I’ve made vegetable stocks in many ways. The traditional way, in a pressure cooker… and finally this way – sous vide.
Cooking the stock sous vide is almost like a very gentle infusion. It makes the vegetable flavors very clean and distinct whereas vegetable stocked cooked other ways is stronger and a bit more mono flavored. It’s also quite easy and you can do other stuff while the stock is cooking sous vide for hours. Preparing the vegetables will take a while though, it takes me around 1.5 hours.
The final yield will be around 500 g stock.
Ingredients for Vegetable stock, en sous vide:
280g onion, thinly sliced
200g carrots, thinly sliced
100g celery, thinly sliced
100 leeks (white parts only), thinly sliced
50g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
50g tomato, chopped
10g chives, sliced
10g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1g coriander seeds
1g black peppercorns
0.5g fresh bay leaf
0.5g star anise, crushed
How to make Vegetable stock, en sous vide:
Preheat your water bath to 85C.
Put the ice in the sous vide bag (I use a 1 gallon/3.8 liter bag) and then the rest of the ingredients. Vacuum seal on full vacuum and then cook sous vide for 3 hours.
When done put the sous vide bag in the fridge and let infuse for 12 hours. This will let the flavors infuse more fully. Strain and pass through a SuperBag.
Portion then refrigerate or freeze for later use.
This is my go-to mushroom stock. It’s made in the pressure cooker so it’s really fast. Cleaning the mushroom will take a while, maybe 30 minutes.
The final yield will be around 750 g stock.
Ingredients for Mushroom stock.
100g unsalted butter
750g button mushrooms, halved
200g Dry Madeira
8 sprigs of thyme
5g black peppercorns
1500g spring water
How to make Mushroom stock:
To clean the mushroms I put them all in the sink filled with water, then clean them one by one with papertowels, brushing off the dirt. Once cleaned place in a bowl, when the bowl is full place your hand on top and tip over to drain off any water, then place the mushrooms on a plate topped with kitchentowels to drain further. Once kinda dry, half all mushrooms with a knife.
Melt the butter in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and stir and shake the pot to coat them with the melted butter. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. The mushrooms will release loads of water but continue to cook until the water is evaporated. When evaporated the mushrooms will brown quite quickly so keep a close eye on them so they don’t go too far.
Deglaze the pan with the Madeira. Once it’s boiling set fire to the alcohol with a match or lighter while standing well back. Once the flames subside let it boil down to a thick syrup.
Add 1500g spring water, the black peppercorns and the thyme to the pressure cooker, put the lid on. Bring up to full pressure over high heat then reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
Take the pressure cooker off the heat and allow to cool. Once the pressure dissipated remove the lid and strain the stock into a clean saucepan through a chinois. Reduce the stock by half over high heat.
This reduction is easily done by first weighing the empty saucepan, then weighing the saucepan with the sieved stock in it. Then take this total weight minus the empty saucepan weight, divide by two and add to the empty saucepan weight. This is the final weight we are aiming for when the stock is reduced by half. Keep weighing your saucepan while reducing until this weight is hit.
Pass the stock through a SuperBag or a sieve lined with two layers of wet muslin cloth. Portion then refrigerate or freeze for later use.
White chicken stock is chicken stock where the chicken carcass or whatever you are using have been blanched instead of being roasted or sauteed.
By blanching the chicken first some of the fat and impurities gets removed and can easily be discarded with the blanching water, this results in a clearer stock.
After the stock has been made it’s important to store it in the refrigerator overnight. This makes the fat set on the surface of the stock where it can then be scraped off and discarded. After that the stock can be stored in the fridge for up to five days or the freezer for about three months. Make sure you mark the container you are storing the stock in with the date it was made.
The stock can of course be used for a variety of uses… stocks, braising vegetables, cooking lentils, sauces etc. etc.
It’s a bit of work but it’s so much better than stock you can buy in the supermarket!
This recipe yields about 1.5 liter of stock.
Ingredients for the White chicken stock:
1.5 kg chicken wings (preferably organic)
200g carrots, cut into chunks
2 leeks, white part only, cut into chunks
Half a celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 onion, studded with 2 cloves
150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
Six whole black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (one leek leaf, six parsley stalks, one bay leaf, one sprig of thyme. Herbs wrapped in the leek leaf and tied at both ends with kitchen string.)
Preparing the White chicken stock:
Start by blanching the chicken wings. Put them in a casserole or stock pot (at least 6-7 liters big), cover with 3 liters of cold water. Put the pot on high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken wings from the pot with tongs or a spoon, put into a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Set aside and throw away the water in the pot and wash it out. The reason why we remove the chicken wings from the pot in this way is to not poor the impurities and scum from the pan over them while in the colander.
Return the chicken wings to the pot and cover with 2.5 liters cold water. Bring to the boil over a low heat and then immediately lower the heat and keep at a simmer.
After 5 minutes of simmering, skim the surface of foam and fat, then add all the other ingredients.
Cook gently for 2 hours, skimming the surface whenever necessary to keep the stock as clear as possible.
Put a bowl large enough to hold the stock in the sink or in a larger bowl. Fill the sink (or bowl) with cold water and add a few ice cubes.
Strain the stock into the smaller bowl through a chinois (a fine-meshed conical sieve) lined with muslin. Let cool in the bowl.
Transfer to a container and put in the fridge overnight. The next day you can easily remove any fat that will at this point have gathered at the surface of the stock.
Refrigerate and use within 4 or 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months (I mark the container with painters tape so that I can write the contents and date produced).