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Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 09:47 pm

Vegetable stock

art8174

This recipe is the result of much experimentation. Though it’s easy to make flavorful vegetable stock, what’s usually missing is the body that the natural gelatins in meat bones provide. Finally I hit on it: okra! That and the potatoes give this stock its body, making it as good as, if not better, than meat stocks. 

  • 2 large onions, NOT super-sweet
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 T. melted butter (preferred) or vegetable oil
  • 2 c. chopped okra
  • 1 c. dried mushrooms such as shiitake
  • 4 stalks celery
  • Stems from 1 bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 leek tops (the green parts)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme, or several sprigs fresh thyme.
  • 4 cloves garlic or to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 T. peppercorns
  • 1 lb. red boiling potatoes, cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 450. Quarter the onions and two carrots. Toss with just enough butter to barely coat, and put in a single layer in a roasting pan.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally until the vegetables are evenly and deeply browned. Put the onions and carrots into a deep pot. Deglaze the roasting pan with water, and add to the pot. Add the remaining ingredients except the potatoes and cover with 2 gallons of water. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 2 hours. Add the potatoes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing lightly on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible without pushing them through the strainer. Makes about 1 gallons of stock.