The vegetables in here are what I use, and are open to substitution: The only ones you really need are the onions (or leeks), and celery. I also think fennel adds a lot here. If you can't find it, add fennel seeds, or even a shot of ouzo or other anise-flavored liqueur. Use any crabs you have available. A couple of pointers: Don't let this boil (you want a gentle simmer) and don't be tempted to simmer it for more than 2 hours or it will lose flavor and get cloudy. I typically go for 90 minutes.
Servings: 5 quarts
- 1 to 2 pounds crab, lobster or shrimp shells
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- Tops from 1 fennel bulb chopped
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, or a handful of dried, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot and saute the vegetables over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste, stir well and cook over medium heat for another 2 or 3 minutes, until it darkens.
Add the shells and bodies and smash them all with a potato masher. Mix well to coat with the tomato paste and to disperse the veggies. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a couple times.
Add the white wine, bay leaves and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Let this cook for a minute or two, then pour in enough cold water to cover everything by about an inch; normally this is about 10 cups. Let this simmer very gently for 90 minutes to 2 hours. Add salt to taste.
Turn off the heat. Set up another large pot or bowls and put a fine-meshed strainer over it. Line the strainer with a plain paper towel or cheesecloth and ladle the stock through this set-up into the large pot or bowls. Do not try to get the last dregs of stock, as this will be full of debris. Discard the shells, etc.
Let the stock cool for 15 to 30 minutes, then use or pour into quart jars. The stock will keep for a week in the fridge. It will freeze well for 2 months, but after that it deteriorates rapidly.
Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4809IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg