Friday, September 15, 2023

Vegetable Stock

"No rules. Don't be afraid to do whatever you want. Cooking doesn't have to have rules. I don't like it that way." - Masaharu Morimoto

Vegetable Stock
Vegetable scraps ready to go!

Woah, woah, woah, did you just take your vegetable scraps and throw them straight into the compost???  What are you doing?  You could make vegetable stock with those scraps first.

Vegetable stock, or if we're being honest - any type of stock - is simple to make.  Take your vegetable scraps, throw them in a pot, fill the pot with water, bring the water to a boil, then take it down to a simmer and let simmer for at least an hour and a half.  Give it more time if you want a stronger flavor.

Let it cool down, put a strainer on a second pot, pour the liquid thru the strainer to weed out the food scraps.  Transfer the remaining liquid into freezable containers (soup containers work great), label them (you won't remember what it is, trust me), then throw them in the freezer.

Now when winter rolls around you can use this vegetable stock, instead of water, to cook your rice, quinoa, couscous, or other grains.  If you're making a soup, this is now your base for the soup.

By using this method you know exactly what is in your stock, there isn't any additional salt, unless you want it, nor are there any preservatives and it's going to have a maximum amount of nutrients.  You have full control over what is in it and what it tastes like which will make your winter cooking adventures much more fun and flavorful.

The hands on time is at most, 15 minutes.  You can use fresh vegetables for this but that seems like a waste.  Instead, after you've made a meal, throw those veggie scraps in a pot and make some stock.

The biggest factor is do you have the freezer space for it?  If you do, go for it.

Did you just cook a chicken?  Or perhaps you have some beef bones?  You can do the exact same thing but with one additional step.  With meat, parboil it first.  Meaning, throw the meat in a pot, fill it with water, bring the water to a boil, let it boil for 3 minutes, dump out the water.  Fill the pot back up with water, bring it back to a boil and now simmer it for 90 + minutes to make the chicken or beef stock.  With meat usually the longer is better.  I usually do a 3 hour minimum for meat.

Doing that parboil on the meat first basically cleans the meat off and gets rid of the scum, which will leave your stock nice and clean.  If you don't do that, the stock is still edible, but it will likely have a not so pleasant smell to it and since this is food we're making, how it smells is important so don't skip the parboil if using meat.

Or do skip it, I don't care, if you do skip it then you'll quickly find out why I'm telling you to not skip it.  Make your own adventure with it.  Just have fun and be creative!

Wondering what the difference is between stock and broth?  Don't look to me for the answer, I don't know nor do I care.  I currently consider them to be basically the same thing despite the fact that's likely wildly inaccurate.  After quick trip to professor Google, the Taste of Home has us covered to answer this question.  Is that article accurate?  Don't know and don't care, I'm not the one asking the questions here.

Keep it real!

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