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How to make stock. - Page 2

post #31 of 43
Did you get around to making the demi-glace yet?

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #32 of 43
The point of the long, slow simmer is to move as much flavor as possible from the solids to the liquid. The veggies and the meat basically get boiled to death, as you noted with the limp and lifeless carrots.

Remember this the next time someone tells you the best way to cook ribs is to boil them first until they are tender. Just smile and nod.

On the other hand, there is a difference if the liquid used is already loaded with flavor. Like the poule au pot I mentioned earlier, the recipe calls for poaching in broth, not plain water. And a lot of traditional French style poaching recipes call for using court boullion, which in some cases is kind of like, say, mirepoix stock with lemon juice or vinegar added for a bit of acidity, especially when poaching fish.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #33 of 43
Thread Starter 
Wow, great article, and very interesting! Thanks!
post #34 of 43
Using BtB, eh? For each cup of "au jus," mix 1 cup of water with 1/3 cup red wine and 1/2 tbs of BtB. You may add thinly sliced onions or shallot if you like, some loose parsley, and/or a tsp of Worcestershire. Simmer, reduce to 1 cup, and strain if necessary.

post #35 of 43
Pretty close to what I did tonight, no wine though. BTB isn't to bad but still a bit on the salty side. 16 pounds of thin sliced beef in the freezer for this winter when it is to cold to cook outside comfortably.
post #36 of 43
Apart from the poule au pot, sometimes I'll use a broth as a base for making broth or stock. There are some Chinese techniques in which you essentially poach meat in water, and keep resusing the poaching liquid. Also, my poultry people give away breast bones - people want the breast meat deboned and there's a lot of meat left on the bones - a lot. I'll get five or more pounds and just gently simmer them until they give up their flavor, and use the liquid as a base instead of water when I make broth or stock. It also makes a nice, light soup base.

I pull all the meat off the bones and my cat and I sit down and enjoy a little snack. I'll sometimes season the meat I eat, sometimes use it for chicken salad or in sandwiches, but mostly Buddy and I just enjoy a nice lunch together, picking the bones clean.
post #37 of 43
Since the chefs quoted in the article are all local, I've eaten at their restaurants and tasted their stocks and broths. They are all very well-regarded chefs, and the stocks they make reflect their training and personalities.

Over the years my stock-making has become very refined, in that I no longer throw a bunch of vegetables and leftover chicken parts into the pot. When it's time to make stock/broth, I shop for the freshest vegetables and the best birds, I use spring water (I don't like the taste of the water at my house), and I'll often (not always because I'm sometimes lazy) blanch the birds before actually settling in to the main steps of the process. A Japanese chef suggested the blanching - he said it makes for a "cleaner" stock.

All the vegetables are from the farmers' market or as fresh as possible from one of two produce stores I frequent. I never use supermarket chicken, only birds from certain producers that have been freshly killed (within 24-hours), and that are larger and older than the typical fryer. They have more flavor.

After the birds are blanched, they are rinsed, and then put into the stock pot. The heat is never turned up to high to accelerate the process - it's always on a low simmer. The scum builds up very slowly, and once it starts building up I never leave the pot, and skim frequently, not letting the foam build up. I try to avoid skimming the fat with the foam as much as possible. Once the last of the foam is removed, it's time for a break. I leave the pot alone for an hour or so, depending on how big the bird is and how much water I've used. When I return, I taste, and then decide when to add the vegetables and aromatics. Always onions (sometimes with leeks), celery (no leaves), and carrots in as close to the classic mirepoix ratio as possible - 2:1:1 - I'm a traditionalist, and then perhaps some other herbs. I like to add some thyme and a Turkish bay leaf, as fresh as possible. Whole black peppercorns go in at the end of the process, when there's about 30-minutes left. Somtimes I'll throw in a hot chile pepper or two if I want a stock with a little kick, but usually I reserve that little fillip for vegetable stock.

When the stock is done, I let the pot sit for a while on the assumption that some impurities will sink to the bottom. The stock is then ladled into the recipient vessel through several layers of cheese cloth. The vessel is always glass or a clean stainless steel pot, never plastic of any sort. I am obsessive about not using plastic containers of any sort.

I hope this gives you some ideas ... making stock is very satisfying, it fills the house with wonderful aromas. As you can tell by reading the San Francisco Chronicle article, and reading all the methods and techniques used for making stock, both here and elsewhere, it's a process that lets your personality shine through. In time you'll develop your own technique ...
post #38 of 43
novice -

sounds like you did stewed chicken <g> - which is a good dish! I like it!

my secret to good stewed chicken:
...typically on a 2 hr very gentle simmer - about 45 minutes from the end, fish out all the veggies and replace them with fresh of same. as discovered, the "old" stuff gave it's all for flavoring and there's not much taste left in them - the "new stuff" provides a good taste/texture. I hold off on potatoes to that point as well - or earlier if doing uncut potato....
post #39 of 43
not yet.

....yet. :chef:
post #40 of 43
Hey, that's a great idea :D
post #41 of 43
i agree 100% with shel about skimming. when you do that you have the most crystal clear stock.

i just want to add a couple of things. i don't peel the onions or carrots - the onion peel gives a browner colour.

after i make the stock and it's sieved and then again through muslin to make it perfect, i line up bowls which i have lined with cling film. then i pour the cooled stock into the bowls and pop into the freezer. when it's solid i simply wrap in more cling film and store in the freezer and then i can just pull one out to make soup or whatever. i know we are advised to freeze the stock into ice cube trays but i like freezing it in larger blocks for using in soup.

oh, and btw, i use a full chicken not bones or bits. better flavour, more jelly fat to set and also we feed our dog chicken every day so i can strip it and use it for the dog. :D

edit to add: i don't keep the chicken to use to eat coz i really, really do not like eating chicken. except my mum's roast chicken. other than that i never eat chicken.
post #42 of 43
Then the "tastes like chicken" thing, which is usually pretty neutral, is probably a negative thing to you.
post #43 of 43
Thread Starter 
Right - I set out to make stock but, unknowingly, ended up making stew. Thanks for the tip on the veggies so that they won't be bland.
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