Saturday, December 19, 2015

DIY Vegetable stock

About $70 worth of stock if I bought it at my local grocery store.  

Yesterday Chris took 8 gallon bags of frozen vegetable odds and ends that would otherwise be trash/compost and put them in our huge stockpot and covered them with water where they simmered all day.

And I mean odds and ends.  Onion skins, carrot peels and ends, parsley stems, celery tops the paper from garlic, stems of mushrooms, apple cores the ends of tomatoes and the tops of leeks.  Some whole carrots and celery that were rubbery 'cause they hadn't been stored properly and mushrooms that were just this side of slimy.  Pretty much any vegetable that does not have a strong flavor (read cabbage, asparagus etc) went into Ziploc bags and into the freezer until we got tired of moving them when looking for ground beef.

When I got home from work I added a bottle of chardonnay (oaked - not our favorite to drink) a handful of mixed peppercorns and a few bay leaves.  We left it on low overnight - a bare simmer (if you have a pilot light on a gas stove that will be enough)  Like meat stock we don't boil, just simmer.

When I got home from taking the youngest to roller derby practice, Chris was ladeling strained stock into clean jars to pressure can. Each jar received a tsp of salt before going into the canner - just to enhance flavor.  All the directions say follow the times/pressure for meat stock - so 13lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for our altitude.  It took just under 2 hours (2 batches) to can 14 qts.

In the few years I have been canning stock I have had only one jar go bad and it was pretty obvious when I brought it upstairs from the pantry.  Mold floating on top told me to dump it.  Turned out that lid had never sealed so I tossed it also.

But stock is almost $5 a quart at the store so using a little common sense and some time is totally worth it. Oh and I will pay for 5 gallons of water from Denver Water.  Still a deal.

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