Crock Pot Vegetable Stock

homemade is best

I am so sad that Thanksgiving is already over. It is by far my favorite holiday in the whole world, and I hate having to reset the clock to wait another year for the next one. We had a great gathering this year, though, so I’ll just cling to that feeling until 2015. My brother Dane came in from Baltimore to celebrate with us, so it was good to see him, too. We ended up hosting a grand total of 20 people in our 650 square food apartment, so bully for us. We had two extra folding tables, and some friends were kind enough to bring folding chairs with them so that we could seat (most) of our guests comfortably, although once you sat down with your plate you were locked in position until we broke down our elaborate setup. I made what must have been over 30 pounds of fried chicken, green chile macaroni and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, arugula salad (which nobody touched because why did I even bother with a fresh, green salad on Thanksgiving, the Day of Carbs), cornbread and sausage stuffing, and a mocha ice box cake. The fried chicken was a hit, yet again – perfectly moist and crispy. Friends brought lots of food, too: chestnut stuffing, potatoes au gratin, tofurkey (oh yes), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, various roasted vegetables, green beans with pancetta, crack pie from Momofuku, some kind of delicious cherry cake, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and, most importantly, peppermint Joe-Joes. Obviously the wine, whisky and beer flowed freely as well. We played Werewolves, Two Rooms and a Boom and Heads Up, stuffed our faces and went back for seconds, and had an all around good time. Thanks to everyone who shared the holiday with us – let’s rent out an event space next year and double the party!

crock pot vegetable stockThe adorable Tofu, biscuit making, seeing Late Night with Seth Meyers and Die Hard the Saturday after Thanskgiving. Follow me on Instagram!

After Thanksgiving, we cleaned up and slept in, then Kramer convinced me to make a Friday morning breakfast feast consisting of pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon, alongside plenty of coffee. After lounging around for a bit, we decided to walk down to Brooklyn Bowl to meet our friend Morgan for a few games. After bowling, we made our way to The Levee for a snack (pb&j, of course) then over to PT for a delicious Italian dinner with our friends Matt and Amanda. A few more drinks at Videology, and we were ready to head home, but not before watching This Is The End before bed. Can you believe Dane hadn’t seen it? On Saturday, we did the best thing ever: saw Die Hard at Nitehawk for brunch. I can’t think of a better way to start off the holiday season. Post brunch, we lounged at the apartment for a bit, then played a game of Pandemic with our friend Danny, after which we ate well at Suzume, my favorite neighborhood ramen spot. Big beers, salmon ramen, chicken wings and sushi were happily consumed. We waddled over to The Grand National for some arcade games after dinner, then hung out with my friend Jeena and her friend Jess before calling it a night. Sadly, Dane had to leave the next morning, so we mourned this heavy loss by meeting with friends for dinner at an Indonesian spot I had been meaning to check out in Greenpoint, called Selmat Pagi. We had aromatic mussels, coconut kale, buttery eggplant, beef rendang (my favorite), nasi goreng (spiced vegetable fried rice with an egg), plenty of prawn chips with various dipping sauces, and sambal deviled eggs. We were fat and happy at the end of the meal, so we had to get a nightcap at The Shanty to finish things off. Yes, it was quite the weekend, and yes, I’m doing my best to eat some leafy greens and wholesome vegetables because I don’t think I ate more than a few bites of actual, healthy food in the past week. Worth it! It’s the holidays.

crock pot vegetable stock

In an effort to eat better, and maybe stock up on some winter soups, I present to you this vegetable stock. It’s made in a crock pot, and it couldn’t be easier. I always keep a sealable baggie full of vegetable scraps in my freezer, and recently my brother, Dane, called me to ask how to make vegetable stock from a similar baggie of vegetables that he had in his freezer. This reminded me that my bag was pretty much full, from carrot peels, onion butts and leftover pieces of zucchini, broccoli, garlic and whatever else I happened to throw in there, so it was time for me to make stock, too. It really doesn’t matter what vegetables you have, as long as you can fill up a 1 gallon baggie of whatever it is. Just toss it all in the crock pot (no need to thaw it out), add a bay leaf and 8 to 10 cups of water, then let it simmer on low for 8-10 hours (or on high for 4-5 hours, but I prefer the flavors of a low, slow stock). The color and texture of your stock will vary depending on what you have in your crock pot. For example, I had a few leftover bits of purple carrot in my stock, so it was a lovely dark brown color. The longer you let your stock bubble away for, the darker it will be, so consider that when you make yours. You can certainly make this in a stock pot on the stove, if you like – just bring it to a simmer, cover and allow it to cook for 3 hours or so. I do think that the crock pot is the best way to go about it, though, and considering how easy and waste-free the method is, I don’t see why everyone wouldn’t try it! Plus, once you have your stock, you’re ready to make tasty soups like this Roasted Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup or this Roasted Broccoli Soup. Just saying.


crock pot vegetable stockA big ol’ bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Jeena and me with our temporary Jared Leto tats, bowling at Brooklyn Bowl and a rousing game of Pandemic.

crock pot vegetable stockI just keep a big bag of veggies in my freezer at all times, adding to it over the weeks or months.

crock pot vegetable stockYou can use peels, butts, skins, whatever – it all makes for a flavorful stock.

crock pot vegetable stockLet the veggies cook with your water for 8-10 hours on low (or 4-5 hours on high), then strain.

crock pot vegetable stockUse the stock within a week, or freeze it for up to 6 months.

crock pot vegetable stock

Crock Pot Vegetable Stock
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Serves: 8-10 cups
 
Fresh, homemade vegetable stock made right in the crock pot.
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon sized Ziploc bag full of vegetable scraps (I had a variety - zucchini, onions, carrots, broccoli, garlic, celery, mushrooms, etc.)
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. The best way to get the appropriate amount of vegetables for this is to keep a gallon sized bag in your freezer and fill it up with vegetable scraps until it's full. I had the butts of onions and zucchini, thick broccoli stalks, carrot peels and more in my bad. Waste not!
  2. There's no need to thaw out your vegetables before making this stock. Simply throw your frozen vegetables in your crock pot, add your water to the brim, add in the bay leaf, and turn it on. You can let the crock pot go for 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high (I recommend low).
  3. When you're ready, remove the solids from the stock using a slotted spoon, then strain through a mesh sieve to get everything out of the liquid. Use within 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. You can add salt, pepper and other seasonings to the stock if you like (my favorite is curry powder, cayenne and a little garlic salt), but I prefer to use the stock in soups and whatnot as it is, seasoning after I've decided what I want to use it for.

 

4 Responses

  1. DIY is definitely the best when it comes to veggie stock. I love making my own, but this crock pot version is king!

  2. I’ve never even thought of doing stock in a crock pot. I’m definitely going to do this with my winter veggie scraps!

  3. ho-lee-crap. such a good idea. now i’m totally mourning the loss of all my discarded onion + carrot butts and celery foliage. thanks for sharing this!

  4. […] your water or stock, puree, taste and adjust seasonings as […]

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