A recipe for vegetable stock.
OK I’ll be honest, I’m so lazy in the kitchen these days – I can’t remember the last time I made stock. Sometime last year probably. I use stock cubes – or if I’m making something nice I use one of the liquid ones. One thing about making your own stock is that you can tailor it to bring out the flavours you love. I think turnip/swede/rutabaga/whatever-you-call-it and nutmeg are really good additions to vegetable stock.
A few weeks ago I was browsing through recipes, as I often do, and I happened upon a recipe which included a vegetable stock and it stated that you should simmer the stock for no more than 1 hour because, with vegetable stock, the flavours have developed as much as they are going to and letting it cook for longer won’t have any great effect and may weaken the flavour. I was very surprised but as my experience with making stock really comes from making meat stock, which does take hours, I decided to give a go at making one in an hour. I have to admit it the flavour does seem to be every bit as strong, maybe even stronger, as when it is boiled for a couple of hours.
Another tip I read, in several vegetable stock recipes (I browsed through a few after reading the first recipe), was that you shouldn’t add salt to the stock; instead add salt at the end of making your final dish. I tried it out but I wasn’t as convinced by this. I must admit to be being very fond of salt and tend to add it liberally to dishes. I believe I end up adding less salt the earlier I introduce it to whatever I’m cooking. Maybe I’m kidding myself but I will continue to add salt to stock.
I added fresh thyme, rather than dried, to the stock. Over the holidays one of the supermarkets was selling packets of fresh sage, thyme and parsley, it’s such a good combination, I used them in a couple of veggie dishes and it’s really got me in the habit of using these fresh. Unfortunately they seem to have removed the sage since the holidays – hope they bring it back!