One of the most overlooked and misunderstood things in everyday homes is stock. Chicken stock, beef stock, or most: vegetable stock!
Stock is one of those things that make restaurant meals worth a million kroner. Stock and butter, of course, but that’s another story. Stock can be made into soups, sauces, glaces and tons of other things.
The most beautiful thing about stock is: You get to use all your ugly food, ends, trimmings and the like. That halved onion in the fridge? Those old and tired looking carrots? Those tomatoes that are starting to get a little too soft but are still full of flavour? Stock!
Recipe by Anders Vestergaard
This recipe is Ander’s take on a brown, heavily reduced stock you can freeze in small batches and use to flavor tons of dishes.
Here’s what you need for 1L of stock:
- 2 kilos of mixed, old vegetables. We like to use tomatoes, onions, garlic, mushrooms, leeks, cauliflower and squash/eggplant. You can also use celery, parsnips, beetroots, kale, etc. If you want a sweeter stock you can use a lot of onions and carrots as they have a high percentage of natural sugars in them. If you want a heavier, heartier stock you can use celeriac, beetroots or mushrooms.
- Herbs: Whatever you have laying around. Thyme, parsley stems, an old bay leaf. It all depends on what you want your stock to taste like. I personally always use thyme and rosemary.
- Tomato paste: Two to three tablespoons should be enough. Tomato paste adds body and sweetness to stock.
- White flour (optional): Just a teaspoon or two. This is just at the end of the process if you want your stock to thicken a bit.
Here’s how to make it:
- Wash all your vegetables and cut everything into small chunks. Preheat your oven to 220 Celsius.
- Place all your vegetables in a big roasting pan with your herbs, tomato paste and a tablespoon of olive oil and mix together well.
- Roast the vegetables for 80–100 minutes. You don’t want them to blacken, but you want them to be roasted very dark brown. Make sure to stir the vegetables around every now and then.
- When the vegetables are nice and brown, place them in a big pot and cover them with water. Simmer for two hours and strain of the vegetables.
- Now it’s time to reduce. You’ll notice a constant desire to end the process due to the fact that most of your stock is simply boiling away. However, this is the time that really separates the good from the excellent. You really want your stock to reduce down heavily. A good cube of very intense stock is so much better than ten litres of watery vegetable water.
- When the stock is getting to your liking, you are pretty much done. Stock is never salted until the very end because you never know in what cases you need it. We would recommend thickening it with a tablespoon of flour (mixed with a tablespoon of water) if you want your sauce a little bit creamier.
Note: The stock will keep in the fridge for a couple of days but we like to
freeze it in an ice cube tray. That way we always have a little cube of intense flavour ready.