My stock isn't very flavorful...
OK, I have a problem with making stock. I've just covered the meat and veg in water, and they are all spent for sure. And the resulting stock smells wonderful, but it isn't flavorful enough. And it's not even close; some salt isn't going to help. I have to always reduce my stock literally by half. I'm assuming a stock in itself could be served as a soup. Is this typical of a stock?
re: sarah galvin
I second that. The only thing I'd add to your list is bay leaves, which go into every stock I make (not to mention basically every dish that requires boiling water...)
Also, take a look at the chow tip on making veggie stock. Save your scraps and trimmings from prepping vegetables in a ziplock bag in the freezer. After a few days or a week, use your collection with some herbs, spices, etc, for a subtle, but tasty stock. If nothing else, I like it as a reminder of what I ate in the previous week or so. Good luck!
You say: "I've just covered the meat and veg in water, and they are all spent for sure."
Well, I think that's your problem right there. What you've made is broth, not stock.
To make good stock, you should be using bones, not meat. For example, if I'm making chicken stock I'll take the leftover bones from a chicken carcass and let that simmer for several hours. The resulting product is always very flavorful.
Stock and or broth is usually not seasoned with salt so it will taste a little flat. You can reduce it which will concentrate the flavors and then when you season it I think you will find your stock has more flavor than you thought. The reason stock is sometimes not seasoned is that depending on how you will use it you can control the salt content better if you wait to season later. Ever reduce box broth. Gets real salty.
Did you ever try making a stew without browning the meat or sauteing the onions, etc. first? For me, it ends up the same way...not too flavorful. In my experience, browning the meat by roasting adds deep flavor..not always the flavor I want, but carmelizing the proteins adds a lot of flavor.
Perhaps part of the problem is that the meat and vegetables I buy isn't that flavorful to begin with, so just simmering it does not product a rich stock.
I second all the other posters.
Maybe you used too much water?
When you add water, add enough to cover the ingredients by an inch and add more as it reduces if necessary.