One important thing I learned back at George Brown is to try and minimize as much waste as possible. Every ounce of food is valuable and should be used. Having good food thrown in the trash is just as bad as tossing money out from our pockets. I am always interested in thinking of new ways to utilize all ingredients to their utmost advantage. For example, any leftover meat that is not been used can be made into stock. Same as vegetables. Onion skins and carrot tops can also be used to make a flavourful stock. This week I’m going to show you how to properly make a vegetable stock.
First off, you need vegetables (kinda obvious). Carrots, onions and celery are the three most common vegetables used for all stocks. You can also modify it to your liking. For example: If you’re going to do a Vietnamese pho, you might want to add ginger or lemongrass so it can have an amazing Asian aroma. It’s all about testing and see what it needs (a little research on the internet will help. I use it too. Don’t worry). One thing you should avoid is potatoes, since the stock will become too cloudy and starchy.
Herbs are the key to have a very aromatic stock. I like to use fresh parsley, thyme and basil (dried herbs work well too). Stocks usually don’t have any salt or pepper so make sure you season the stock before you use it. Lastly, if you see any fat on the top, don’t be scared to skim it off using a ladle (this only occurs with beef, chicken and fish stocks, but hey it’s good to know).
2 L water
2 Large onions, quartered
2 large carrots, quartered
3-4 stalks celery, quartered
4 stems of parsley
3 stems of thyme
3 stems of basil
2 bay leaves
Add all ingredients into a large stock pot and bring it up to a roaring boil. Reduce it to a simmer and slowly cook for at last 30 minutes. You can simmer up to 2 hours to maximize flavor.
Using another stock pot and a fine strainer, pour the stock into the other pot over a sink.
This recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in a container or in the freezer for up to 6 months inside an air-tight container.