Thursday, March 17, 2011

Basics: Recipe for Crimini Mushroom Stock with Celeriac and Leeks

Brown mushroom stock does not a beautiful photo make, so you will not see one in this post.

Photos of the ingredients that went into making said stock? Yesiree.

Making mushroom stock takes very little effort and time and is probably as simple as stock gets.  But the results are far from ordinary.  Roasting deepens the flavors and brings out natural sweetness.
One could add carrots and garlic to the roasting pan, and I might in a future recipe, but this one I kept simple and clean.

Speaking of which:  Clean your mushrooms. This small brush is very handy for the job,
but a quick once-over with a paper towel will also do the trick.

Coarsely slice them; one-half inch is not too large.

Peel and chop the celeriac, otherwise known as celery root.
I used a sharp knife to peel this critter but a wide-blade vegetable peeler might work as well.

I save the light green parts of leeks for stocks like this. If you have them, use them now.

Add a chopped onion, a little sea salt, a little freshly cracked pepper, a little porcini powder and ...
roast them all together to a golden, caramely brown.

Hold on, you're not finished yet.  Scrape the roasted vegetables into a stockpot, cover with water, bring to just under a boil, lower the heat and simmer the stock for 1 hour, longer if you want it more concentrated.

After adjusting the seasonings to your own taste, strain the stock through several layers of cheesecloth into a large glass measuring cup or bowl.  Let it cool then store it in the fridge in air-tight containers or freeze in ice cube trays then pop them out into ziptop bags and put back in the freezer.

I use these whenever I want to add some depth to a vegetarian dish, such as risottos, soups (cream of mushroom, anyone?) and stews.

Oh, one more thing:  the ingredients measurements are approximate; the only error one could make would be on the side of paucity.

Christine's Basic Roasted Crimini Mushroom Stock with Celeriac and Leeks
2-pounds crimini mushrooms, cleaned, coarsely sliced
1 large celeriac, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 1-inch thick leeks, white and light green parts, washed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon porcini powder (mine is local, made by Hasta be Pasta)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
olive oil for the roasting pan
Heat oven to 375-degrees.
Drizzle about 2 teaspoons olive oil into a large roasting pan then add the prepared mushrooms, chopped celeriac, leeks and onions.
Sprinkle the porcini powder over the vegetables along with some sea salt and generous grindings of black pepper, then, using clean hands, toss everything together so all pieces are evenly coated.
Cover the pan loosely with foil, place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Lift the foil from the pan and check to see if there are mushroom juices running around the vegetables. If so, remove the foil entirely and continue roasting, shaking pan occasionally, until the contents are golden brown and the juices have evaporated.  If the mushrooms have not released their juices, cover the pan with foil and continue roasting for a few more minutes or until they do so then continue with the above instructions.
When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven, check and adjust seasonings, then scrape them into a large stockpot and immediately deglaze the roasting pan with 1/3 cup white wine, or dry vermouth, scraping up any browned bits that may be sticking to the bottom. Pour this good stuff into the stockpot along with 5 cups of fresh, non-chlorinated water.
Bring the liquids to a low boil, then lower the heat, semi-cover the pot with a large lid, and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour - longer if you want more concentrated flavors.
When the stock has the flavor you desire, remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can safely strain the stock from the vegetables. And, please, save those veggies! They can be incorporated into risottos, omelettes, even my potato galette.
To store, cool completely then strain through several layers of cheesecloth into airtight containers, or freeze in ice cube trays as I have suggested above.

A Special Note from Christine Cooks:
I already had this recipe waiting in the wings (and there are a few more in draft stage), but I must tell you that merrily writing food posts is not high on my list at the moment.
My heart is heavy over the plight of the people in Japan and I have made donations to several trusted sites. If you would like to join me in making a donation to help the Japanese people in their time of need, please consider giving whatever you can afford by either clicking on the red strip at the top of this page - which will take you to the Portland-based Mercy Corps donation page -
or by making a donation through the Red Cross web site, earmarking it for the Japan Disaster Relief.  No donation is too small; a donation of $10 will make a big difference.  Please join me. Thank you.

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