WHAT IS VEGETABLE STOCK?
Vegetable stock is a a flavored water that is used to both imbue flavor as well as moisture in cooked dishes. The name “stock” here is somewhat misleading. Classically the difference between a stock and broth is that stocks use animal bones (adds collagen – think of it as gourmet Jello). Broth in turn only uses vegetables and / or animal flesh. So technically this might be called a vegetable “broth”but no one does. Well, ok detail obsessed braniacs like Alton Brown and Elon Musk might. But for the rest of us “vegetable stock” works just fine.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING VEGETABLE STOCK
- Reuse Recipe
Vegetable stock is quick and easy to make–either from whole vegetables or from vegetable trimmings. Save the trimmings from your veggies all week in a zip top bag in the fridge then use them for stock–you’ll get just as much flavor as whole vegetables while reusing the bits you’d otherwise throw away including peels. It’s economical and green.
- What goes in is what comes out
Like chicken stock how you flavor your stock is really up to you. When it comes to vegetable stock, however, it’s not just about the spices and herbs but the veggies themselves. For example, if you use more mushrooms you’ll get an earthier flavor. Use more carrots and your stock will be sweeter. (Chef Stef Note – And if you use less broccoli your stock will be less evil).
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH VEGETABLE STOCK?
So stocks are meant to be helpful ingredients to cooking better dishes. Any recipe that uses any type of stock will work with a vegetable stock, though in some cases not as well. The addition of chicken, beef, veal etc are each unique in their flavor characteristics. Soups, rice and other grains, as well as stuffings and poaching are all good opportunities to use vegetable stock. It is an obvious choice for vegetarian dishes, and is sometimes thickened to the point that it can simulate a beef gravy. (written by Chef Stef)