For years I’ve used store-bought vegetable, chicken, and pork stock that were lackluster in flavor and packed full of sodium and preservatives. I decided to try out the old-fashioned way and make my own! Not only is the stock much tastier than store-bought, but I wound up with 15 cups of it! That’s more than enough to last me through an entire year of recipes!
(makes 15-16 cups of stock)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped in half
10 stalks of celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
3-4 leaves of sage
1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs sea salt
4 quarts (16 cups) cold water
The fennel bulb I used was pretty large so I cut it in half and saved the other half for a different recipe.
(1.) In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add all ingredients except for water and stir until mixed. (2.) Cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables have softened. (3.) Add water and bring to a boil. (4.) Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
(5.) When finished cooking, (6.) pour through a fine mesh sieve into another large bowl or pot and press on the solids to extract the maximum amount of liquid. Discard solids. See note below about tossing versus saving the solid vegetables! (7.) Measure out the stock into airtight containers or zip-lock bags to refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. It’s easier to place the bag in a large drinking glass to prevent spills when measuring. (8.) I measured mine out in 2 cups, 3 cups, and 4 cups per each 1 quart zip-lock bag. When you’re ready to use just submerge the bag in hot water for 30-60 minutes or until liquid again. A lot of people will pour them into silicone muffin cups so they can easily pop them out and melt them when needed!
*Side note: I thought the idea of wasting all of those vegetables was absurd and convinced myself I could make a delicious vegetable puree soup. The result looked and tasted like baby food… My suggestion is save it for your compost heap!
Stay tuned to see how I used mine in a recipe later this week!