Homemade Stock

I always loved how convenient stock cubes were: just add to boiling water, stir, and use. But, there’s just nothing quite like homemade stock or broth, especially when you eat as many vegetables as I do. 

What do you do with your veggie scraps? Unless you have a compost, my bet is they get thrown out along with the rest of the rubbish.

Well, next time you’re chopping up some vegetables, think about storing them in a large ziplock bag, or air-tight container, and placing them in the freezer. Over time, you’ll fill the bag with veggies scraps, and this is the base of any stock.

Veggie scraps can be peelings, the chopped off top and bottom of onions and carrots. Anything that isn’t used in a dish that you’re making can be saved.

When you’ve filled your bag with vegetable scraps, take them out of the freezer, and place them in a large pot. Place some dried bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper into the pot. Then pour in enough water to just cover all of the vegetables.

Turn the heat on high, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for at least 3 hours. The long you allow the stock to simmer, the more flavour that the water will absorb. Just make sure you have enough water in the pot to make a litre of stock.

When you’re happy with the taste of the stock, place a fine mesh sieve over a large pot or container. Carefully pour the stock over the sieve, and remove large chunks of vegetables if they take up too much space in the sieve.

If you have a compost, these vegetables can now be added to the compost, as they have not had any oil or sauces added to them. If you don’t, then they will need to be thrown away. 

If you want to make chicken stock, simply add in a chicken carcass from a roast chicken dinner, and follow the same instructions. I also added some chilli ends and rosemary to my chicken stock to give it a bit more of a kick.

Ingredients

leftover vegetable scraps
bay leaves
oregano
salt
pepper
water

  1. Place your vegetable scraps in a large pot, and add the herbs and seasoning.
  2. Pour enough water over the vegetables to cover them, then bring the water to the boil.
  3. Turn the heat down, and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 hours.
  4. Strain the liquid into a large container or another pot, through a fine mesh sieve.
  5. If not using immediately, allow to cool. Keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

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