Stock is a flavoured liquid. It forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups and sauces. Stock is prepared by simmering various ingredients in water, including some or all of the following:
- Bones: Veal, beef, and chicken bones are most commonly used. The flavour of the stock comes from the cartilage and connective tissue in the bones.
- Mirepoix, a combination of onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes other vegetables.
- Herbs and spices. In classical cuisine, the use of a bouquet garni consisting of parsley, bay leaves, a sprig of thyme and possibly other herbs, is common.
- Broth is very similar to stock, and often the terms are used interchangeably. Usually, broth refers to finished product while stock is used as an ingredient (thus stock may become broth).
Today, ready-made stock and stock cubes consisting of dried, compressed stock ingredients are readily available. These are commonly known as bouillon cubes.