It’s back to business time. Resolutions time. There’s New Year’s to think about, and then come January and February. In order to make them a little easier, I like to spend the coldest months of the year with big pots of good smelling things simmering on the stove, winter root vegetables roasting in a hot oven, and big sweaters tucked under an apron.
In order to make the most of the soups, melty greens, and sauces of the season, I like to cheat a little. Everyone knows that homemade stock and broth would really be the best, but who has time for all that? I’m notorious for stashing vegetable ends, chicken carcasses, and pan drippings in the freezer for future stocks; I’m not as good at actually making them. (Side note: check OUT the fancy new knife that Jason gave me for Christmas–it’s great, right!?)
This is the solution! It’s easier and faster than making a stock from scratch, but you get all of the same delicious depth and control of salt content as you would with a homemade stock. The key is the boxed or canned broth that you start with. I like Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable or Chicken stock for this, but really any unsalted or low-sodium broth or stock will be fine.
To the boxed broth, I add dry white wine, carrots, onion, celery, canned tomatoes, garlic, a few whole cloves, bay leaves, basil, kosher salt & pepper. After simmering for a half hour or so, you’ll have a stock that’s as close to homemade as you could hope for.
2 32-ounce boxes either chicken or vegetable broth, preferably unsalted or low sodium
1/2 cup dry white wine (cheap sauvignon blanc) fun fact: did you know that mason jars have milliliter measurements on them? A cup is about 250 ml, so use that as a guide. This is for rough measuring–never bake this way.
1 whole carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped, including leaves
2 small to medium onions, roughly chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
2 canned whole tomatoes
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves, broken
1 teaspoon dry basil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a bowl and let cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator or the freezer, and use as normal.
The stock will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, and the freezer for several months. Enjoy!
* The images in this post are for a single-batch (1/2 of everything), but I think that it’s always worth it to double this one.