If you’ve cooked even a few of the recipes I’ve shared in the last year and a half you should have a good pile of mushroom stems saved up in your freezer. Now you can turn all those tough stems into yummy mushroom stock!
I made mushroom stock last weekend because we ended up with a pile of sandy mushrooms. Sad! We didn’t want to sell them and we didn’t really want to eat them, so I chopped them up, stems and all, and made stock. I’m sure all the grit went to the bottom of the pot and I strained the stock at the end.
– Mushroom stems (and/or mushroom caps) – Carrots – Onions – Parsley, Thyme – Salt and pepper
How much of each ingredient depends on how big your pot is. You can fit a lot into a big stock pot. But if you only have a dutch oven (basically a large pot) or a large saucepan, you can scale down to smaller amounts. You want lots of mushrooms/stems and a little carrot, and you probably can’t have too many onions. I had a large stock pot and used 1 big carrot, 2 onions, a big handful of parsley, a healthy clump of thyme, and a ridiculous lot of mushrooms (I probably didn’t need as many as I used).
You can just throw your mushroom stems (and mushrooms too) into the pot raw, but sauteing them in oil first adds a lot of flavor. Whether you saute or not, you want to cut everything up. It doesn’t need to be perfectly sliced, just roughly chopped. And the beauty of stock is, you can use everything! Throw in the carrot top and rooty bottoms, throw in the onion skins, use your onions and carrots even if they’re a bit dried up or gone limp. Saute everything (carrots, onions, mushrooms, herbs) in batches and then toss into your pot.
Add water to the pot to cover all the ingredients and an inch or two over that. Bring the pot to boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer. You want to simmer for at least a few hours, the longer the better. Skim any foam off the top as its simmering. When you start taste-testing, add salt and pepper to taste.
How do you know when the stock is done? Your carrots will be well cooked and mashable. The water level will have gone down in the pot a couple inches. And you’ll know by the all important taste – is it mushroomy enough? When it’s to your liking, you can strain the stock into canning jars. Freeze the jars to thaw and use when ready, or can them (which saves freezer space).
Use anywhere you would use stock or broth!