Stock is an essential part of many dishes – from soups and risotto to braised preparations and sauces. Although most of us don’t have time to make a veal stock (at least 8 hours) or a chicken stock (3-4 hours), a vegetable stock is relatively quick and easy. This recipe takes about an hour and will enhance a variety of the meals that you might want to make. It’s based on mirepoix (carrot, celery and onion) and includes different herbs. You can pick and choose the herbs that you want to add depending on which dish you are making (for example, using it instead of a chicken stock for a poultry dish? Then, add a bit of tarragon). The two most important herbs for a stock are parsley and thyme – and, a word of caution: never use rosemary – it’s much too strong. It keeps in the refrigerator for about three days, just bring it back to a boil before using. Or, you can freeze it for later use. Every chef has his/her own stock recipes – they are the fundamental basis of cooking and go a long way in developing flavourful dishes. Try this one, it’s very easy and straightforward – I promise it’ll change the way you cook.
Easy Vegetable Stock
1 red onion, chopped into chunks
2 shallots, chopped into chunks
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
3 celery sticks, chopped into chunks
1 leek, green part, washed and cut in half
5 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the heel of your knife
1 bay leaf
dash of white wine
handful of black peppercorns
- In a large stockpot, heat up the olive oil and infuse with the garlic.
- Add the chopped vegetables and sauté on medium heat until they take on a bit of colour (about 5-7 minutes). Season with salt.
- Add the herbs and stir. Deglaze with white wine.
- Once the white wine has evaporated, add enough water to fill 3/4 of the pot.
- Add the bay leaf and black peppercorns and bring to a boil. Skim off the top.
- Turn town the heat and let simmer for at least 45 minutes.
- Strain off the liquid into another pot and set aside until needed.