Not being able to use stock cubes right now due to the onion they contain, I haven’t had much choice but to start making my own stock. The plan was to make a massive batch of veg stock (so much quicker than meat ones), reduce it down and freeze it in ice cube trays.
So… I pulled out the two largest pans I had, filled them up with FODMAP friendly veg and litres of water, simmered for 30 minutes, removed from the heat, let the vegetables steep in the stock for the rest of the day, strained the stock, returned it to a pan, put it on the boil to reduce it, cooked and ate dinner, checked on the stock – about halfway there – went upstairs, worked on a blog post, got distracted by blog post, lost track of time…can you guess where all this is going?
Yep, I forgot I had a big pan of stock reducing! And I didn’t remember until I left my room and a pungent aroma met me on the landing. I ran downstairs thinking all those litres of stock were completely lost and expected the worst as I peered over into the massive saucepan. About 3 tablespoons of stock remained! I impulsively splashed a load of water back over it, perhaps in an attempt to fool myself into thinking it never happened. Then I tasted… It was still hideously strong, but it was ok, just about. Diluted right back up you’d never know!
I wish I had a photo to show you of my reduced to practically nothing stock – a before and after would be even better. But in my panicked state I really wasn’t thinking photos! Sadly all I’ve got is this one of some of the stock infusing.
FODMAP friendly stock (makes about 5 litres)
I flung in a few less traditional stock vegetables in this recipe, including red pepper and a little bit of turnip, to make up for the lack of onion and leek . I also added some chunks of orange for a slightly fresher flavour.
- 4 large carrots
- 4 sticks of celery
- 1/2 turnip
- 1 red pepper
- 1 orange
- parsley stalks (about 20)
- 2 bay leaves
- thyme sprigs (about 10)
- black peppercorns (about 10)
- 5 litres cold water
- Roughly chop all the vegetables and the orange and place in a pan large enough to hold all the vegetables plus 5 litres of water, (or divide between two pans if you don’t have one big enough.)
- Cover the vegetables with the cold water, add the herbs and peppercorns and bring just to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and allow the stock to simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cold, place in the fridge (if you can find room!) and allow the vegetables to infuse in the stock for up to twelve hours.
- Stain the stock through a sieve. Keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days, freeze it as it is or reduce it first so it takes up less space. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and forget about it! If you’re reducing it, gauge how much you’ve reduced it by so you know how much water you need to dilute it back to the original strength. i.e. if you reduce it down to about a quarter of its original volume, you’ll need one part reduced stock to three parts water.