Monday, March 29, 2010

No frills crock pot veggie stock

I mention, in this post, how I use a chicken carcass and my crockpot to make chicken stock. Then I thought...hmmm...I bet I could do the same thing with vegetables and make veggie stock. I realize that I have poo-poo-ed Vegetable stock in the past, but that was the boxed variety. Usually the homemade versions just about anything are tastier than the prepackaged stuff.

So, I did a search on the handy dandy Internet and found this recipe on suite101.com, this one from Tiffin box, and this one from of all places, a site called Vegetarian slow cooker. The three recipes were quite similar. The basic differences are that the first recipe contains leeks and tomatoes, the second has fennel bulb and chili peppers, while the third adds potatoes and apples.
OK, so I didn't have any of those things, but someday I plan on trying each of those recipes. I'm especially interested in how much heat the pepper would bring to the stock, and if the stock with the apple is sweet. Here is what I ended up doing to make the veggie stock:

Mrsblocko's No Frills Veggie Stock
3 small carrots
3 ribs celery
1 bunch of green onions
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
1 tsp each thyme, rosemary and parsley

Cut everything into large chunks. Place all ingredients in a 5 qt slowcooker. Cover with water. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours. I cooked mine on high for 4 hours then kept it on warm all night. Strain stock in a cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the veggies. There's a lot of good flavors lingering in the veggies.

The container on the left is homemade chicken stock and the one on the right is the homemade vegetable stock. It's pretty easy to tell which one is which. I think if I used the onion skins in the vegetable stock it would result in a darker broth.

I asked Mrblocko to give me his opinion on the stock and he said it tasted like the chicken stock without any salt or fat. No matter how much I skim the fat off the top of the chicken stock, some of it always remains. There is also salt that leaches into the chicken stock from the seasonings that are put on the chicken before it is roasted. Out of the two stocks, the chicken stock is less healthy, and is clearly going to taste better. Let's face it, fat and salt are tasty villains.

I'm by no means saying that this vegetable stock wasn't tasty, it's just that the chicken stock is tastier. The good thing is that most of the time I use stock is in sauces and in soups, so the stock has lots of other flavors to back it up. Other than the color, I doubt we'll be able to tell the difference. It's good to know that if I don't have a chicken, or it's too hot to roast one, I can still make some tasty homemade stock.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds really good. Since it has such a mild flavor, it might be good to use to make seafood soups and stews!

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  2. Monkey's UncleMarch 29, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    On the rare, (ok, almost never) occasion that I make any fatty stock I put it in the icebox until the fat solidifies and then pour it through a sieve.

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