Sunday, 15 March 2015

Vegetable Stock (& Chicken Stock)

A couple of weeks ago I ran out of my homemade canned vegetable stock, so last week I made some more.  It's a pretty simple process, but it just takes time.

Essentially, toss a bunch of veggies and water together, a little bit of salt & pepper, simmer, strain, and you have stock.  If you also include some meat bones, you have meat stock.  Canning is the same whether you have meat or vegetable stock: 25 minutes at 15 lbs pressure (remember, I'm at elevation -- your time/pressure might be different).

However, what I do for my stock(s) is that I freeze my scraps in large freezer bags.  Rotiserrie chickens from those "Oh, crap!  I forgot about dinner!" days, generate tasty stock because of the seasoned skin that no one eats.

The vegetable scraps come from carrot peels, potato peels, onion skins, bell pepper bits, tomato ends, cucumber, lettuce, squash, pretty much any vegetable except from the cabbage family (and beets, if you don't want a pink stock).

I simmer my vegetable stock a couple of hours, and my meat stock about 3-4 hours.  I like to use my counter-top roaster as it holds a nice quantity for canning.

This was 3 bags of mixed vegetable scraps and half a bag of carrot peels.  I forgot to take pictures of the chicken stock mixture, but for that I used one full bag of vegetable scraps and the other half-bag of carrot peels, plus two bags of chicken bones.

I ended up with 8 1-litre jars of vegetable stock.  I also canned 4 1-litre jars of chicken stock.  The rest of the chicken stock was made into a nice big pot of chicken vegetable noodle soup.  The chicken stock is in the front of the picture and the vegetable stock is in the back.  You can sort of see that the vegetable stock is a bit more clear than the chicken stock. (The chicken stock and one jar of vegetable stock still have rings on because they just came out of the canner and had not sealed yet.)

My go-to use for vegetable stock is making rice.  I usually use 1 jar every time I make rice.  I also have some beet stock for when I want a pinkish tinge to my rice.  I'm going to be experimenting with fruit stock soon.  I think it will be nice to cook breakfast grains with, or rice that would go with pork or meat/fruit skewers.  I'll keep you posted.