So sometimes I assume that if I can find an ingredient at the grocery store here, everyone else can easily find that ingredient too. But it’s not always true! And I’ve had a few people ask me about mushroom stock. I always buy cartons of it and I figured that they sold them everywhere. Well, I guess not.
Since I did a post on how to make your own vegetable broth from kitchen scraps last month, I thought I’d do a post about how to make mushroom stock this month. So now all your broth and stock needs are covered! Mushroom stock is a great staple to keep on hand if you don’t eat meat–the deep, rich flavor and color makes it a great substitute for beef stock.
Like vegetable broth, most mushroom stock recipes call for lots of fresh mushrooms and vegetables. Some of them even use dried mushrooms too. And I am way way way too cheap to buy expensive dried mushrooms just to make stock. Even the fresh mushrooms add up in cost if you’re using more than just the white variety. So I set out to come up with a mushroom stock recipe that, like vegetable broth, used kitchen scraps. Cheap! No waste!
So if you have your freezer bag started for vegetable broth, you’ll want to start another freezer bag for scraps to use to make mushroom stock. And now, whenever you make something with mushrooms, instead of trimming the stems, pop them off and put them in the freezer bag. The more kinds of mushroom stems you have, the better–I used white, cremini, portabella, and shiitake mushrooms in this batch of stock. (Bonus: Pulling off the stems instead of cutting the ends off will help you save on prep time too.) Leek trimmings, skins and trimmings from onions and shallots, carrot peels and trimmings, and leaves and ends of celery can be added to the bag too. But make sure your bag consists of about half mushrooms. (This is mushroom stock, after all!) Oh, and everything you put in the bag should be clean–nothing dirty, nothing rotten, nothing moldy.
When you’re ready to make your stock, combine the frozen scraps with double the amount of water in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. So if you have 4 cups of scraps, add 8 cups of water. You can also add a minced clove of garlic or two, a bay leaf, springs of parsley, thyme, or sage, and even some fresh veggies if you like. A splash of red wine is a nice addition too. If you want to make the stock into mushroom broth, just season it to taste with some salt and pepper when it’s done cooking. Easy!
Bring the mushroom stock to a boil and then let it simmer partially covered on low heat for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, uncover the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes more. Let the stock cool and then pour it into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Use a wooden spoons to press the vegetables against the strainer in order to extract as much stock as possible. You can use the stock immediately, keep it in the fridge for about a week, or freeze it for a few months.
I like freezing mine flat in freezer bags. (Need some freezer labels so you remember what you have frozen and when it needs to be used by? Oh, I have some!) You can stack them in your freezer and they’ll take up a minimal amount of space. When you’re ready to use the stock, let it thaw in the fridge for about a day.
I hate wasting perfectly good vegetables to make mushroom stock--using kitchen scraps is a cheaper, less wasteful alternative!
- 2 c. frozen mushroom stems
- 2 c. frozen vegetable scraps (onion and shallot skins, carrot and celery trimmings, etc.)
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 c. water
- Combine all ingredients in large Dutch oven or stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 45 minutes; remove lid and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes more. Allow stock to cool, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press vegetable scraps against the strainer with a wooden spoon in order to extract as much stock as possible. Discard solids and store stock in a plastic container or freezer bag.
If you want to make broth rather than stock, simply season the stock with salt and pepper to taste after it's done cooking.