Make your own stock for nothing!

Last week I bought some vegetable stock from Maggie Beer’s range. It was delicious in a stew but it cost $8. Here is how I usually make vegetable stock since reading Simplicious. It costs nothing but the gas to cook it.

I got this tip from Sarah Wilson’s Simplicious book. It is a really simple idea, and requires very little effort.

Melbourne’s Covid measures are quite severe. We cannot travel further than 5km without a permit. We cannot visit friends or eat or drink inside cafes or restaurants. Sometimes I think I am growing numb to everything as this isolation drags on and on. So, here is an idea to fill an hour or two, and save you a few dollars a week as it becomes an ongoing habit.

When you are cooking, you often have vegetable peelings and bits of vegetables left during the week – like a single sad carrot, parsnip peelings or a couple of pieces of spring onion. Well, instead of throwing them out, put them in a resealable bag, and store them in the freezer. All kinds of vegetables are worth trying, except onion and cabbage, which have too strong a flavour. Just wash vegetables you want to peel, like carrot or parsnip, before you add them to the bag.

When you have a full bag, and a bit of time at home (ha ha!), put them in a pot and boil them in water for an hour or so until they are soft. Then blend them with a stick blender, and put them through a sieve with the back of a spoon. You will be left with a vegetable mass to discard, and a soupy stock that has nothing but vegetables in it – no salt, flavourings, fat or other additives. This can be frozen as a block, or in an icecube tray. It adds great flavour to spaghetti sauce, slow cooked meals, and anything that requires a flavour burst.

Combines well with a dash of red wine in a slow cooked lamb dish… or anything else really…

More tips from Sarah Wilson’s book to come, with an update on my calligraphy efforts, and a look at the olives which have been in the back of the food cupboard for a while now…

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