Stay healthy and cook a storm
Updated: Sep 3
What I would like to share with you today is a recipe for making "stock". I use stock in a lot of my cooking because it adds flavor to it. Notice that I use the terms stock and broth liberally, which are not really the same but very similar. My excuse is that I never measure my ingredients, I work on the basis of more or less and what I have available in the fridge.
Here we go for the best vegetable stock... Add carrots, celery, leeks, onions and mushrooms to a saucepan (love the Shiitake mushrooms when on special). I personally always add garlic (I am addicted to it) but it is not necessary for those who do not like it or depending on the dish you wish to use your stock for. You can also add potatoes, swedes, parsnips, all those yummy winter vegetables, which add a great taste to it and make you feel warm and fuzzy. Just keep in mind that they can make your stock a bit cloudy. Add a small handful of peppercorns, 1 or 2 cloves, 1 or 2 bay leaves, water to cover the veges and bring to boil. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for two hours. Strain your broth immediately.
Tip: keep all your vegetable trimmings, freeze them until you have sufficient ingredients for your stock.
To prepare your chicken stock, keep your chicken carcass when cooking a whole chicken, add your veges and water, bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer. After 2 hours, strain your stock.
Tips: Rest your stock in the fridge overnight. You can easily remove the solidified chicken fat in the morning, and you can freeze your stock for up to 3 months. Beef and fish stock are done the same way; you just use beef or fish bones instead.
Another great tip is that when cooking your silverside, you first submerge it into water, bring it to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. This is because the meat is always too salty. Take it off the stove, remove the water and replace it with clear water. Add all your veges and don't forget your garlic and winter vegetables, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, to your meat, bring your preparation to boil and simmer for another 2 hours. Remove your meat, drain your stock, which can later be added to your mustard sauce. Keep the remaining of your broth, which you can freeze on its own. If you are like me, I tend to cook a storm to make it worth my while and always have leftovers. I can therefore save half of my silverside and freeze it in the stock for a later date (of course, you can also make fritters).
Stock is the base for soups, sauces, risotto, stews and many other dishes. Add fresh garden herbs to your meals and you have a ray of sunshine on your table.