Zero Waste: Corn Stock
BY NICK MACMAHON | 10 SEPTEMBER 2019
One of the best ways to get the most out of vegetable scraps is saving them for making stock. I usually keep a large plastic resealable bag in the freezer to save vegetable scraps and bones. After a few weeks, it's usually full and I can use the contents to make a stock. But, keep in mind, not all vegetables make good stock. Corn cobs are a great scrap vegetable to use for stock. You can add them to a standard stock or if you amass enough, you can make straight corn stock. This stock is great for making risotto, soups or in place of water for cooking grains. It has a big corn flavour so make sure it complements the dish you're making.
If you want to keep your stock light-coloured for a clear, consommé-like soup, put your cobs into the stock as is. But, if you want an extra flavourful but darker stock, roast the cobs in the oven for 15 minutes at 250c. If you are barbecuing or pan-grilling your corn, just throw the spent cobs on the grill after cooking and save them to make stock later.
8 corn cobs, cut in half
Aromatics — Bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns
Optional additions — Onion, garlic, leek
Set oven to 250c. Rub a little oil over the corn cobs and place on a paper-lined baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes until nicely browned.
Place all ingredients into a deep pot and add enough water to cover. Put the lid on and bring to the boil, turn down to a low simmer and let it cook for an hour. Remove the cobs with tongs and then strain the liquid through a mesh sieve (with muslin cloth if you want to remove any fine bits leftover).
Depending on how much water you put it and how much evaporated over cooking, the stock may be weak or strong. If you have over a couple of litres of stock at the end, it may be worth reducing it down a little to condense the flavour.
You can use it straight away or freeze in plastic containers for later use.