For me one of the most important ingredients you can have in your kitchen is a pot of broth on the hob or in the freezer ready to transform into something magnificent. Broth is as essential as sea salt and black cracked pepper they all have the ability to lift the flavour of something ordinary.
Vegetable Stock: Vegetable stocks comprise of vegetables, usually a combination of carrot, or a winter vegetable, onions, celery, garlic, kale etc but is contains no gelatine and take much less time as vegetables tale less time to cook. You can add seaweed to bluk it up and to give it some texture and thickness. It should also not be heated above 180 F (82 C). One of the advantages of vegetable broth to bone broth is that is has more calcium and to increase this even further throw in more vegetables in the last ten minutes of simmering.
Bone Broth: The aim of a bone broth is to extract as much gelatine from the bones as possible as well as trace minerals. The bone are generally meaty bones that are rich in collegen.
Bone Broth Recipe
1.5kg bones - grass fed or organic
2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
2 stalks of celery
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
You'll also need a slow cooker or large stock pot and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
1. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 180 degrees. Roasting them will gibe a brown colour to your broth, if you want a clare look then cleans the bones first or blanch them
2. Then, place the bones in a large pot or slow cooker. Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
3. Rough chop and add the vegetables, carrots, celery, onions (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the slow cooker. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
4. Cook the bones and vegetables for 8-10 hours or overnight. There maybe a residue that forms over the surface which can be scraped off. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
5. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
6. Once finished cooking let cool slightly and strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a large glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
Basic Mushroom Stock
Taken from Rachel.S Mamane
Total Time: 2 hours including simmering, and initial cooling:
1 1/2 pounds (680 g) button mushrooms including stems
1/2 pound (225 g) white onions, but into large dice
1 pound (445 g), dark green parts remove, but into large dice
1/2 pound (225 g ) carrots, cut into large dice
1 small celery root, peeled, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine
2.8 L filtered water, cold
2 springs of thyme
4 springs of flat leaf parsley
12 black peppercorns
2 bay leafs
sea salt to taste
Start by chopping the mushrooms in a food processor or by hand. If you are looking for a more flavourful stock then reduce the liquid after straining until the correct concentrations desired.
In a medium stock pot heat the oil over a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the vegetables and cook until softened, roughly 5-8 minutes. Add the water and herbs to the pot; add more water to cover the vegetables if necessary. Slowly bring to a gentle boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer, skimming the surface as soon as a scum appears.
Cook for 45 minutes.
Let the stock rest for 45 mins:
line a fine-mesh strainer with cheese cloth and set it on the lid of a container large enough to hold the liquid contents of the pot. Carefully ladle the stock from the pot into a container, leaving any cloudy liquid at the bottom of the pot.
Discard the solids.