Master Stock From Not Quite Nigella

I made my very first master stock when Cindy and I went to cook with Alvin Quah. Even if I could have, it would not have occurred to me to take the stock home. As I loved the flavours, I decided to make my own to braise a pork belly, using a recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s cook book, Ultimate Cookery Course. The stock was wonderful, and the pork amazing but I did not know you could keep it, and so it was thrown out. It was only when I was reading Lorraine’s book about her path to happiness through baking and blogging that I saw I could have kept it! This made it the perfect excuse to make a huge batch of master stock. The recipe from the book makes 3 litres, and I have put 1 litre into the freezer to keep, and gave another litre away to Alex. I used the third litre to braise some pork cheeks in, and they were delicious. Sadly, that lot of master stock was not kept – a bit of a miscommunication happened in my house.

Master Stock
Master Stock

I have called my master stock Not Quite Kevin, a play on Lorraine’s Not Quite Nigella as her master stock is named Kevin.

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Master Stock

Recipe Category: Stock
All Rights Reserved: Recipe adapted from Not Quite Nigella page 130-131


for the stock

  • 3 litres water
  • 280 mls light soy sauce
  • 150 mls dark soy sauce
  • 350 g fructose
  • 60 mls salt
  • 60 mls Shaoxing rice wine

for the spice bag

  • 18 g star anise
  • 16 g cassia bark
  • 5 cm fresh root ginger
  • 8 g whole cloves


  • Place the water, soy sauces, sugar, salt and wine into a large saucepan and bring to the boil
  • Place the spice bag ingredients into a muslin cloth and tie with string
  • Add to the saucepan, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes


I used a spice bomb for the spices and I have not kept them as I will change the flavour slightly when I next use the stock. You can use cinnamon bark if you cannot find cassia bark. Once you have used the stock, strain it and boil for 20 minutes. Top up and then freeze until you need it again, with the spice bag. Change the spice bag every 3 - 6 months, depending on how often you use the master stock. Make sure you use this at least once every 2 months.

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

"Braised Pork Cheeks"
Braised Pork Cheeks

Disclosure: This recipe has been published with permission from Penguin Group Australia. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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43 thoughts on “Master Stock From Not Quite Nigella

  1. This is awesome Tandy. I must really start making stock. I love the idea of using bags to freeze them in as they will take up less space than Tupperware. 🙂 xx

  2. Oh, I do love master stock – makes such a difference to dishes and is so easy to make.

  3. When I saw the title of your post, I figured it was going to a be a bone broth – but SQUEE! – vegetarian! This sounds like a delicious master stock. And I adore ‘Not Quite Nigella’ too 🙂

  4. I usually just stick with regular store-bought vegetarian stock, but this sounds like something special to try… mmm! Can just imagine it over roasted root veggies too! 😉

  5. This is one grand “Not quite Kevin” stock. Vegetarian and full of spices. this would be very delicious in many soups and especially Asian inspired ones.

  6. I saw the pictures of the bags of master stock and thought it was bags of blood…. I am watching Vampire Diaries at the moment, thats probably why.. LOL. 🙂 This is an exceptional recipe, I make stock and freeze in an ice tray, always have some on hand.

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