In my last blog post, I made reference to using vegetable stock. I would like to show you how you can prepare your own vegetable stock and store it in the refrigerator for use at a later date. Vegetable stock helps to thicken the sauce or gravy of the dish that you are preparing. It also adds vital nutrients to the dish from vegetables that may not be visible.
- Parsley (Stalk and Leaves)
- 1 Bay leaf
There are other optional ingredients that you can add, such as;
- Mushroom stems
Since we are making a basic vegetable stock, we shall stick to the initial ingredients. It is also important to mention that we shall not be adding ginger or garlic because we assume that you shall already have used them and any other spices in your initial cooking process. However, if you are making a specific stock for a particular dish, then you may include them. We shall also not be adding salt for the same reason.
Wash of any visible dirt from the vegetables and then give them a rough chop. You may choose to leave the skins on (some people recommend it for the onion!) but it is entirely up to you.
Put the vegetables in a large saucepan large enough to accommodate them and hold a few extra inches of water. Make sure you can easily stir the vegetables. The less water you have means you will have a concentrated stock, whilst the more water you have will give you a lighter-flavored stock.
Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Now reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
After one hour, strain the mixture to separate the vegetables from the stock. Leave to cool completely. You may now store your stock in the fridge. It is advisable to store the stock in separate containers that allow you to use only what you need per dish.
The reason why we have added herbs to the stock is because Bay leaf gives a nice earthy flavor while thyme adds a nice woody note. Also, if you would like to add more flavor to you stock, you may opt to roast the vegetables slightly in the oven.