Firstly, I want to explain what a master stock is. This master stock originates from China, so its base ingredients are typically Asian. Ok, so what is it? It’s a poaching liquid that is kept to repeatedly use over and over again adding character as it goes. So the story goes that in China there are master stocks that are hundreds of years old, which have been passed down through generations of cooks.
I hope one day I can pass mine down. The rules are simple really. Use it, freeze it, use it again within a month. If it’s getting near the end of the month and you think you won’t be using it again in time, just take it out of the freezer, bring it to the boil, cool and refreeze. How simple is that? There isn’t too much of a problem in our house using this once a month.
Also if you’ve cooked say a pork belly in it and it has a lot of fat sitting on top you can reduce the stock to a manageable amount then pop it in the fridge. In the fridge, the fat will solidify and it will act as a seal. So popping it in the fridge is fine for a few weeks as well.
- 100 g Ketchup
- 150 g Shaox Sheng Wine
- 50 g Soy (dark)
- 30 g Fish Sauce
- 20 g Mirren or you could use extra palm sugar
- 3-star anise
- 2 Tsp cumin powder
- 2 Tsp coriander powder
- 1 cassia bark or cinnamon stick broke in two.
- 2 shallots
- a knob of ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Best to marinate your meat overnight although I hardly ever know what I am having for my dinner a day in advance, I do try.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour over your meat. You can use what you like really, but I use pork mainly. Although Chicken, beef spare ribs and duck are also good. Marinate overnight if you have time then add enough water so that the mix sits just below the skin if using pork belly or at least ½ up the baking dish.
- I cook this meat at 110c for about 4 -5 hours but 150c for a lot less is fine as well. Just keep an eye on the water level in the pan. Don't let it fall too low to burn your stock and turn the meat a couple of times throughout the cooking process. You can ramp up the heat to caramelise at the end if you wish.
- When finished let it rest for a while (minimum 15 mins wrap in foil and I usually pop a towel over it, it's good for 30 mins that way) then pour off the stock into a container that can be placed in the freezer if you're doing that. Allow this to cool before freezing.
- Like I said earlier use this once a month to keep it fresh and top up with any sauce or spices if needed. It will pick up more and more flavour as its used. YUMMM. Mine is about five years old now, and it has a wonderful flavour profile.
- If I find that I want to bump up some of the original flavours, I just add a new batch to the old one.
If you love a good slow cooked meal why don’t you check out this one?