You always need stock when you cook the least bit, at least that’s what I discovered living in the US. In France people mostly use bouillon cubes, but every other recipe that I made when I lived in New York had me buy a carton of chicken stock. I remember doing it begrudgingly at first, what with having to carry 2 pounds of liquid all the way home. But I quickly came to realize that it’s much better (not to mention healthier) than bouillon cubes.
I yet have to make my own chicken stock, but for all the vegetarians or seafood lovers out there, shrimp stock is so easy! And it tastes great. And it doesn’t cost you the kidney you would have to sell if you bought it at the grocery store. (Do they even sell it in stores? I’m not sure I’ve ever come across it.) In France, shrimp or fish stock is called “fumet”, which really is just another fancy word for “bouillon”. We like to make a big deal out of things as trivial as broth.
It basically uses scraps from a meal prepared with shrimp, carrots and celery. But it could also be a meal with shrimp, leek and tomatoes. This recipe is just one version. Then you can use it in soups, stews, or you can even go crazy and boil your rice and pasta in it. Yum.
Shrimp stock (shrimp fumet)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Yields 3 cups
- shells and heads from 10 shrimp
- peels of 2 carrots
- leaves from 2 celery stalks
- 1 shallot
- 1 onion
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp Cognac or Armagnac (optional)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
1. Peel and halve the onion and shallot.
2. In a large pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil for 1 minute. Add shrimp, onion, shallot, carrot peels, celery leaves and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add white wine and Cognac or Armagnac (if using), cook for 2 minutes. Add water and thyme, bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Remove pan from stove and let cool. Use a sieve to drain the broth.
- Replace shrimp with fish bones and head(s) to make fish stock.
- You can add 1 tbsp tomato paste at step 2.
- Store in the refrigerator for several days and in the freezer for several months.
- If you freeze it, pour stock in an ice cube tray to have individual portions at hand.