How to Make Hay Stock

Ever since my wife and I took a ski trip to Switzerland in December 2019, I’ve been (mildly) obsessed with the idea of cooking with hay. The reason for this is that we went on a tour of Tradition Julen’s Valais Sheep Barn, where we met the sheep we had hiked amongst while in Zermatt in each of the prior two summers (and had fallen in love with how cute and unique they were).

While in the barn learning about the sheep, we were encouraged to try a sip of soup…and after, we were told that it was made from the same hay that gets fed to the sheep. It was absolutely delicious with its earthy and sweet notes. So, when we got back home, I began to search for organic hay. Well, it’s hard to find in small quantities, so I bought a bale (after a somewhat misleading representation to my wife resulted in her giving me permission). Of course, when I opened the trunk to the car, and she saw what I had done, I got in a little bit of trouble…but nothing too major…more of an eye roll. Luckily, I know how to apologize in Swiss German, which was absolutely critical to the situation I put myself in.

Anyway, since we now have enough hay for a lifetime, and we rather enjoy Cooking with Hay, we figured we should post a tutorial on how to make Hay Stock so that we can share the pure joy!

P.S. We find that whenever we first mention hay stock to people, they look at us (or to be precise, me) very skeptically…so you’ll have to experiment with your own ways of introducing the subject to your friends and family.

Time: 2-3 Hours

Ingredients:

  • Organic Hay
  • Water
  • Bouillon of your choice. We find Vegetable or Mushroom Bouillon to work best.

Method:

  • Place a generous amount of hay in a large pot, and cover with water. Note, your hay will float, so “cover” is a relative term…essentially, when you press the hay dow with a utensil, it should be able to be fully submersed.
  • Add in bouillon of your choice to add a bit of saltiness to your stock as it simmers. The amount you use ought to be commensurate with the amount of water. But you can always add more bouillon later if you need, so err on the side of “not enough” at first.
  • Cover your pot loosely, and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  • Remove as much of your hay as you can with tongs or some other equally effective utensil (perhaps a mini-pitchfork?).
  • Allow your stock to cool a bit, and then pour it through a fine strainer to remove any remaining hay remnants.
  • Use right away, or pour into mason jars and stash in the fridge for up to a week.

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