Vegetable stock – is a wonderful base for light soups or ingredient for various vegetable dishes, sauces, risotto, ragouts. Properly prepared, it will be as rich and flavorsome as meat stock. Moreover, it may be quite low-cost.
There are a few secrets about how to make delicious vegetable stock and save some money and time.
- Use as many different vegetables as possible to make the taste more complex.
- The best vegetables for vegetable stock are:
- celery root,
- celery stalks and greens,
- parsley root and greens,
- mushrooms fresh or dried.
- Don’t add cabbage and sweet pepper to your stock. There vegetables have too intense taste which will dominate in your stock or anywhere you add it to.
- Don’t peel carrots, parsley, parsnip or celery but wash them well with a brush and remove spoiled parts. The skins are most flavorsome and vitamin-rich.
- Fresh or dried mushrooms make stock richer in taste but darker in color. By the way, because of their richness they often substitute meat in vegetable dishes.
- Spices are incredibly important for vegetable stock. The best are garlic (cloves), bay leaves, thyme (fresh or dried), allspice, black pepper.
- Raw vegetables will slightly moderate the taste.
- To make stock richer in taste, coarsely cut vegetables and bake then in the oven until golden and crispy and only then covered with cold water.
- Or you may also fry vegetables in vegetable oil until golden.
- Adding white wine or vermouth to your stock will add a peculiar flavor and a natural and slightly sour note to it. Though this step is optional.
- Add some salt at the beginning to make your stock, again, richer.
- Cook over low-medium heat without rolling boil for about 1 h and then let stand for 1-2 h.
- The algorithm of making stock is as follows:
- Prepare vegetables (wash, cut, bake/fry).
- Add wine to the vegetables and cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 min until the alcohol evaporates. (Optional).
- Cover with cold water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add spices and greens (parsley, celery greens) tied in bundles.
- Simmer uncovered for 1 h.
- Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let stand at least for 1 h.
- Strain through a fine sieve or kitchen towel. Squeeze the vegetables.
- Use immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 5-7 days or freeze in zipper storage bags and store in the freezer for a few months.
Super economy: We always throw away vegetable skins, stems or leaves and discard spoiled or faded vegetables. Place a bag or box in your freezer and keep vegetable discards that could be used for stock there. When this bag or box is full, use those discards to make stock – free and delicious! Don’t be afraid – this life hack was invented by French chefs who undoubtedly are experts in cooking.
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