REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Shellfish Stock

REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Shellfish Stock

(To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.)

Also, this is yet another recipe for homemade broth, which is perfect timing for the readers participating in the GAPS Challenge.

When I found shrimp on sale a few weeks ago I was pretty excited because they were not peeled or de-veined yet.  What?!  I know that it is a little bit cumbersome to peel and de-vein shrimp, but it is worth it to have the shells leftover from peeling so you can make a flavorful shrimp stock.  I like to have shrimp stock around for making seafood soups and stews, or maybe even a flavorful risotto or reduction sauce.

And of course, you can also use lobster shells, or other shellfish shells to make this stock.  Using fresh shellfish tastes far superior to any fish stocks that you can purchase at the store.

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Shrimp is one of the foods that I now enjoy without any guilt.  I used to believe that cholesterol was bad for me, because it would cause me to have high cholesterol which would then turn into heart disease.  Did you know that high cholesterol is notassociated with heart disease?  And that people with high cholesterol live longer than people with low cholesterol?

I always ignored the fact that I knew on some level that I am meant to eat these foods that my ancestors ate.  How does it make sense that we should eat no fat when it naturally occurs in so many places?  Or that we should avoid shellfish, which is rich in cholesterol, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, and protein?  I am glad to have ditched the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that made me sick.  Bring on the traditional fats and cholesterol!

As you peel and de-vein your next pound of shrimp from the store or shore, save all those little shrimp shells and then get to work making a flavorful stock that doesn’t need to simmer nearly as long as beef stock or chicken stock.  Plus, you will feel quite fancy as you put away your shellfish stock to make a lovely bisque.

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Equipment needed:

In this recipe, you do not really need to fuss with a whole lot.  Just throw all the veggies and herbs into the slow cooker with the shellfish shells and good filtered water.  You do not need to peel or cut the vegetables, since they will be strained out at the finish.  The result will be something that you did not think would be so delicious, considering how easy it was to make.

Shellfish Stock

3-5 cups shrimp, crab, or lobster shells (buy quality seafood here)
1 onion, whole
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon dried parsley (buy dried herbs here)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (buy dried herbs here)
2 bay leaves (buy dried herbs here)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns (buy spices here)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine

  1. In a large stockpot, French oven, or slow cooker, place the shellfish shells into the bottom in an even layer.  Then add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomato paste, and white wine.  Fill the rest of the pot with water, up to about 2 inches below the rim.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least an hour, and up to 4 hours.  Alternately, use a slow cooker by simply turning it on high and letting simmer for 1-4 hours.
  3. Then put the strainer over a large bowl and strain all the shrimp, vegetables, and herbs out of the stock.  Pour finished stock into glass jars for storage.

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