Review: Concentrated Meat and Vegetable Stock from Essential Cuisine *

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We were sent a lovely box of meat and vegetable concentrated stock by the team at Essential Cuisine which is based in Winsford, Cheshire to try out and review for our site. The box consisted of four 150g bottles of chicken stock, beef stock, lamb stock as well as vegetable stock.  It stated that these stocks were high quality glaces made for chef by chefs which is prepared for hours and is recommended to be used in stocks, stews / tagines, stir fry, slow cooking, pasta / risotto or soups / broths.  Being avid cooks and foodies, we decided to test these stocks and to try them.

Roast Chicken Dinner with Gravy

I used The Chicken Stock to make my gravy for the Roast Dinner. First I cooked the veg for my roast in a pan of boiling water and then removed the veg and set it aside and left the water so that I could use it for the gravy. Next, I added in some stock (amount was as per the recommended instructions for the quantity of water I was using). This meant that I actually needed to use almost half the contents of the bottle. The gravy turned out clear and shiny with a clear finish which you generally don’t get with stock cubes.

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Beef Bolognese Recipe

Ingredients
500g lean minced beef
2 carrots
two handfuls of fresh spinach finely chopped
1/2 a large onion
1 can or carton of chopped tomatoes and the same volume of water (use can to measure it out)
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp of tomato puree to intensify tomato flavour
4 tbsp of beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
A very small pinch of bicarbonate of soda to reduce the acidity of the tomato.

Method

In pan, add oil then add all the vegetables to softened them. Next add in the mince and cook until browned. Add in the tomato and water and the beef stock and cook it on a low heat for around 40min.

I usually put in a stock cube but I the flavour is not noticeable however the flavour of the concentrated beef stock in this really brightened up the dish.  The flavours were pronounced and it tasted really fresh, and the whole family enjoyed it. We definitely noticed the difference in flavour!

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Slow Cooked Chicken with Risotto
Cook some chicken legs in the slow cooker on high for 2 hours with a couple of tbsp of chicken stock.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the risotto. Its recomended that you use 115g (4 oz) per person for the uncooked rice (depending how many you are cooking for).  Add the risotto rice to the frying pan with a little oil and cook it on low for a couple of minutes. Next add two cloves of garlic which has been finely chopped, and 200 ml of water and 2 tbsp of veg stock. I next added the rest of the water as it soaked up into the rice and cooked it like this until the rice was tender. I tasted and needed to add two more tbsp of stock with a little more water at the end and salt and pepper to taste. My husband really liked this dish – he remarked on how much flavour there was in the rice, which isn’t always the case as we often find it can sometimes be quite a bland dish – but the stock again has such a fresh flavour.
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Things to note:
  • Lost for recipe ideas? Head to their website and click ‘Recipes’ for some inspiration
  • The concentrated stocks are gluten free as well as free from declarable allergens stocks
  • The concentrated stocks are also vegan and vegetarian stocks
  • Free shipping via SousChef on orders above £35
  • No MSG is used in their stocks
  • They are a British company based in Winsford, Cheshire and all of their products including their stocks, glaces, and gravies are produced in the UK
  • All of their  stock products have appropriate salt levels and meet the Department of Health 2017 guidelines. At an average level of stock usage, 100ml of prepared stock has only 0.56g of salt.
What we thought:
Overall the concentrated stocks came out tops on taste as we were all really impressed with the quality of the stock liquid, however looking at the price it was a little costly especially when you consider how much of stock was needed to make gravy.  The stock also came in little plastic containers, we would have prefered if it came in a glass jar or glass bottle, similar to what you get your tahini or miso paste in.   Despite all that, we would certainly recommend Essential Cuisine’s concentrated stocks if you want to impress your guests or if you are cooking for a special occassion.  The flavours in the stock is really noticeable and tasty!
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How much do the Concentrated Stock Cost?
You are able to buy 150g individual bottles from their website for £3.45 each. This would easily make 4 litres of stew or soup.
About Essential Cuisine

For over 20 years Essential Cuisine have been crafting premium, British-made cooking stocks and the finest gravies found on these shores, all in the pursuit of quality, versatility and most importantly of all; taste and flavour! Essential Cuisine is used nationwide by great British chefs, but they believe that such quality shouldn’t be reserved for chefs alone, which is why their products are now also available to home cooks.

 

You may also want to read this: Getting hot &spicy with East Coast Chilli Co. Sauces

 

* We were sent the stock bottles for free in return for a review. All opinions are our own.

26 Comments

  1. May 11, 2018 / 7:11 am

    Those look really interesting. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I know you said you used half the bottle to make gravy but did you find it was less than what you would have used if you were using stock cubes?
    Menna x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 11, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Well 1/2 a bottle of the concentrated stock would make about 200 litre of stock which we would have used 1 stock cube

  2. May 12, 2018 / 2:18 am

    Sounds like a wonderful product to try. Thanks for the beef bolongese recipe.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 6:40 am

      No problem Msddah, hope you give that a go

  3. May 12, 2018 / 7:28 am

    It’s good that I have taste good but a shame that they’re pricy, maybe this would just be for special meals x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Yes …for parties and special events definitely

  4. May 12, 2018 / 8:22 am

    These look great, I’ll deffo pick some up and give them a try. That Bolognese sounds great too, I love a good Bolognese.

    Katie xoxo

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Yes us too perfect base for pasta or lasagne Katie

  5. May 12, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Oh wow these sound really interesting and I bet they add loads of flavor. So glad they do a veggie one as well!

    Laura x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Yes totally, yup they also have vegan option and gluten free ones too

  6. May 12, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    These sounds good to me, anything that can help me in the kitchen. Glass bottles would be good though, as you said x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 12, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Yes that’s one of the things we wish they would eventually change..to glass bottles

  7. May 12, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    I like the sound of these, I often find my recipes taste quite bland without some sort of stock, these would be great!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 13, 2018 / 10:22 am

      Hope you do give a shot at trying this Lianne

  8. May 13, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    So glad to hear that they’ve got a veggie one it’s always a huge let down when brands don’t! Think I’d recreate the spag Bol with quorn 😉

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 7:23 am

      Oh yes! What a great idea! They have vegan option too Olivia

  9. May 14, 2018 / 8:21 am

    These look really great and can we just take a moment to appreciate how amazing the roast dinner look, too!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 9:13 am

      Yes totally, thank you for your compliments

  10. May 14, 2018 / 8:32 am

    I’ve been using a different brand but I’d definitely give these a try, I love giving my food a little flavour boost!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 9:12 am

      Yes it just adds more layer to the flavour of your food

  11. May 14, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    These sound fantastic! Anything that means you spend less time slaving in the kitchen gets my vote!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 1:02 pm

      Totally, that’s why we love the concentrated stock

  12. May 14, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    These look great, I love the packaging as well, perfect for a gift to a foodie

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks Jenni, yes a great gift for any foodie

  13. May 14, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    I wonder if the veggie one is vegan? Would be nice to try out if so. I tend to use miso soup paste as broth now and I must say its a very flavourful base for most soups and stews.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      May 14, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      No the veggie one is separate to the vegan one. They have 2 different types and the meat ones as well.Yes we love miso too

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