To make your own flavorful vegetable stock, you need to start with a variety of vegetables and aromatics, says chef Robert Mullooly of The Culinary Institute of America. He peels an onion and a carrot, then roughly chops them and adds them to a stockpot. Next, he roughly chops fennel and celery and adds those, too. He smashes two cloves of garlic and adds them to the pot along with 3-4 peppercorns, parsley stems, and bay leaves. He pours in a gallon of water and an ounce of salt, then brings the liquid to a rolling boil. Once the stock is boiling, he reduces the heat and simmers the stock for 25 minutes, then strains it, and presto -- it's ready to use.
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Hi, I'm Chef Rob Mullooly from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to make a vegetable stock.
The first thing we want to do is prepare our vegetables. I have a variety: we've got some onion, we've got some celery, a carrot, some nice garlic, some fennel, bay leaves, and some black peppercorns and parsley stems. All these are going to give us a good, well-balanced vegetable stock.
So you're preparing the vegetables: peel the carrot, peel the onion, peel the garlic. The first thing we want to do is cut into our onion. We've got a nice onion here: go ahead and cut it in half, then cut some good medium-sized pieces. Then your celery: again, about the same size pieces. Rustic cuts! They don't have to be beautiful, we're just using them for the flavor. A little carrot: this is pretty standard right here, you take the core off the carrot, the root, and then slice this into medium-sized pieces. The vegetable stock is only going to cook for about twenty-five minutes and then we're going to strain it through. Chop the fennel, too, and then what I like to do with the garlic is just smash the bulb: with the side of your knife, just give a little pressure here, because you want to be able to extract the liquid; you don't want to just add whole cloves of garlic to it.
I'm going to add my vegetables right to my pot, and I want to add my aromatics: two bay leaves, three or four peppercorns - don't go too heavy on the peppercorns - and we've got some nice parsley stems here as well. They all go right inside the pot, and then we start with cold water: we're using one gallon of cold water for these vegetables, and then one ounce of salt. You want to add a little salt to help bring out the flavor a little bit. This all gets started nice and cold, and then we go ahead and turn the heat on.
We've brought this up to a rolling boil, and we want to let it come down to a simmer, and simmer it for twenty-five minutes. Then we're going to strain it, and cool it. I can turn my heat off at this point and strain right through a strainer - to catch all the vegetables - into my bowl. We're looking for a neutral flavor in the vegetable stock, and also a neutral color. It smells fantastic! And there's your vegetable stock.
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