Thanksgiving Meal Preparations - Vegetable Stock

We use Alton Brown's Roast Turkey recipe for our Thanksgiving day bird. We've had success with it and it's delicious, which is why it makes it's way to our meal again this year.

The brine calls for 1 gallon of vegetable stock. Buying several containers of the boxed stock last year (at over $4.00 a piece), I thought about making our stock this year. I figured I may save a little money and have really good stock. Win-Win.

Anyway, I used Emeril's recipe as a base, but didn't really measure out ingredient quantities in cups like directed. I find it annoyingly complicated to measure out produce by the cupful - especially for something as uncomplicated and foolproof as a stock. Here's what I used:

3 stalks of celery, large dice
2 small yellow squash, large dice
1 small zucchini, large dice
3 carrots, large dice
1 parsnip, large dice
1 large turnip root, large dice
1 1/2 yellow onions, large dice
3 leeks (white and green parts only), cleaned and large dice
1 bulb garlic, each clove smashed and skin removed
8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
8 Campari tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp fresh thyme
8 parsley stems
2 large basil stems
2 bay leaves

Place all the ingredients in a large roasting pan (we used the one we roast the bird in) and drizzle with olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and a few pinches of pepper and toss to coat. Place in a 400 F oven for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the ingredients so they cook evenly.

Place the roasted vegetables in a large stock pot and cover with 1 gallon of water. Add the herbs and bring to a boil*. Once you've brought it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Remove any scum that comes to the top with a fine mesh strainer. Add two cups of white wine (I used Chateau St. Michelle Chardonnay) and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Just like the chicken stock, strain the mixture and place into an ice bath. Store in individual containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Just an FYI, this really wasn't that cost effective. It may have save a bit of money, costing us about $16.00 to make from scratch. Considering that 4 boxes of  conventional boxed stock would have run me about $18, it was a slight savings. The two items that accounted for about half the cost were the wine ($4.00) and the leeks ($4.00!). I think both add enough flavor to warrant the cost, but if for whatever reason you want to omit them, it would still be wonderful. Just remember that if you don't add the wine, to add a bit more water to the stock as it's cooking to compensate for the evaporation if you want to get exactly a gallon. One easy method of doing this is to make a note of the water line when you begin so you know what to fill it back up to to equal the gallon you started with.

*I submerge the herbs and veggies with a vegetable steamer basket. This makes it easier to remove the foam/scum from the top and keep an eye on the water level.

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