I figured that so long as I was trying to make chicken stock, and so long as I had some scraps and spare vegetables from other recipes, and a fridge drawer full of some veggies I wouldn’t necessarily be using quickly (the place where my boyfriend works trades goods with a local farmer, so he bought me what they got in trade), I may as well try my hand at making some vegetable stock. 

(I still have a drawer with a large bag of beets and some patty pan squashes and a zucchini that I could probably use as an assault weapon. Seeking suggestions.)

Some tips for making veggie stock that I got from both this recipe and a good friend: 

  • don’t use carrot tops (they make it bitter)
  • beets will give it a weird color
  • don’t salt your stock (since you don’t know the salt levels of what recipes you’re using it in might call for)
  • only simmer your stock for 120 mins (2 hours) tops, as the stock doesn’t have collagen in it that needs to develop like a meat stock

And generally, your recipe for this is gonna vary heavily, depending on whatever you have available. I used leeks and leftover leek ends, some spare carrots, shallots, parmesan rinds, peppercorns, garlic, kale, and a patty pan squash.  Honestly, just save your veggie scraps from whatever you might’ve been making, and use those. 

Also? This is gonna make a lot. I used half of that big container (six cups) in an upcoming recipe. I’m gonna have enough for a damn long time. 

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

  • whatever vegetable scraps/leftover vegetables from other recipes you might have on hand (see above for what all I used this time, and for what not to use)
  • parmesan rinds (seriously, these add a great flavor)
  • bay leaf
  • small handful of peppercorns
  • peeled garlic cloves, maybe a shallot
  • water
  • (original recipe recommends herbs of choice and sea salt, honestly, you don’t need much more than the above)

In a large pot, take your vegetables/vegetable scraps, parmesan rinds, bay leaf, peppercorns, peeled garlic cloves and shallot, and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, until the stock looks similar to picture 3. Take a slotted spoon, scoop the boiled veggies out, and then run the soup through a strainer, to catch whatever may have been missed by the slotted spoon. 

Put the stock in a storage container, and depending on what you’re going to do with it, either use immediately, toss in the fridge for a few days, or store in the freezer for long term use. 

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I’m really, really proud of how this turned out.  This was cooked entirely in an unfamiliar kitchen, with not quite complete ingredients, and mostly a wing and a prayer, as I had no idea how the oven functioned. However? It turned out really fucking good, and actually had at least my dad going back for seconds. So, yeah. I can do a hell of a roast.

Rib Roast

Ingredients

  • 1 rib roast (boneless or bone-in)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 T tri-color peppercorns, ground
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary (substituted tarragon, dried)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (substituted dried)
  • .5 c minced garlic (substituted dried, significantly less)
  • .5 c coarse sea salt (again, substituted significantly less)

Preheat oven to 500. 

Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over high, and then sear both ends of the roast, until golden brown. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and thyme, crush the peppercorns, and then mix it together with the salt and minced garlic. Set the roast in the roasting pan fat side up, pour the remaining olive oil over it, and spread the rub on it, patting it as much as possible to get it to stick. 

Put the roast in the oven, and cook at 500 for between twenty to thirty minutes. Then, reduce the heat down to 300, and cook for another twenty to thirty minutes for rare/medium rare.  The cuts above were after about twenty five minutes in the oven at 300 after twenty five at 500, and with a significant amount of cooling time. The roast will still cook a bit after putting it in the oven, though.

And then, enjoy your fantastic roast.