Fat-free Ham Broth

Add flavor to beans and soups by starting with this flavorful broth instead of water.

1 ham hock or ham bone
1 cup Vidalia onion, trimmings
1/2 cup celery, trimmings
1/2 cup carrot, trimmings
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
8 1/2 cups water

1 Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least four hours. The broth may be simmered in a crock pot on high.
2 Place a collander over a large bowl and pour in the broth. Discard the onion and celery, reserve the ham hock, and refrigerate the broth overnight. Remove the meat from the bone and reserve. Discard the bones and fat.
3 The next day skim the hardened fat from the surface of the broth. Pour the broth through a wire strainer into storage containers and freeze or use as desired. The meat may be combined with the broth or frozen to use as a seasoning later.

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