Porcini Mushroom Stock
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed briefly under cool running water to rid of grit or sand
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (about 1 pound), peeled, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 shallots (about 3 ounces), peeled, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 small carrot (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 celery ribs (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- Salt, for seasoning
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 9 cups water or chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed from tops, both reserved separately
Place the porcini mushrooms in a fine sieve and submerge in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes; they will plump up. Strain and set aside until ready to use.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, shallots, carrot, and celery, and stir to mix well. Add about 3 pinches of salt and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, water, porcinis, and shiitake stems and bring to a high simmer over medium-high heat.
Immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat and continue to cook until the liquid reduces slightly and the stock is flavorful, about 45 minutes. Remove the porcinis and reserve for cooking. Strain the stock and discard the solids.
Yield: 6 cups stock
* Save the shiitake tops for later use in the risotto.
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