STOCK O'CLOCK: How to make Vegetable Stock
You always hear chefs and stock-makers in general bang on about nothing comparing to homemade stock - now I get it. The flavour is remarkably different, as is the nutritional value and amount of nasty additives and preservatives. They are also much simpler to make than you think, and endlessly nourishing.
Not sure why it's taken me so long to get around to making stock. But now I've popped my stock cherry, I just want to keep doing it all the time. The great thing about stock too is that you can use all your vegetables that are just about to turn the corner of palatability, and also vegetable scraps (leaves, stems, peels). Keep them in a bag in the freezer until you're ready to use them.
There are some vegetables that are better than others to use...
Great - Onions, leeks, garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, fennel, potato peel (although this will make your stock cloudier), squash, green beans, parsnip, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, parsley. You can also use beetroot and purple carrots, but your stock will turn purple (see below).
Not great at all - those vege that smell and taste like old boots when cooked for too long - cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips (pretty much the cruciferous family of vege).
Have a few containers ready to freeze what you don't use. Because homemade stock is lacking in nasty preservatives it only usually keeps a few days in the fridge.
You will need about 4 cups of vege to make 2 litres of stock.
Makes 2 litres
4 garlic cloves
4 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs parsley
1 sprig thyme
2 litres water
Finely cut your vege to maximise the flavour through a greater surface area in contact with the water.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, tomato, celery, carrot and leek and cook for about 8 minutes, until vegetables have softened.
Add bay leaf, thyme, parsley, peppercorns and water and stir well. Increase heat and bring stock to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Strain stock, discarding vege. Voila, you now have 2 litres of delicious, flavourful vegetable stock! Check out our recipes using stock.