Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vegetable Stock

Quantity – 1 litre


50 gms – carrots (roughly cut)
50 gms – Onions (roughly cut)
30 gms – Leek (roughly cut, optional)
50 gms – Celery (roughly cut, optional)
20 gms – Mushroom trimmings
10 ml – Oil
1 litre – Cold Water
80 gms – Squashed tomatoes
1 sprig – thyme (optional)
1 no. – bay leaf
3 nos. – parsley stalks (optional)
4 nos. – peppercorns


1.      On the heat, put a pan. Immediately put oil in it.
2.      When the oil becomes hot, put all the vegetables in it and sweat (soften the vegetables,  so that they release their moisture, but not brown them) them.
3.      Add the cold water and bring gently to a simmer, then add the mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, and peppercorns.
4.      Simmer gently for 45 mins, continuously removing any scum and fat.
5.      Remove from heat and strain through a strainer into a saucepan.
6.      Re-boil and use as required or cool and keep in refrigerator until required. 

Use within 3 days or freeze. To freeze, reduce the stock by half by boiling vigorously and cool. Pour into ice-cube trays and freeze. When frozen put the cubes into a bag, label it, and when you want to use one, just put in a jug and add boiling water to dissolve the cube. Frozen, it could last upto 3 months.

Why use cold water?
Different flavour components have different levels of solubility in water at different temperatures. By starting cold and slowly increasing the heat, you can be sure that all the flavours have had a chance to be extracted at their preferred temperature.

Why Simmer instead of Boil?
Boiling means more volatile aroma and flavour compounds will be released, leaving a flatter-tasting stock. Simmering is optimum, cause it is the right temperature, not too hot, not too low.


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