Created by Mitch Harris, Harris stock takes a leap from the stock you know into the world of the stock you want. Tasting just like home made, Mitch wanted to create a stock he trusted. Being a keen cook himself he struggled to find a stock that tasted great and contained the best quality ingredients. He wanted a stock he would use in his delicious risotto or soup so he spoke to us at Farro.
The driving force behind Mitch’s passion for good food is close to our heart as we love handmade products. We encouraged him to jump into the stock pot and get started back in 2013. Today Mitch has five base stocks in his range that he refers to as the Harristocracy – chicken, vegetable, fish, beef and mushroom.
He uses organic chicken from our good friends at Bostock coupled with organic vegetables. Mitch calls this New Zealand’s premium chicken stock with a delicate, well-rounded and slightly sweet taste to provide a perfect backdrop for risottos, soups, casseroles and sauces. It contains only water, free range organic chicken and organic celery, carrots, onions, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves.
His vegetable stock contains organic onions, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, leeks, spring onions, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves. While his fish stock is simply white fish bones and heads with organic onions, leeks, carrots, celery, mushrooms and parsley.
Once he had his basic stock down Mitch moved to mushroom. Such a unique but versatile stock Mitch focused on the high umami factor of mushrooms. He makes a perfect stock that again uses only organic vegetables including mushrooms, thyme, celery, carrots, parsley, onions and peppercorns.
We know that you live locally to Farro Grey Lynn so you are a ‘true local’ not just for this campaign but in reality – how important is that to you personally and also to the Harris Stock brand?
My grandparents lived in Hukanui Cres, so Ponsonby has been home as long as I remember. Of course, in those days they didn’t have the convenience foods we have now, Grandma made everything. Our food may have been simpler then but it was fresh and local. I am glad we are returning to those values. It is also great to see Kelmarna Gardens still operating in the middle of the city. We source a lot of vegetables for our stock there.
How has your association with Bostock Chicken altered the original stock you use to make?
When we started we found it difficult to get a regular supply of organic chicken. Hence we used free range and labelled our chicken stock as free range. But we have been able to secure a regular supply from Bostock Organic Chicken in the Hawkes Bay. So I am pleased that we are now using Bostock Organic Chicken in our chicken stock.
At home we imagine you have more stock than you know what to do with – what are some of your go to mid week meals using your stock?
The children love risotto. I use our mushroom and thyme stock along with parmesan and field mushrooms. It is delicious. The fish stock is great for a prawn risotto. If you want a simple winter warmer use two of our beef stocks to slowly cook lamb shanks in.
Has your own development of Harris Stock made you look at other producers differently? How so?
I have become very much a slow food proponent (remember that movement?) If it is grown nearby and in season then it is probably good for you. I have become very aware of what ingredients are in what we buy. I think there is a major contradiction within our health authorities. They chide us for obesity but favour the big preservative-filled food producers.
What’s has been the hardest part of developing your own brand and getting it on to the shelves at Farro?
It is a case of hanging in there and trying to get to scale. It is the customers who have kept us going. People tell us it is fantastic to be able to buy a stock that is as good as you can make at home.
Any creations in the wings that you can share with us ?
We intend to produce an Asian broth. It is my hope that we can develop more vegetable stocks such as artichoke and seaweed. Once you get into stock you realise the varieties and uses are infinite.. you don’t have to use a chicken or beef stock to make a gravy for your roast. I use our vegetable stock for my roast chicken gravy.