I usually buy expensive beef and chicken broth, and always throw out my freshly cut vegetable scraps. I later on realized that I can save money by making my own broth: I’d have 8-10 cups of filtered water already boiling, then just throw in all the ends or trimmings from my vegetables. But don’t forget to throw in 3-6 pieces star anise, 4 bay leaves, carrot peels or few pieces of carrots, 1 quartered onion, even the sweet peppers, a couple of tomatoes and 1-2 teaspoons of peppercorns and few celery ribs, 2 pieces crushed garlic cloves and a thumb-sized crushed fresh ginger, fresh cilantro stems, and scallions.
Do you also want to tenderize your beef? Throw it in there, only you have to skim off the fat on top of the broth. Season with salt or a tablespoon of fish sauce. Simmer 1-2 hours then strain with a colander. Let it cool down. You can use it immediately or place into a plastic container and refrigerate it and skim the fat that solidifies on top, then freeze it for future use. You can also poach your chicken there too. The tricky technique is to drain all of the soggy vegetables after simmering them, before you throw in your beef or chicken or lamb, and before you boil or poach the chicken.
Drain the meat in a colander so your broth stays clear and free of annoying tidbits. You can throw in beef bones or chicken bones too. But you always have to drain the solids.
You can make it vegetarian by just adding only vegetables and using salt instead of fish sauce for flavor. You can do whatever you want according to your preference. As you can see, my cherry tomatoes were wilting here, so you can throw them into the boiling pot for your vegetarian broth, cut the ends of all of these vegetables and wash well to remove the dirt and drain in a colander. You can try to just utilize the best of your vegetables, unless you know how to do organic farming in your backyard; I know a thing or two about organic farming in our backyard, back from when I was working per diem while my children were still small.
As always, we’re learning time saving kitchen techniques each day.