It took three spiny lobster seasons to make a stock, and if I knew it was that easy, I’d be well-stocked by now. A homemade stock stretches a hard-won seafood dinner, tastes gourmet compared to store-bought, and saves money to boot.

Some suggest sauteing for a minute, while others roast shells for ten. I simmered ingredients simultaneously, resulting in a light savory stock to complement soups, rice, and stir-frys that freezes well, too.

It turns out bones or shells simmered with veggies and herbs make “stock,” while meat and salt alone make “broth,” though debatable depending on who you ask (and I’d love to hear your take in the comments.) In any case, I hope this recipe keeps your crew cozy this season. Cheers to your health!

Simple One-Pot Lobster Stock

4 rinsed lobster tail shells, about 4 oz. each. (halve or break as you like.)

2 Bay Leaves

2 Celery stalks, roughly chopped

½ Onion, roughly chopped

10 peppercorn

⅓ Olive Oil

Pinch of salt

Directions:

  • Put the shells in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover the shells with an inch of water.
  • Heat the water on high.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
  • When you see little bubbles at the surface, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the shells for about an hour, skimming away the foam with a spoon. (Foam comes from shells releasing impurities as the temp rises.)
  • Do not stir the shells, as it will muddy the stock!
  • Separate shells and veggies, then strain the stock. You can use a large slotted spoon to remove the solids from the stock. I didn’t have a sieve, so I lined paper towels in a colander, then placed the colander in a larger bowl to catch the stock, and it worked wonderfully!
  • I salt the stock after straining to get a more realistic version of the result.
  • Use the stock immediately or let it cool before refrigerating for up to five days or freezing for up to three months. Stock freezes well. Just remember to leave some at the top of your container so the liquid can expand as it freezes. (I have cracked many jars learning this the hard way!)

How do you make your stock? Please share in the comments below!

Megan Waldrep is a writer based in Ojai, California, and Wilmington, N.C. Her husband, Chris Dabney, is a second-generation California spiny lobsterman and Bristol Bay fisherman, which gives Megan plenty to dish about on her lifestyle blog for partners of commercial fishermen at meganwaldrep.com.

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