Master stock refers to an aromatic, reusable stock used a lot in Cantonese cooking. Once the base stock has been prepared it is then used as a poaching or braising liquid for meat. Chicken is the most common meat cooked in master stock, although duck and pork are also often used.
I have read that in some restaurants in Beijing use master stock that is over 100 years old and it is a wonderful thought that maybe flavours that were created all those years ago are being handed down from generation to generation.
My stock is fairly new and I don't know if in a hundred years someone will still be cooking chicken in it but I do know it gives food a divine texture and flavour.
KEEPING THE STOCK: After use, if the master stock is not be immediately reused it should be boiled, skimmed, strained and cooled quickly to minimise the potential for bacterial growth. The stock should then be refrigerated or frozen until required. Refrigerated stocks may be kept for up to three days, while frozen stocks may be kept for up to a month. If the stock is to be kept longer it must be boiled before being reused.
meat of choice (chicken, duck or pork)
2 L water
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4cm piece of ginger, sliced
6 spring onions, chopped in half
1 piece of cassia bark (you can substitute cinnamon stick for this)
3 star anise
3 pieces of dried orange peel. You can buy this at an Asian supermarket or peel an orange (without the white pitch as this is bitter) and dry it slowly in the oven on a very low heat
250ml light Soy sauce
250ml Shoaxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
75 g Chinese rock sugar (granulated sugar can be used )
Place your meat (chicken, duck or pork) in the inner pot.
Fill with water water.
Add the sliced garlic, ginger and shallots, followed by the aromatics.
Add the light soy, shaoxing wine and Chinese rock sugar.
Bring to the boil. Skim any impurities from the surface and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes with the lid on.
Turn off the heat and place the inner pot into the outer insulated container and shut the lid.
Leave to thermal cook without power for 3 to 4 hours minimum.
Remove the meat and allow the stock to cool.
Strain it through a fine sieve and refrigerate if you are going to use it again in the next few days. If not freeze it until needed again.
Master stock, once cooled, strained and refrigerated can be used again and again. Replenish the stock with fresh garlic, ginger, shallots and aromatics each time you use it and the flavour will continue to intensify in strength and flavour.