Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegetable Stock

People keep asking me how to make stock, but they just stare blankly at me when I tell them. So, here it is. Just as easy as I said it would be.

Vegetable stocks do not need to cook as long as meat ones. It only takes about half an hour to make a nice flavorful veggie stock.

1. Put all the veggies, bay leaf and sturdy (or dried) herbs in a pot.
2. Cover with water.
3. Season with s/p. Try different peppers; black, white, or red.
4. Bring to a boil.
5. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add tender herbs and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
7. Taste. Add more s/p if needed.
8. Strain into a large bowl, pushing all of the liquid out of the veggies.
9. Throw the vegetables away.
10. Store or use your stock.

You can start by roasting the veggies on a half sheet pan (cookie sheet) with a little EVOO and s/p. Then, put them in your sauce pan and follow the directions above. Or, start the stock by sautéing your vegetables in butter or oil, then follow the method above. Both of these variations will add another layer of flavor to your stock. Experiment and have fun!


I blended this stock with a few tomatoes to add to chopped veggies for an easy sauce. The stock is also good to use when a recipe calls for water, you'll be adding a lot of flavor to you food. I like to add just a few ingredients to the stock to make a nice light, but super tasty soup. Such as; lime zest, shrimp and radishes.

As soon as the broth/stock has cooled, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze it. You can keep it in the fridge for about 3-4 days. It will last up to six months if properly frozen. Try putting some stock in covered ice cube trays for easy usage later.

What To/Not To Use:
I made this stock while I was making a Vegetable Sauce. You could make a stock while making any meal with lots of veggies. Or, you can save your vegetable scraps through out the week in the fridge, then make the stock when the bag or bowl is full.

Do not use vegetables that are in the cabbage family in your stock. That includes broccoli, kale, and turnip tops. Those vegetables are too strong and will overpower all other flavors.

Do use carrot and onion peels, end pieces and large pieces. Celery and garlic are great in stock. Sometimes, I like to use the skin from roasted garlic. Tomatoes, peppers, and squash can be used, but in moderation. Experiment to find out what you like.

You also want to put herbs in your stock. I always add at least one bay leaf. The leaf and any dried herbs should be added in the beginning, so that they have time to release their flavors. The rest of the herbs that I add just depend on what I have on hand.

Sturdy herbs, such as rosemary, sage and thyme should be put in the stock in the beginning. Tender herbs should be added in the last ten minutes or so. Basil, mint, and tarragon are examples of tender herbs. Tender herbs are pleasant when eaten raw, whereas hardy ones are not.

These are the veggies that I used for my Chunky Vegetable Sauce.

These are the scraps that I made my stock with.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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