I have no excuse for buying vegetable stock my entire life. I don’t know why I thought tetra packs of the stuff contained some kind of non-creatable magic, but I finally broke out of this silly habit of consumption this weekend and tried making my own.
This particular kind required a couple of hours of time, but a sheer lack of effort. An initial rough chop, a few shakes of a roasting pan, attention to the stove when it was time to turn down the heat, a quick strain of the liquid. And the result? A tea-colored, savory liquid that I’ve been employing in dishes all week long. I’ll share some of those recipes in coming weeks, but let’s start with the base, shall we, and work from there.
Roasting is key to the process—it caramelizes the vegetables, which means extra flavor in the broth. And it’s dead simple—even harder to mess up than a quick sauté, although if you’re pressed for time, you can also achieve the caramelization a little faster by sautéing everything rather than roasting it before tossing it in the pot with water. But then it can’t be called Roasted Vegetable Stock, now, can it?
1 head celery
1 large onion (red, yellow or white)
Approx. 4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole head of garlic, all cloves peeled and smashed
2 TBSP. whole peppercorns
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim all leaves and ends off the celery stalks, and chunk up the carrots and onion. Divide into two 9×13 roasting pans, drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil into each pan, and toss all the vegetables in the oil until they are well coated. You can add about a tsp. each of salt and freshly ground pepper to each pan at this time, if you would like, but it’s not necessary.
- Roast the vegetables for approximately 40-50 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and turning dark brown in spots.
- Put the vegetables in a large stock pot, add the garlic and peppercorns, and fill the pan with water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an hour.
- After an hour, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh colander. Refrigerate for up to five days, and use as needed in recipes. It also freezes well for later use.
This is my post for Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Haalo, who coordinates the event. Please stop by Cook (Almost) Everything (at least) Once for the full round-up of recipes after the weekend.