Cloutie Dumpling

This traditional Scottish pudding gets its name from the cloth (or clout) in which it is boiled.

6oz/150g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

½oz/15g mixed spice

6oz/150g white breadcrumbs

6oz/150g grated suet

4oz/100g currants

4oz/100g sultanas

2oz/50g soft brown sugar

2 tbsps treacle

2 large eggs, beaten

milk to mix

Sift the flour, salt and spice together and then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Warm the treacle and mix with the eggs before beating into the dry ingredients.  Mix well adding a little milk to make a soft dough.

Prepare a pudding cloth (a 2 foot/60 cm square piece of unbleached calico or a tea-towel).  If it is new, soak it in water overnight and the following day boil it for 20 minutes, then rinse.

On the day of making the pudding have a large pan of rapidly boiling water ready, as well as some flour and a long length of string (about 2.5 metres).

Wearing rubber gloves, dip the prepared pudding cloth into the boiling water and boil for 1 minute.  Remove the cloth from the water and squeeze the excess water out.  Working quickly, spread the hot cloth on a bench and rub flour into the centre of the cloth to cover an area about 40cm in diameter.  Leave the flour a little thicker in the centre of the cloth where the “skin” on the pudding will be thickest.

Place the pudding mixture in the centre of the cloth and gather the cloth evenly around the pudding avoiding any deep pleats.  Pat into a round shape by hand.  Tie the cloth tightly with string, leaving a little room for the pudding to swell.  Leave the ends long or tie to form a handle to aid lifting later.  Place an upturned plate on the bottom of a large pan of boiling water and put the pudding on top.  Simmer for 2½ hours.

Turn the dumpling out onto a dish and place it in a warm oven for the skin to dry before serving.

Wassail Cup

The oldest recipes for a wassail drink involve heated spiced brown ale on which slices of toast spread thinly with yeast were placed.  After a couple of hours in a warm place the toast was removed and the ale bottled and corked.  The drink was ready for serving when the bottles popped their corks a few days later, so the ale was lightly frothy.

In 1666 Samuel Pepys records staying up until 2 am playing cards and drinking Lamb’s Wool.  This was a bowl of spiced ale (or cider) set in front of the fire to warm.  Apples were strung out above the bowl and as they gradually cooked some of the pulp fell into the bowl below.  Lamb’s Wool is the traditional wassail drink of Somerset.

Other wassail cups, also consisting of hot spiced ale, float small baked red dessert apples (originally these would have been crab apples) atop slices of toast on the surface of the drink.  The toast is then hung in the branches of the apple tree as part of the wassail ceremony.

The ingredients of Lamb’s Wool are the same as for the Wassail cup, only the method alters slightly as described below.

3 quarts (3.5 litres/approx 6 pints) brown ale

4 glasses of dry sherry (1-1½ pints)

Soft brown sugar (recipes vary between about 9 oz and 1lb)

Cinnamon (about a level teaspoon)

Ginger (preferably slices of fresh or candied ginger)

Nutmeg (1 level teaspoon)

Strips of lemon peel

6 small red dessert apples (or cooking apples if making Lambswool)

6 small slices of toast

Cut the skin around the circumference of the apples and set them in a warm oven to bake.

Put all the other ingredients, except for the toast, into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer for 5 minutes, but do not allow it to boil.*

Taste and add more sugar as necessary.  Serve from a large bowl with the baked apples on toast floating on top.

*If making Lambswool, the pulp of the baked apples should be sieved (cooking apples make this easier).  The pulp is stirred into the hot liquid during its last 5 minutes of heating.

Herb of the Month – Winter Savory

Two main versions of this herb are grown domestically – Winter Savory and Summer Savory.  This article deals mainly with Winter Savory (as you may have guessed from its appearance under the “January” heading) but I will mention Summer Savory briefly here too rather than in a separate article.

Winter Savory is a perennial, and once you have established a plant it needs very little attention, whereas Summer Savory is an annual, usually grown from seed.  I have not ever grown Summer Savory, although writing this makes me feel guilty, so I will probably feel the need to give it a go this year!  It is after all, considered to be the better of the two versions, both in flavour and efficacy of its medicinal properties.  However, it is the convenience and hardy nature of the Winter variant that has earned it a permanent place in my garden.

Summer Savory is native to the Mediterranean, where it is commonly referred to as the Bean Herb as it helps prevent flatulence (its other medicinal application is reducing the swelling from bee stings).  Winter Savory has similar properties and, as it is more often during the winter months that we turned to dried beans to supplement the fresh vegetables available, this seems to me a more important consideration than the fact that Summer Savory may be even more effective in this regard.  Winter Savory is also known as Mountain Savory, reflecting I suppose its wild habitat, but this confirms what I have observed about its hardy nature.  Whilst not exactly living on a Mountain, I do live some 600 ft above sea level and, particularly during the previous two extremely cold winters when I lost several other “hardy” perennials, the fact that you could scrape the snow away and still reveal fresh Savory leaves counted for a lot.  Like most herbs, Savory prefers a well-drained soil, and can be killed by a prolonged wet period, but it does not seem to mind the cold.

In flavour it is quite peppery, the winter version more aggressively so than the summer.  Savory is also savoury by nature, and so it seasons a dish without the need for salt and pepper.  Reducing salt intake is something many of us are advised to do, and herbs generally are helpful in this regard, but Savory particularly so.  This is another reason why it is such a good partner when cooking beans, which cannot have salt added during cooking as would toughen the skins making the beans impossible to soften no matter how long the cooking time.

Other than with beans when do I use Winter Savory?  Well, I tend to turn to it around September time when thoughts first turn to roasts.  It is a good addition to stuffings whether for meat, fish or vegetables.  The stuffing recipe I have given is equally at home filling a marrow as it is with roast pork for example.  Superficially the appearance of Winter Savory is similar to thyme, although the leaves are larger and more separate, and, whilst not exactly the same in flavour, you probably could substitute Savory for Thyme in many recipes.

I have read that Winter Savory was commonly used as a dwarf hedging plant in Tudor herb gardens, but I find this a little hard to imagine as wherever I have planted it the plant has never gained much height, remaining a low spreading plant that provides good ground cover for rockeries or as an edging plant.  There is a Creeping Savory, which never grows to more than 8 cm in height, but this has lime rather than dark green leaves, so I am pretty certain this is not the type I am growing.  If you have a friend with a plant it propagates easily from a cutting otherwise you may need to try a specialist grower, such a Jekka’s Herbs, for a plant as it is less likely to be found in mainstream garden centres.

Cooking Beans with Savory

Savory can be used in any bean recipe both during the cooking and as a seasoning when served.  Dried beans need soaking overnight before they are cooked, and then boiling hard for at least 10 minutes to destroy toxins.  Following this initial preparation, drain the beans and recover with fresh water.  Using an earthernware pot to cook the beans is said to further reduce their tendency to cause flatulence, so if you have one of these do use it, I also like their slow conduction of heat – beans respond well to long, slow cooking provided the initial boiling has taken place.

Having covered the beans by at least an inch with fresh water, add a good handful of savory and other flavourings, e.g. celery, onion, bay leaf and garlic cloves.  Fresh slices of belly pork and a tablespoonful of black treacle produce unctuous beans, and this is the base I use for the French dish Cassoulet.  If you want to add tomatoes (tinned of course at this time of year) to make a superior version of baked beans, remember that their acidity interferes with the softening process (in a similar way to salt) so add them towards the end of the cooking when the beans are already tender.

Whilst long, slow cooking in an earthernware pot is my preferred method for beans, they can be cooked more quickly.  If I am just adding them to a minestrone style soup, or serving them as a warm salad, then after the initial boiling I would return them to a clean saucepan, cover with fresh water, add the Savory and other flavouring, and then just simmer until cooked.  They should be soft in little over an hour.  For a warm salad dress with a garlic flavoured vinaigrette and fresh Savory leaves.

Apple, Nut and Savory Stuffing

1 onion, chopped

25g/1 oz butter

2 oz hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1 stick of celery

1 small cooking apple, peeled and cored

½ tbsp chopped winter savory leaves

½ tbsp chopped parsley

50g/2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the chopped onion and cook gently until softened.  Add the chopped hazelnuts and cook briefly to toast them. Chop the celery and apple and add these to the pan, followed by the herbs and breadcrumbs.  Season and stir to combine adding a little more butter if required to bind the stuffing together.

Excellent for stuffing vegetables such as marrow, but also good with meat, especially pork.


Serves 4

10 oz haricot beans

piece of belly pork (approx 1-1½ lb)

4 cloves garlic

1 tbsp molasses or treacle

2 sticks of celery


winter savory

2 bay leaves

2 level tsps. whole grain mustard

black pepper

4 duck legs (fresh or confit)

4 Toulouse sausages

fresh breadcrumbs

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 hours

Soak the haricot beans in cold water overnight.  The following morning drain them and cover with fresh water.  Bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes.  Drain and place in an earthenware pot together with the belly pork and flavourings.  Cover with cold water and put in the oven.  Bring the temperature up to 200C/Gas Mark 6 (or start in a cold oven and transfer up to a hot one so as not to crack the earthenware pot).  Once the liquid has got really hot reduce the temperature to 180C/Gas Mark 4 so that it remains simmering.  Cook for 2 hours, checking the water level after the first hour.

Now that the beans are just cooked, reduce the oven temperature to 150C/Gas Mark 2 and continue cooking for a further 3 hours, checking the liquid level occasionally and adding more water if necessary.

Now add the duck and sausages, pushing them well down into the beans and cook for another 1 –1½ hours (the longer time for fresh duck).

Remove the lid and cover the surface with breadcrumbs.  Cook without the lid for a further hour, turning the meat and breadcrumbs three times to brown it.

Serve with a green salad, preferably dressed with walnut oil.


The beans are more than just an addition to this soup, they also form the basis of the cooking liquor so no meat stock is required in this soup.

Serves 6

12 oz/350g dried cannelini beans, soaked overnight

4 ripe, well flavoured tomatoes (or use tinned)

2 sticks celery

2 carrots

2 leeks

11 oz/300g Cavolo Nero (sold in most supermarkets now but if you cannot find it use a dark leaf such as kale or brussel sprout tops)

2 cloves garlic

handful of winter savory

2 sprigs fresh thyme

6-8 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

To serve:

6 slices of stale country bread (2-3 days old)

7 oz/200g savoy cabbage

red onion

best olive oil

Pour off the water in which the beans have been soaking, place them in a large saucepan and cover with fresh water to a depth of 2″ above the beans.  Bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, drain.  Cover the beans with fresh water and add a small handful of winter savory if you have it.  Bring the water back up to boiling point then reduce the heat and simmer for approx 1½ hours until the beans are tender but still whole.  Drain the beans and pass three-quarters of them through a sieve or mouli-legumes into a bowl with 2 pints (1.2 litres)of fresh water.  Reserve the rest of the beans separately.

Finely chop the carrots, celery and leeks.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the vegetables until soft.  Meanwhile peel, de-seed and chop the tomatoes then add them to the vegetables along with the garlic and thyme.  After 5 minutes add the cabbage, salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes before adding the bean puree.  Cook slowly for an hour adding tepid water if the soup becomes too solid, although it should be a very thick soup.

About 5-10 minutes before the end of the cooking stir in the whole beans to heat them through.  Finely chop the Savoy cabbage and sauté in a little oil.  Serve the soup ladled over a slice of bread and topped with cooked cabbage.  Offer finely sliced red onions and olive oil at the table.

Curried Parsnip Soup

4 large parsnips

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic

2 oz butter

½ tsp mild curry powder

½ tbsp plain flour

1½ pints homemade chicken stock

¼ pint single cream

salt and pepper

Peel the parsnips and chop them into chunks of about 1″. Slice the onion and melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. Cook the onions, parsnip and crushed garlic over a low heat with the lid on for 5 minutes or so until the parsnip is soft but not coloured.

Add the flour and curry powder, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock and simmer for 40 minutes then liquidise until smooth. (If you do not have a liquidiser or if you want a very smooth soup, pass through a sieve.)

When you are ready to serve the soup add the cream and seasoning to taste and bring the soup just back to boiling point.

For an alternative soup using the soup using the same method see Pumpkin Soup from November recipes.

Mutton and Caper Pudding


For a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin (Serves 4)

1½ lb mutton

1 onion, chopped

1clove of garlic, crushed

1 carrot, chopped

1leek, chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp capers

¾ pint of lamb stock

¼ pint Madeira

1 tbsp chopped parsley

salt and pepper

For the Suet pastry:

300g/10 oz self-raising flour


150g/ 5 oz freshly grated suet

200ml/7fl oz water

Trim the mutton of excess fat, which can be rendered in a large casserole ready for frying the meat.

Cut the meat into cubes of about an inch, season with salt and pepper and then fry until well browned. Remove the meat from the pan, turn the heat down and cook the onions gently until softened. Now add the crushed garlic and the rest of the finely chopped vegetables and cook until softened. Return the meat to the pan and sprinkle a level tablespoon of flour over. Stir and cook for a minute or so.

Bring the stock and Madeira to the boil in a separate pan then add to the casserole, stirring to amalgamate and make thin gravy. Stir in the capers and chopped parsley, taste and adjust seasoning. Cover the pan and cook for 1-1½ hours.

At this stage the meat will be just becoming tender, but remember that it will be cooked for longer in the pudding. Taste and check the seasoning. The liquid should now be drained off and reserved and the meat and vegetables left to cool. The pudding can be made to this stage a day in advance, which will give the flavours time to develop and also allow you to remove the excess fat that will settle on the surface.

To make the suet pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in the grated suet (peel away the thin skin before grating or chopping the suet). Add the water and stir to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes before rolling.

Whilst the pastry is chilling prepare the pudding basin by buttering it well and chilling. Jane Grigson swore by plastic pudding basins with snap top lids for ease of turning out but if you are using glass or china pudding basins they can be chilled after buttering and then re-buttered to build up a good layer to make turning out easier.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out three-quarters of the pastry to line the bowl. The dough should be between ½ and ¾ inch thick. Leave a border of pastry overhanging the lip of the bowl. Now put the filling into the bowl, leaving a little room at the top. Pour on the retained liquid (heat slightly to liquefy if necessary) until it just reaches the top of the meat. Keep the rest back to serve as gravy with the pudding.

Now roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid. Fold the overhanging rim of pastry in on top of the filling and brush with water. Press the edges of the pastry together with a fork to seal.

Cover the top of the pudding with buttered greaseproof paper and then either put on the plastic lid or cover with a double layer of foil. The plastic basins usually have a handle. For foil-covered bowls you can create one with string.

Put the pudding into a steamer with boiling water in the base, or, if you do not have a steamer, place a trivet (or crossed skewers or upturned plate) in the bottom of a saucepan and pour on hot water to reach half way up the bowl.

Cover the pan and steam for 1½ – 2 hours, checking the water level regularly.

When cooked remove the foil and paper covering then turn the pudding out onto a plate. Serve with the re-heated and strained gravy. Swede or buttered cabbage would be good accompaniments.

Seville Orange Recipes

Seville Orange Posset


First – some quick ideas for varying the bitterness of your dish: The aromatic oil is contained in the pitted zest of bitter oranges making this is the most prized part.  Because of this, Seville Oranges are sold without waxing; this does however mean that they will keep fresh for less time. The oil is quite volatile, so the thicker it is cut the fewer oil glands will have been ruptured.  The white pith is purely bitter without adding flavour and so can either be discarded or blanched to reduce the bitterness (see below). The juice is both sour and bitter.  If you wish to reduce the bitterness, blend it with a proportion of sweet orange juice.

Drying: To concentrate and also preserve the skin, dry strips on a tray placed in the airing cupboard or the warming drawer of the stove.  When completely dry the strips can be stored in a jar or tin and added to casseroles throughout the year. 

Blanching: on the other hand, if you want to use the whole peel without adding too much bitterness, blanch it in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

Candied Peel

Any blanched citrus peel can be candied to use as a decoration or in confectionary but bitter orange peel is particularly aromatic.  Remove the peel from the orange by scoring into quarters, there is no need to remove the pith.  Cover the peel with plenty of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until tender.  Drain off the water and cover with fresh, then boil again for 20 minutes.   Meanwhile make a sugar syrup by dissolving 10 oz of sugar in ¼ pint of water (this quantity will be sufficient for 4 oranges).

Cut the blanched peel into strips and simmer in the syrup until nearly all has been absorbed.  Spread the peel onto greaseproof paper laid over a cooling rack and leave in a warm dry place (an airing cupboard is ideal) for 3 day, turning the pieces each day.  Now shake in a bag containing caster sugar to coat before storing in an airtight tin until needed.


I’m going to leave this to the expert – Vivien Lloyd was the 2008 winner of the World Marmalade Championship ( ).  Her website contains more advice on making marmalade together with details of her DVD demonstrating the process.  Vivien told me that in her experience the quality of Seville oranges is not what it once was:

When I started making marmalade 20+ years ago the Sevilles were large with very pitted skins and full of pips and juice.  The aroma of them cooking filled the kitchen. Now they are smaller (unless you hunt out the large ones) have smoother skins, less pips and juice, and the aroma stays in the pan. All this change seems to affect the pectin content, which means having to cook them down more and doing pectin tests before adding sugar.

Seville Orange Posset

Serves 6

1 pint double cream

6 oz caster sugar

100 ml Seville orange juice

grated rind of 3 Seville oranges

Put the cream, sugar, juice and rind into a saucepan.  Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly then pour into 6 small glasses (it is quite rich).

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving decorated with strips of candied peel.

Seville Orange Treacle Tart with Marmalade Ice Cream

I usually make this at this time of year, using up last year’s marmalade in the ice cream and fresh juice and zest in the tart.  It occurs to me however that outside of the Seville season you could probably substitute some of the golden syrup with a tablespoon or so of marmalade for a similar effect.

For a 9″ treacle tart:

8 oz/225g shortcrust pastry

fresh breadcrumbs made from 3-4 slices of white bread

 rind and juice of 1 Seville orange

approx. 10 tbsps/150ml golden syrup

Line a 9″ flan tin with the shortcrust pastry.  Grate, or pare and finely chop, the rind of the Seville orange and mix with the breadcrumbs.  Half fill the pastry case with the breadcrumbs and then dampen with the juice of the orange.  Warm the tin of golden syrup to help it pour more easily then spoon over sufficient to cover the breadcrumbs.  Bake at 190C/Gas Mark 5 for 25 – 30 minutes.

For the Ice Cream:

16 fl oz/450 ml double cream

11 oz/310 good marmalade (preferably thick cut)

1 oz/25g caster sugar

2 tsp/10 ml Seville orange juice

The ingredients can be simply combined in a food processor but use the plastic blade to avoid chopping the peel further.   If you have an ice cream maker then use that to churn the mixture, otherwise freeze it until the edges are beginning to harder and then blitz it in the food processor again.  You can repeat this process again to further improve the texture of the ice cream.

Bigarade Sauce

This is a bitter orange sauce for serving with savoury dishes, it originates from the south of France where bitter oranges are known as Bigarade oranges.  Its most famous pairing is with duck and it illustrates perfectly the qualities of the bitter orange.  However, over the years the dish was more often made with sweet oranges and the result was sickly.  When looking at old cookery books (pre 19th century) if a recipe just says oranges it would usually have meant the bitter orange.

Classic recipes for Bigarade sauce usually contain flour making them too thick and heavy for today’s tastes.  Instead I make a simplified version by reducing equal quantities of Seville orange juice and the appropriate stock (which should in itself already be well reduced).  The sauce is then finished by whisking in a couple of knobs of cold, unsalted, butter which will give the sauce a good sheen and additional body.  As well as serving Bigarade Sauce with wild duck I also like it with flat white fish so I cover the variations below:

  1. Wild Duck with Bigarade Sauce

You do not require a large quantity of sauce with this, just enough for a couple of tablespoonfuls to spoonn over each breast.  I also like strips of zest in it.

Season the duck and place two cut halves of Seville orange inside.  Cover the bird with buttered paper and roast for 30-40 minutes in a hot oven, removing the paper for the last 5 minutes.

Whilst the duck(s) are roasting reduce some good game stock then add an equal quantity of Seville orange juice together with strips of zest.  When the ducks are cooked, remove them to a warm place to rest whilst you complete the sauce in the pan in which they have roasted. 

Squeeze the juices from the oranges that have been inside the duck to deglaze the pan of any meat juices.  Pour in the stock and juice and boil rapidly over a high heat to reduce by half.  Taste and adjust the seasoning – if the sauce is too sharp for your liking add a teaspoonful of redcurrant jelly.  Whisk in just a knob or two of butter to finish.

2. Megrim Sole with Bigarade Sauce

The fish needs a larger quantity of sauce than the duck and I prefer it without any zest.

You could use any flat white fish but I have suggested Megrim Sole as a more sustainable and affordable option than the classic Turbot or Sole.  Dabs are another option.  Baking a whole fish on the bone gives the most flavour and keeps the flesh moist, but if you are cooking fillets cut from a larger fish try covering the top of each fillet with a mixture of fine breadcrumbs, herbs and grated orange zest.

Lay the fish in a buttered roasting pan and brush a little melted butter over the top of the fish also before seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add a thin layer of fish stock to the pan, most of which will evaporate during cooking but it will add steam to the oven and produce an excellent base for your sauce.

Cook at 200˚C for 10 minutes (this assumes a fish of reasonable thickness – say enough to serve 2).  If the fish is whole check, with the tip of a knife inserted beside the bone at the thickest point, that the flesh is coming cleanly away from the bone.

Remove the fish from the pan and add the juice of 4 large Seville oranges with a teaspoonful of sugar, which gives a pleasant sweet-sour note.  Boil rapidly to reduce.  A generous amount of butter can then be incorporated, in small lumps, to finish this dish.

Cook at 200˚C for 10 minutes (this assumes a fish of reasonable thickness – say enough to serve 2).  If the fish is whole check, with the tip of a knife inserted beside the bone at the thickest point, that the flesh is coming cleanly away from the bone.

Remove the fish from the pan and add the juice of 4 large Seville oranges with a teaspoonful of sugar, which gives a pleasant sweet-sour note.  Boil rapidly to reduce.  A generous amount of butter can then be incorporated, in small lumps, to finish this dish.

See related article in Food Culture.

Making Stock

People seem to think that making stock takes hours, well the cooking does, but not your involvement in it. It really only needs 5 minutes of your time but will provide you with the basis for another meal. If the cooking time is a problem for you on the day you have a carcass to use, just freeze it and then make stock on a day when you will be around. I often do freeze the carcass anyway and then make a larger batch of stock when I have two or three. This is especially useful if your bird did not come with giblets as you have less flavour available from one carcass. However even a single carcass will make a light stock suitable for a vegetable soup or risotto.

To make the stock all you have to do is put the carcass and giblets, excluding the liver, into a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Add a peeled onion, a carrot, stick of celery, half a dozen whole black peppercorns, a bay leaf, sprig of thyme and a small bunch of parsley (the stalks have just as much flavour as the leaves). If you haven’t got all of these things don’t worry, they add flavour but the stock will still be better than a stock cube even if you make it with just a carcass. Other potential flavourings if you have them to hand include leeks (the greener top part is fine) and the stalks, or even skin, of mushrooms. Now put the pan on to a high heat and, as soon as it begins to boil, skim the surface with a slotted spoon to remove any scum that has floated to the top and turn the heat down so that the liquid is just simmering. This means that bubbles are breaking the surface but slowly. If you have an Aga you are probably not reading this because you will already be a regular maker of stock, but you can put the stock into the bottom oven overnight. Otherwise leave it simmering on the hob, uncovered or with the lid ajar, and check the liquid every now and again to make sure that it is not simmering too hard and to skim the scum from the surface. After about 3-4 hours you should have sufficient flavour. If you added too much liquid in the first place you can concentrate the flavour once you have strained the stock by boiling hard to reduce it. Once the stock has cooled put it into the fridge overnight.

The following morning, skim the fat from the surface with a slotted spoon followed by kitchen paper used as a blotter. Any sediment will have sunk to the bottom, so pour the stock carefully to avoid disturbing it and this bit can be left behind. If you are not using the stock straight away it is best frozen, but can be kept in the fridge for up to a week if boiled before using.