Chef Rick Vonk spoils us!
“This is probably one of the easiest recipes I make, and the ingredients list changes all the time. Often when I make a vegetable stock, I’m using the scraps I don’t use when making other dishes…such as onion skins, the leafy tops of celery stalks, etc. This time around I decided to add some FigBrew to the mix, because it’s still cold out there, and vegetable stock can be used in so many warm and cozy dishes! Enjoy! – Rick”
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion – chopped 1-inch pieces (Save and include the skin)
1 Bunch of Scallions – rough chopped
2 Carrots – rough chopped
1 Fennel Bulb – rough chopped, save greens
4 Garlic Cloves – sliced lengthwise
2 Tablespoons of Brewed FigBrew
2 Quarts Water
Spice & Herb Sachet:
4 Square Inches of Cheesecloth
12 Sprigs of Parsley Stems
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
1 Tablespoon Whole Coriander
1 Tablespoon Pink Peppercorns
2 Sprigs Thyme
4 Sage Leaves
1 Bay Leaf
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I typically roast my vegetables prior to putting them in the pot. It gives the stock another level of flavor, which in turn is passed on to future dishes made with this stock. Put all vegetables in a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Give it a good mix so that most everything is coated. Spread the vegetables on a baking pan and set in the oven for 20-25 minutes. A little char on the veggies goes a long way, so don’t panic if you see them begin to blacken on the edges. It’s just more flavor!
Once the vegetables are roasted, set them in a large stockpot and add the two quarts of water and the FigBrew. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. It’s at this point that you’ll want to have your sachet ready to put in.
Put all the Sachet ingredients into the square of cheesecloth. Pull the corners together to make a pouch, then tie them with butcher’s twine. Once this is ready, drop it into the pot and let it be.
I let my stock cook for at least 2-3 hours, but you don’t need to cook that long. The reason I cook it longer is to increase the flavors on the stock. You’ll also notice that Salt is NOT included in the ingredients list. This is because any well-made stock is considered an ingredient for another dish. For example, when making a pot of quinoa, you can use stock to enhance the flavor, and it’s only when you put the quinoa into the boiling stock that you would add the salt. In essence, you don’t want to double salt any dish you make using this stock.
When finished cooking, use the cheesecloth to strain out any of the vegetables, leaving a clear, beautifully tasting vegetable stock, ready to be used in any dish you wish to use it!