Lesson 1.3 How to make vegetable stock

In case any one of you are wondering about the previous entry on Amour doux, that is actually a post that I need to submit for a contest on Project Food Blog. I’m not entering to win but I find the challenge really challenging and so I participated. Well, you could of course vote for me if you find that I am good enough. In any case, I would be trying out the challenge whether or not I am moving on to the next stage. =)

For today, the lesson from my MS textbook is on how to make vegetable stock. For this recipe that is to follow, the vegetables are lightly browned to give the stock intense flavour. This is helpful especially since there is no base of flavour provided by meat as compared to the previous two kinds of stock.

I basically use celery, carrots, corainder (because I love it), onions and garlic for the stock and of course, how could we do without oil, pepper and some salt?

The 3 steps are basically browning the vegetables, making the stock and then straining it.

Browning the vegetables.
Heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring often until they begin to brown. Add celery, carrots and garlic. Cook and stir occasionally until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Making the stock. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables by 1 inch ( for me, 2 inches). Add the herbs (corainder) and the remaining onion. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook (uncover) for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Straining the stock. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a large bowl. pressing on vegetables to extract as much flavourful liquid as possible. Discard solids. If not using immediately, cool in an ice-water bath before transferring to airtight containers. Vegetable stock can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw completely before using (Martha Stewart’s Cooking School).

Let’s just see how I would use my vegetable stock next. Hmmm….

4 thoughts on “Lesson 1.3 How to make vegetable stock

    • Hey Dory!
      I wonder too! perhaps so that we can keep watch and to ascertain the point at which they have achieved their peak flavour by constant tasting?

      I went to read up and check on various books but they did not particularly mention this. Anyway, I have gone to email some guru and hopefully, they will reply!

      Keep you posted!

    • Hey I asked and this is her reply.

      It’s all about ease and evaporation in the case of making stock with the French method. During the first hour of cooking the stock needs to be skimmed several times while simmering to rid the stock of proteins that would otherwise cause the broth to be cloudy. After the stock has been strained and it is simmering the second time, the lid is not used to allow evaporation. This step reduces the volume of liquid, concentrating the flavor.

      A secondary reason for leaving the lid off is better temperature control. When the stock is simmering it really should be around the 200°F point. Tiny bubbles may form but they should not break the surface. A covered pot retains more heat making it harder to reach the magic simmering point over an extended period of time.


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