A well-flavored stock will give a better taste than plain water. However, it is quite acceptable to use plain water with the tougher cuts of meat. These are anyway best left to cook for a long time along with other flavorings such as herbs, vegetables, spices and wine.
Adding some bones is another way in which you can help to improve the taste of a casserole. Shank bones have a hollow center that contains a soft material called marrow. Putting these bones in enhances the stock flavor as well as providing good nutrients.
** Asian Online Recipes