About this recipe:This stock is excellent in meat soups and casseroles, and is ideal for hearty vegetarian recipes. It is easy to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator for several days for use in a variety of dishes.
125 g (4½ oz) whole wheat grains
1 tbsp sunflower oil
125 g (4½ oz) dark flat mushrooms, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
1 sprig of parsley, stalk bruised
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh marjoram
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
½ tsp salt
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Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Put the wheat in a roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes or until the grains are dark brown.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and stir to coat them in the oil. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Stir in the roasted wheat, carrots and celery. Pour in 2 litres (3½ pints) water, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
Reduce the heat. Add the parsley, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl. Use at once or leave to cool, then chill until required.
Some more ideas
Try making herb cubes by adding 1 teaspoon dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano) to each cube before adding the stock. Store the cubes in the freezer and add them to tomato sauce, soups or pasta dishes as needed.
Freeze the stock in an ice cube tray, then use the cubes individually as needed in place of oil when sautéing vegetables. This eliminates the need for oil and adds flavour to the vegetables as they cook.