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Vege stock

February 10, 2010

Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, have you ever seen anyone do a roast garlic vege stock? Hm? No? And another thing: this tastes so good. Plus you can easily make this a chicken stock by throwing your roast chicken carcass into the pot too. I won’t even cringe at you at the very thought.

This was ages back and I thought the photos were crap so never posted, but! It has been crappy enough weather for me to guess that you have been making roast chickens and what not, and maybe have some very old carrots in the garden that would be barky for eating but flavoursome in a stock. Well, when you next roast potatoes with whole garlic cloves, don’t throw them out, as they add a depth to stock that is just AMAZING. Or if you happen to have vegetables that are on their last legs lying about, looking longingly at the bin while you fuss over not wasting food, here’s your answer. Yeah. I get ya.

So, any questions? Yes, it’s totally easy. Yes, it takes a long time, but you don’t exactly have to stand by the stove and chat to it. And yes, of course you freeze it! In small containers though. Yes, there are other alternatives: check out Heidi from 101 Cookbook’s super easy home made buillon (stock) cube/paste! Brilliant for those with barely any freezer space.

Vegetable stock

Makes half as much as you can fit in your pot.

Basic veges:

2-3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
2 onions, peeled and quartered
lots of garlic – about half a bulb (roasted from a roast vege meal, but if you don’t have these just use peeled crushed whole raw cloves)
celery stalks, chopped so they fit in the saucepan
salt to taste & a few whole peppercorns
splash of oil

optional:

any other vege bits really
a bay leaf
chicken carcass/meat bones (cooked or raw)
basic herbs you will want in anything you use the stock in (only use wintery, stalky herbs)

Heat saucepan on medium high heat. Add everything to the pan. Let cook a little, stir, and repeat, until stuff starts cooking (ie, onion goes translucent, maybe even golden), about 2 minutes. Then cover the vegetables with water, leaving an inch between the waterline and the top of the pan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer away for about an hour.

Uncover, taste, add salt if necessary. Turn off heat. Drain the stock into a medium sized bowl (do only as much as can fit in the sieve) through a sieve, pushing the squishy veges against the mesh to release lots of juice. Discard drained veges and continue draining until none is left. Let cool, then pour into small containers (unless you know you’re going to use for a large lot of soup), and refrigerate for no more than 2 days, otherwise just freeze (remember not to completely fill your small containers as the stuff expands!

If you forget to defrost your stock, just rinse the container under hot water to release the stock ice block, and melt it down on a medium heat in a small saucepan.

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