Basic Stock Recipe: Leftover vegetables and other scraps that can save you some money

Alternate title: Stock so rich it can buy you, your friends, and that club.

It’s rare that I use up all of the ingredients that I buy whenever I cook at home. More often than not, I would end up with half an onion or a few sticks of celery left over from the recipe. Luckily, these vegetable scraps and any other bones or shells would actually make a delicious stock that you can keep in your freezer for future use!

shrimp-stock-1
Some leftover vegetables I found lying around. These three are the main vegetables I put whenever I make a vegetable stock.

Note: For this batch of stock, I used the prawn shells from last week’s gambas for a flavorful shrimp stock.

Ingredients

  • Quartered white onions
  • Celery cut into half an inch pieces
  • Carrots cut into half an inch pieces
  • Shrimp shells or other bones you might have lying around (Optional)
shrimp-stock-2
If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook, you know I kinda went crazy with prawns/gambas last week. Cooking up that much prawns means only one thing: Shrimp stock! Make sure to always keep these if you’re using peeled shrimps/prawns.

Procedure

  1. Bring a stockpot up to medium heat. Add a little bit of oil once the pot is hot.
  2. Put in your onions, celery, and carrots. Make sure you have all of your vegetables on an even layer at the bottom of the pot.
  3. Leave the vegetables in the pot, mixing occasionally to make sure that they don’t burn. We want to just caramelize them lightly.

    shrimp-stock-3
    Here some of the onions have already started forming a nice, brown crust. Caramelization is flavor!


  4. If you have some shrimp shells or bones, add them in to brown after the vegetables have caramelized.

    shrimp-stock-4
    The bottom shells have started to get some color. I waited a bit for everyone to go orange before adding my water.


  5. Once the shrimp shells or bones get a good color on them, add just enough water to cover all of the ingredients and bring all of this to a boil.
  6. Once the water boils, throw this first boiling out and replace it with new water. (I find that this leads to a cleaner stock and makes for less skimming once you get start doing the main boil.)

    shrimp-stock-5
    I’ve already tossed out the first water I added. If I hadn’t done this, I would have had quite a bit of gunk floating around in the water from the shrimp shells/heads.


  7. Leave this on the stove for at least an hour. I would suggest leaving it on for as long as you can to really get all the flavor out of the ingredients.

    shrimp-stock-6
    Over four hours in at 7:45 and it is looking good!

    shrimp-stock-7
    Almost an hour and a half more on a low simmer and the lid on, the stock had reduced. Less water should mean a tastier, richer stock. Time check: 9:20.
  8. When done, let it cool a bit then strain the stock into containers to keep in the freezer.

    shrimp-stock-8
    The stock and all that remained from the ingredients before I transferred them to a container and store it in the freezer.

There you have it! This is what I usually do whenever I make risottos or pastas to help me get even more flavor into the final product. It’s a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have lying around in your refrigerator and makes for an extremely convenient way to get tastier dishes. Happy boiling!

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