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Stock is a main building block of so much cooking. Soups, stews, sauces, and gravies all begin with great stock, and having great stocks in your freezer puts you more than halfway to a huge percentage of recipes. But most rely on bones, or a basket full of vegetables to get their flavor. That's great for a lot of things, but sometimes you want something a little cleaner, clearer, less complex. When I am making risotto, or broth-style soups like brodo, sometimes I want a mild flavor that adds just a hint of something special.

Which is when I turn to slow roasted garlic stock.

Why I love making slow-roasted garlic stock

Let's begin with the fact that this stock is simple to make. It involves just three ingredients that are inexpensive and comes together with mostly hands-off cooking. Win, win, win. In terms of flavor, this stock whispers instead of shouting, which makes it versatile and a safe bet for numerous recipes. More win. 

Credit: Getty / Phamai Techaphan

How to make slow-roasted garlic stock

The process is super simple. For every quart of stock you want to make, you want three heads of garlic. Cut the tops off the heads to reveal the cloves, drizzle a teaspoon of neutral oil like canola or avocado over each head, and place in a small baking dish. Add a quarter cup of water to the bottom of the baking dish and cover tightly with foil.

Place in a 300° oven for 75 minutes, then uncover and cook another 30-40 minutes. The cloves should be soft and golden brown.

Squeeze the softened cloves into a large stockpot and cover with 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until reduced by 1/3, giving you four cups of stock, which will take about 40 minutes to 1 hour. The cloves will disintegrate into the broth making it cloudy, but you can strain through a coffee filter if you prefer. Cool to room temp, then chill thoroughly in the fridge before portioning and freezing. 

Best recipes to use slow-roasted garlic stock in

You can use this stock as the base for your next minestrone soup, not to mention your winter risotto rotation. And I love using it for poaching fish and chicken breasts for those hints of garlic. Here are a few recipes to get you started putting your slow-roasted garlic stock to great use!