The three essential ingredients to this stock are onion, carrot and celery. Scrubbing and or peeling your vegetables will produce a cleaner, fresher taste. No one wants an earthy, cloudy stock. What else you choose to put into it, is essentially up to you. herbs, aromatics, spices, tomatoes and dried mushrooms are all popular. An important consideration worth making is that the food standards agency (UK) lists celery as an allergen.
The 14 allergens listed by the food standards agency are: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs(such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).
2 Onions, regular cooking onions. Peeled and diced
1 Carrot, peeled and diced
2 Celery sticks, diced
1 Bulb of garlic, sliced once horizontally – don’t panic! Just trust me.
8-10 Black peppercorns
1 Handful of woody herbs such as thyme, bay, rosemary and oregano
2 Splashes of olive oil or good cooking oil
This is a good time to clear out your refrigerator, use up all of those lonely vegetables that have been longing for a party in your pan. Avoid the strong, sweet, starchy and overpowering leftovers such as asparagus, turnip, potatoes and beetroot.
Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan
Toss everything in a large oven proof tray, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Boil a kettle full of water.
Get your largest pan, and transfer everything from the roasting tray into it.
Add the kettle full of water and top the pan up with cold water.
Simmer gently for 30mins.
Taste it. Check for depth of flavour and consistency. Does it need to be reduced more? another 15-20 minutes will intensify the flavours. Its your choice.
Season it. Only do this when you are happy with the quality. Seasonings enhance food. They are not the star attraction.
You can use this stock immediately, keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 3 months.