This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Make a delicious Ham Stock with a meaty bone leftover from your holiday ham or start from scratch with a smoked shoulder.
Make a delicious Ham Stock anytime of the year!
Some of our favorite soups are made with Ham Stock – a simple, flavorful stock that can be made with the meaty ham bone leftover from your holiday ham, or from a smoked shoulder cut of pork bought at the supermarket.
This easy ham stock is the base for so many delicious recipes like our Ham and Vegetable Soup and a Creamy Ham and Wild Rice Soup recipe we will be sharing later this week.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Smoked Shoulder – Also called a pork picnic roast, this is the cut of pork from the shoulder of the pig, and is typically sold with the bone in. Because of that bone (bone = flavor), this cut is ideal for making ham stock. You could also use a meaty leftover ham bone.
- Vegetables – We added yellow onion, celery, fresh carrots, and garlic to our stock.
- Herbs and spices – Bay leaves, fresh parsley, and black peppercorns simply season the ham stock. (Note that salt will not be needed because the smoked shoulder or ham is already salty.)
Cook up this ham stock right after the holidays, then freeze the stock until you are ready to cook some soup.
Alternately, you can freeze the leftover ham bone – then make the stock at a later date.
How do I make Ham Stock?
- Place the smoked shoulder in a soup pot. Add enough water to cover the meat, then bring briefly to a boil. Remove pork from the pot, then discard that first potful of water. (This initial boiling step eliminates any foam as well as the excess salt typically found in a smoked shoulder, preventing your stock from becoming very salty. See Chef’s Tip below for more information.)
- Place smoked shoulder back into the pot with fresh water and the rest of the stock ingredients. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, then simmer for three hours.
- Remove pork from the pot. Pick out the bone and discard.
- Strain the stock through a large mesh strainer and into a large bowl or another soup pot. Discard any solids caught in the strainer.
- Cool the stock, then skim the fat from the top. Discard the fat.
- Pour the stock into zipper seal bags and use in recipes, or freeze until needed.
- Use cooked smoked shoulder meat for any recipe calling for cooked ham such as our Ham and Vegetable Soup, Crustless Ham and Cheddar Quiche, or Cheesy Ham & Rice.
Tips & Tricks
If you are making your ham stock with a meaty ham bone leftover from a ham dinner, it is not necessary to do the first water boiling step before making your stock.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Ham Stock ahead of time? Yes, this can be made ahead and frozen in zip lock bags.
- How do I store leftovers? Keep refrigerated for up to three days, or freeze in zipper seal bags for up to six months.
- How do I reheat leftovers? Heat in a pot or add to recipes calling for ham stock.
- Can I freeze? Yes, in zipper seal freezer bags or containers.
Click here for more delicious Ham and Pork Recipes!
4 pounds smoked picnic shoulder or a meaty ham bone
Enough water to cover the pork in the pot
4 cups yellow onion, large dice (about 4 medium onions)
4 cups celery, large dice (about 3–4 stalks)
4 cups carrots, large dice (about 4–5 medium carrots)
4 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
2 whole crushed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
4 whole black peppercorns
4 quarts water
- Place the smoked shoulder into an 8–12-quart pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, remove from heat and discard cooking water. This will eliminate excess salt. (If using a meaty ham bone, skip this step)
- Place smoked shoulder or meaty ham bone back into the pot and add the remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer three hours uncovered.
- Remove smoked shoulder and pick out and discard bones.
- Pour stock into a strainer seated over a large bowl or pot and discard all solids. You should have about two quarts of stock and about two pounds of ham if using a smoked shoulder.
- Skim fat from top of stock and discard.
- Store stock refrigerated for up to three days or freeze in zipper seal bags for up to six months.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.
If cooking in an 8-quart pot, watch to make sure it does not boil over.