Mushroom stock is such a good alternative to a meat based stock. It’s my favourite type of veggie broth as it’s really rich in taste and has a beautiful deep colour. You can get tones of flavour out of mushrooms plus they’re meant to be very good for your gut bacteria. I always have some stashed away in my freezer to make the most delicious mushroom risotto with.
You can really use a mix of any and all varieties of mushrooms. Dried mushrooms work well too. But for simplicity and options you can find in your local supermarket, I tend to use;
2 large flat mushrooms
A handful of brown or white button mushrooms
3 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 Bay leaves
Roughly chop up the mushrooms. Sometimes I’ll dice them up small so I can add them into my risotto or other dishes with the rest of my broth. The only thing is they do get a bit of a slimy/soggy texture when they've been boiling for hours.
Peel onions and cut in half.
Heat a little oil in a big pot, put the onions in face down and let brown. This just helps the broth get a nice deep colour and also a bit of sweetness. Don’t be afraid to let things get a little brown. Brown = flavour. Black = burnt.
Cut carrots and celery sticks in half. Be sure to use the whole of the celery stick, leaves and all. Add to the pot.
Peel garlic cloves and throw in whole, along with the salt, pepper and bay leaves.
Fill pot with as much water as possible. Bring to the boil and turn heat down to a gentle boil.
Leave to boil for 4+ hours. Remember the longer it boils the more flavour you extract you can boil it for over 12 hours. Check on it now and then and top up with water as necessary. Allow the liquid to reduce a little bit, keep the water levels around ¾ full.
There isn't any celery in the batch pictured above because I didn't have any at home. Ingredients are a guide and don't have to be exact. You can always make do with what you have.
Pour the broth through a strainer into containers or mason jars to store in the fridge and freezer. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days. Another trick is to pour it into an ice cube tray, pop out an ice cube of stock to flavour pasta sauces, stews etc.
I’m constantly trying to think of solutions for the strained out contents of the broth, as throwing them in the bin seems like such a waste! They are good compost material if you have compost. Sometimes I will use the bits of mushroom in my mushroom risotto, if they haven’t gone too mushy and slimy in texture. If you have any more ideas of how to reuse the remnants of the veggies, I would love to hear them in the comments below!