Rich Pork Stock

READY IN: 7hrs
YIELD: 4-5 cups


  • 2 12
    lbs lean bone-in pork shoulder (fresh, not smoked) or 2 1/2 lbs pork shank, cut into 3 inch chunks (fresh, not smoked)
  • 12
    small pig's foot, split (about 1 pound)
  • 4
    cups cold chicken stock (enough to barely cover the meat and bones)
  • 4
    cups cold water, enough to cover the meat and bones by about 1 inch, plus a little to deglaze the pan and stockpot
  • 1
    large yellow onion, halved (12 ounces)
  • 2
    stalks celery, leaves trimmed off (2 ounces)


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Crowd, but without piling them up, the pork and pig’s foot in a shallow roasting pan or in a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof skillet.
  • (If you briefly preheat the pan over a low flame before you add the pork, it will sear on contact and be less likely to stick later on.) You should barely see the bottom of the pan; otherwise, the drippings will tend to burn in the exposed spots.
  • Roast until golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Check the progress after about 25 minutes, and rearrange the pork, or turn it over, as needed, to promote even coloring.
  • You may need to rotate the pan.
  • Transfer the pork and foot, still warm, to a deep 8- to 10-quart stockpot.
  • Pour off all of the fat from the pan, then add about 1/4 cup cold water to it, set over low heat, and scrape and stir to melt any gold or chestnut-colored drippings; don’t work on any black ones.
  • Taste.
  • If they are nice and porky, pour these reconstituted drippings into the stockpot; if the liquid tastes all scorched – like over-browned bacon – discard it.
  • Add the cold chicken stock, then add water to cover by about an inch.
  • (If using unsalted chicken stock, add a few pinches of salt.) Bring to a simmer and skim the foam.
  • Poke under any exposed chunks of meat, then skim any new foam that rises to the surface.
  • Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, and peppercorns and stir them under.
  • Simmer uncovered, without skimming or further stirring but tasting regularly, for 4 to 5 hours, until the stock is richly flavored and the color is of maple syrup, and has some body; check for this last by chilling a few drops of stock on a plate.
  • You may need to adjust the heat to control the simmer, and you may need to poke the bones or add a few ounces of water to keep the meat and bones submerged during the long extraction.
  • Strain the stock promptly; leave the meat and vegetable chunks in the strainer to continue dripping.
  • Immediately pour about 1/4 cup water into the stockpot and swirl it briefly, to liquefy and capture the syrupy stock that is clinging to the pan.
  • Pour this over the meat and vegetables, to rinse some of the rich syrup from their surfaces into the strained stock below.
  • Leave the stock to cool completely.
  • If not using right away, cover and refrigerate with the layer of fat intact – it will help preserve the stock until needed.