It all started 3 years ago. At that time, we were living happily in Yangon, Myanmar. We subscribed to a door to door service that deliver fresh vegetables on a weekly basis.
Every single week, we received a huge variety of seasonal produces of top quality. As I didn’t choose what I received, it pushed me to cook vegetables and herbs that I have never cooked before, and explore new recipes.
One vegetable in particular was particularly challenging: Kohlrabi. After weeks of attempts and pushback from the entire family, I had to admit my defeat and informed the delivery service to ban this product from future baskets.
We always tried our best to finish everything before the next delivery but sometimes it was almost impossible.
One day, I was wasting time on Facebook and I bumped into a friend post who that talk about making your own vegetable stock with vegetable scraps. The idea sounds great so I started doing it since. It was 3 years ago and since then; I have continued to make my own vegetable stock.
Why doing your own veggie stock?
Because it is healthier
Have you checked the composition of the stock you buy from the supermarket? Even if you take the top-notch stock, it is always full of additive and salt.
The latter is a real concern for health. I also find salted stock to be extremely annoying in the cooking.
As long as I have cooked, I have always favored the most basic natural ingredients as often as possible. First, because this is the only way to control the quality. Second, because it is also the best way to control your meal taste and especially seasoning.
Lets say you are cooking a nice stew and already seasoned your meal to your liking with salt and pepper. And you just realize that adding some beef or chicken stock will certainly be a nice addition to the meal taste. But it is too late, all these processed stocks are salty so adding them into your meal will make it oversalty.
That is the reason why I will always prefer using blend ingredients. Diced tomato, peeled tomato or tomata paste over tomato sauce. Garlic gloves over garlic paste etc…
Because it is cheaper
The average price on Amazon for Maggi Vegetable Flavor Bouillon is $3 for 80g. That is $38 per kilogram!
By using your vegetable scraps to make your own stock, you basically get it for free besides the electricity / gas and the container cost.
Because it helps you to recycle veggies and herbs before they get spoiled
It requires a little bit of planning as you do not want to make stock with vegetables that are moldy or rotten. But if you feel like you are not going to use veggies in time, you can freeze them for your stock.
What is the big deal with veggie stock?
We use it almost everywhere. Veggie stock is a great base for a lot of recipes. First, it will enhance the flavor of any ragout (1). You can also use it in your Bolognese sauce or as a base for a nice chili. We also use it for soup whether it is plain soup or Asian noodle soup. The possibilities are endless.
How do I make vegetable stock?
The process is super easy.
First of all, you need a large zip bag that you will stock in the freezer. Every day, you are going to fill your zip bag with all the scraps from your cooking. This includes carrot skin, beet skin, zucchini skin, cucumber skin, tomato pedicle, tomato seed, cabbage, salad, garlic skin, onion skin, celery leaves, ginger skin etc… You can also add to the bag all the vegetable or herbs that are too old and not appealing anymore.
Things to avoid in your stock: potatoes, corn, powder herbs and any vegetable which is rotten or moldy.
Once your bag is full of veggies, fill a large pot with water and simmer the vegetables for 2-3 hours.
If the water has evaporated, don’t hesitate to add some more during the simmering. After 3 hours, the water should have a nice dark color and smell amazing.
Then, filter the juice with a fine passeoire (2) and pour it into small disposable cups. Stock your cups in the freezer.
You can now dispose the vegetable scraps to the bin. They have served their time!
How to make homemade chicken stock?
You can use the same exact process to make chicken stock. Just add to your veggies, bones and skin from a large cooked or raw chicken carcass and that is it!
How to make homemade beef stock?
I think you got the drill right?
I would recommend to use chunky beef bones (with lots of marrow), knuckle bones if possible, if you can add veal bones for their gelatin, it is even better.
Vegetable Stock Ultimate Edition
So you think you made the best use of your vegetable scraps? You think these deserve to rest in peace in your bin. Well you are wrong!
When I started doing vegetable stock, I passed the recipe to one of my friend who immediately adopted it. But he is the kind of guy that like to push things to their limit so he came up with the following technique which is amazing.
After simmering your skins, filter and store the juice in the freezer. Then spread the boiled scraps over a dripping-pan. Cook slowly in the oven till the skins turn to chips.
When there is no humidity left, mix the vegetable chips until you get a powder. This powder can be used as dehydrated stock!
If you feel that your powder is not perfectly dry, add a few rice grains to your jar. Rice will absorb the humidity.
Thanks to this technique, you will not throw any veggie in the bin anymore. Everything will be recycled.
Glossaire / Glossary:
(1) Ragout: Stew
(2) Passoire: Colander