Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Making Stock

Sometimes I'm a little slow in the head. I use a lot of vegetable stock when i cook. It adds a richness to soups, beans, rice. I've been buying organic vegetable broth made by Pacifica Natural Foods. It is very tasty, not overly expensive and comes in a 4-pack of 1 cup containers. And that is the problem i have with this product. Over-packaging and packaging that cannot be recycled. Use a can!
Then it came to me. Ding-dong you grow your own vegetables. Make your own stock, put it in reusable containers and the problem is solved.
So that is what i'm doing now. I've put in the pot some of just about every vegetable and herb we are growing now or are storing. Each time i make a new batch the ingredients will change as we have different things available to put into it. As a general guide i use some root vegetables, some alliums (onions, leeks, garlic, shallots), some greens, and some herbs. Here's today's list.

kamatsuna greens
tatsoi greens and flowers
purple cabbage that didn't head up
broccoli leaves
beet greens
pea vines ( the frost was going to kill them tonight anyway)
lettuce (i don't like raw lettuce but like to cook with it)
black pepper
ground cloves

Roughly chop everything. You don't need to peel the garlic or onions since you are not going to eat them, just extract the flavor. Put everything into a big pan. Fill it with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3 hours. After it cools, empty the pot by pouring through a colander or sieve to remove the rough stuff. Use the some of liquid to make something and put the rest into convenient sized containers ( 1 or 2 cup is good). Keep a couple in the refrigerator (will last for a week or so) and freeze the rest.
Be sure to put the cooked vegetables in the compost or worm bin or let your pig eat it.


GBK Gwyneth said...

I agree, it would be better for me to make broth from scratch, but I'm not there yet. I buy low sodium, organic, vegetarian broth in 4 cup (I think) boxes.

If that makes it more likely for me to be willing to make soup from "scratch", then I'll live with that for now.

But I admit that your photos and recipe has got me craving something good. Keep writing, and I'll come around to homemade broth at some point, I'm sure!

Thomas said...

Hi, do you know where I can locate some "salsify" Dekalb mkt is out. Any ideas?

tofupalace said...

Hey Duane,
It's Steve over here at your local food co-op Sevananda. In my years working in kitchens, we always made our own veggie stock, but we discovered through experimentation that some things were better left out of the stock pot. Greens tend to add bitterness that may not go with everything. Tomato skins and ends have similar tendencies.
Almost all root vegs and squash peelings (winter and summer) are fabulous, as so is the sea vegetable khombu.
My macrobiotic teacher in DC taught me never to boil veggies for stock for more than 30 minutes as you will cook the nutrients away, but after removing the veggies, boiling it a while longer to reduce the stock will intensify the flavor.
One of my favorite tricks is to pour some of the stock into empty ice cube trays after it cools and let it freeze. Then crack them into a gallon bag and you will have 2 ounce blocks of stock to add to your sautees or cooking rice or beans...
Be well!

duane marcus Facebook me! said...

Thanks for the input steve. I wondered about the nutrient degradation from boiling too long. I like the bitter greens. I like using different combinations to create different flavors too.
Van, i don't know where to find salsify. Don't know anyone else who grows it either. Check sevananda.