So a while back we figured out that it is oh so much easier to make stock in the slow cooker than on the stove. Main reason? You can leave the house without turning it off! Stock takes a long time to make, but its worth it to make your own. The ingredients in any stock are typically things you will be throwing away anyways, the cost of some salt and other herbs and a few cups of water and you have FREE stock! Sure beats $4 a box from the store!
We have been saving our veggie scraps in the freezer, then when we run out of stock or have a bag of frozen veggie scraps, we make some homemade vegetable stock.
Here’s how to make your own:
1. Roast the veggies on a baking tray for around 15 minutes (optional but it makes the overall process a bit quicker).
2. Dump the veggies into your slow cooker, add salt and pepper to taste. I usually throw in some garlic, onions and a bit of dried herbs for more flavor in the veggie stock. Cover the veggies with water.
3. Turn the slow cooker on low.* Let the stock go for 5-15 hours. If you roasted the veggies it will need less time. You can also let it go overnight. (If you add meat bones it may take even more time but that’s a future post).
4. After the stock is the color you like, turn the slow cooker off and let it cool down a little.**
5. Once the stock is cool enough to handle, strain it through a colander to get all the big bits out.
The strained stock will look like this:
6. Strain through a smaller sieve if you have one (to get out the herbs and pepper seeds) into the containers for storing the stock. If you think you’ll use it in less than a week store in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it more long term, you can freeze it for a pretty long time. I think we’ve had some up to 6 months in our freezer.
My 4 quart slow cooker usually makes about 10 cups of stock.
* Don’t try to rush this by putting your slow cooker on high. The stock will be more clear if you don’t give it the chance to boil!
** I have left my veggie stock out on the counter overnight to cool before, but don’t do this win meat stock. Get any meat stocks into the refrigerator as soon as they are cool enough.
Have a yummy local week!
This post is linked up on frugally sustainable’s blog hop.