The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Do You Do Pot Likker?

July 20th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Posted in Blog

From pot to cup, the essence of good

From pot to cup: lunch with collard broth

A story is told in our family about how uncle Bill came home with aunt Barb to meet the family over Thanksgiving and, trying to lend a hand in the kitchen, committed the unpardonable sin of tossing out the pot of liquid the potatoes had been cooked in. Gram would never throw such good nutrition down the drain. She’d find a way to work it back into a meal. Somehow Bill redeemed himself. Wedding bells rang and Bill has remained a member of the family. But you don’t see him helping much in the kitchen.

I feel the same way about my cooking broths. Not long ago I simmered a beef tongue for three hours with leeks and carrots and thyme. The resulting cooking liquid was so good I bottled it, stored it in the fridge and used it occasionally as a hot beverage. Same with the broth left over from cooking greens. This is what Southerners traditionally call the “pot likker.” It was double strength, too: first I cooked a batch of collards for about an hour with onions and  a ham hock. I strained out the collards and cooked a second batch of Tuscan kale.

Imagine how good that pot likker tasted. I didn’t even need to season it. I strained out the nasty bit, put it in the fridge and now that’s my go-to power drink, full of all the good nutrition that leached out of greens we harvested from the garden.

How about you? Do you do pot likker?

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  • Our Natural Life

    I need to remember to start saving good vegetable “pot likker” for vegetable stock. I used to do this, but got out of the habit. However, my meat stocks are like gold. They take me 12-24 hours to prepare and simmer from good pastured meat bones, and I don’t let a drop go to waste. I use them over and over. They never seem to go bad. Cooked down, they make an awesome reduction sauce. I used them as the basis for meals in my slow cooker, roasts, soup, stews, gravies, etc. If I am ill, I drink the stocks as a hot beverage for therapeutic healing. When cooled in the frig, they have the consistency of a very firm jello (stock) to dense lard (reduction).

  • Ed Bruske

    Natural, sounds like you are using the restaurant method. A good chef always has a big pot simmering with all the vegetable trimmings and bones. All that good collagen from the bones will make the stock firm up like jello in the fridge. That’s a sure sign of a good stock.