thought about adding some additional flavors/herbs via the gelatin pack, but ultimately decided against it because it would give me less control over how much salt to add and flavoring of the dish (i.e., a thai dish vs a mexican would have very different flavors). In addition, the gelatin recipe was much easier to do.
Ultimately, I’ll be using the gelatin recipe! It wins in my book for three reasons: It was easier to make, contains less salt, and is closer to traditional stock in terms of added flavor.