Homemade Crab Stock

What started with an innocent trip to the seafood counter at Central Market is about to snowball into a full-fledged crab festival. I apologize in advance for all of the crab recipes if you aren’t a fan of crab, but I can only blog about what I actually make and when the crab looks good to me… well…

This idea for a crab stock recipe comes – albeit indirectly – from my friend Jeremy who informed me upon reading my French Onion Soup recipe: “I make my own vegetable stock. I feel bad about throwing away the waste from the vegetables I eat!”

Immediately, of course, I felt a pang of guilt (I do waste carrot tops and potato peels!) and the urge to give him wicked side-eye (Because seriously? I have one career, two kids, two dogs, a social club, and a marathon training plan! Sometimes the only reason anyone eats a normal dinner in my house is because I need to post something to the blog. Like I have time to create stock from my discards! Should I be knitting my own socks too?).

I digress. Anyway, once Jeremy threw down that little gauntlet, I decided that I would see his veggie stock with my crab stock…which doesn’t take that much effort to make, in truth (fine, Jeremy, fine).

Crab Stock

The Ingredients:

  • 2.5lbs (or so) of crab shells. You can save these from any crab recipe that you make including my crab leg recipe. Don’t wash or rinse the shells – you want to keep the bits of meat that cling to the shells for flavor. If you are not making stock immediately, freeze the shells in a freezer bag. Then, thaw them in lukewarm water before you begin.

photo (1)

  • 2 Very Large Diced Shallots – About 1 and ½ cups
  • 2 Stalks of Celery – Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic – Diced
  • 2 Crushed Bay Leaves
  • 1 Cup of Clam Juice
  • 1 Tbs. of Black Pepper (Using freshly ground pepper? Good idea! Use 30 turns of the mill.)
  • 2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 2 Quarts of Water

The Tools:

  • Stock Pot
  • Ladle
  • Strainer
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Large Bowl
  • Storage Containers for Finished Stock

The Action:

  • Place the crab shells in the stock pot and cover with the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and use a ladle to skim off any white foam that comes up from the shells.
  • Let the shells boil for a minute and then reduce the heat to a heavy simmer.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.

photo (2)

  • Let the mixture simmer for 90 minutes or so.
  • Drain the stock out into a large bowl and discard the shell mixture.

photo (5)

  • Allow the stock to cool slightly. You can use this immediately or store it in the refrigerator for a few days.

photo (4)

This stock is great in crab stew or for bisque or a seafood risotto. Enjoy!

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