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Stock Questions

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
For a while I used to take making stock lightly. I don't know if it was because there are so few steps or if it's because it's one of the first things you learn or what. Anyways, I've been trying to make the best stocks that I can but I've got a couple of questions. First, Tomato and wine in brown stock. Escoffier says to use water and doesn't mention anything about wine, James Peterson author of "Classic and Contemporary Sauce Making" also doesn't mention wine or tomato product. However, My Gisslen Book and my old Culinary School notes say to use both. On the batch I'm making tonight I've tried to go with Escoffier as much to the letter as possible. But what do you chefs out there do?
Second, Escoffier says to add boiling water to veal stock when it starts to get to low, Peterson says to always use cold. I've always thought it was cold myself, but can you really argue with Escoffier?
post #2 of 23
First, tomato: Not necessary, but can aid in the breakdown and release of flavor in your bones. I use tomato paste in as small amount as possible. Just before I pull the bones, I take them out of the oven and smear the paste on them in a thin coat. Then, it's back in the oven until the paste dries onto the bones. The reason I believe this is not exactly necessary is that there is actually a French term for a stock made without tomato product added (estouffade, if I'm not mistaken).

The only wine that goes into my stock is what I've used to deglaze the pans that I've roasted the bones in.

Regarding the addition of water, it's only important to start a stock with cold water (starting with hot will inhibit the release of albumen, resulting in a cloudier stock). If the stock has been going long enough to need more water, this is no longer a factor.

In the end, though, all that matters is the result, regardless of how you got there. ;)
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post #3 of 23
For veal stock I've always used re wine and tomato paste. It adds an extra dimension to the stock. Also, other miscellaneous stuff the rest of the kitchen staff tend to throw in! (used to make me mad)

I think it's good that you question the book. I've never seen two chefs make stock the exact same way. Different amount of brown on the meats, some don't like to blacken the tomato paste, some like to brown the paste in the pan after deglazing, some put in the mirepoix afterwards, some eat the marrow out of the bones after roasting :)

Kuan
post #4 of 23
Greg and Kuan,
Both your posts are in line.

When I make "fond de veau" I do as greg has mentioned almost to the tee. When I deglaze my roasting blakes with red wine that is the only wine that goes to the stock. I make a # 1 and a "Remoulage SP?"or "a second wetting. # 1 is for sauces and #2 is for braising and soup ETC. There is "blond"stock also that you don't roast the bones. The most important thing I believe for stocks is the bones, Be sure to tell your meat supplyer to send you only marrow bones...Also,If you have a ban saw ask for a few shanks and cut them for your stock..If you don't have a saw,ask them to cut 10-15 # ala osso bucco. These shanks add wonderful body and depth to your stocks
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #5 of 23
Here is another question that has come up recently in my cooking. I was trained, and have always, simmered my veal stock for 18-24 hours. Recently, I have come across a number of older Classical cookbooks that say to simmer your veal stock for 4-5 hours. Does anyone cook their stock for so short a time? If so, how do you extract all the flavor and the gelatin from the bones? My training was always:
Fish fumet-45minutes
Chicken stock- 6-8hours
Veal stock (both blonde and Brown) 18-24hours
post #6 of 23
A number of french trained chefs that i know make their stocks pretty quickly.
I was taught the long and slow method, but i have since seen some fantastic chefs doing a much quicker cook of their stocks. I'm not sure if either way is so much better, but it does kind of make sense that once the flavour is out of the bones, it's out. longer cooking won't necessarily make it taste better.
By the way, from an earlier answer, albumen is from eggs, and doesn't come out of bones when you make stock. Tomato is acidic and acid coagulates protein, so tomato in the stock can help to coagulate the protein from the bones so that it can be skimmed and strained out of the stock, leaving it clearer.
post #7 of 23
Escoffier specifically mentions albumen as the source of the foamy scum that rises to the top of a stock as it comes to temperature. I don't know exactly what it is, but there you are. I once spent a summer working for a master French chef, and what an eye-opener it was watching him telling us how to make his stocks. That was fun.
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post #8 of 23
But can you get any amount of gelatin extraction in that amount of time. Most of the stocks I have seen, that have been made that quickly seem to lack body-mouth feel, that gelatin provides.
post #9 of 23
The gelatinouse body that you want will be there after four to six hours for veal . You can only cook the bones for so long and then you are wasting time . Of course thats just my opinion ......
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #10 of 23
1. To clear up a little bit of confusion here (PollyG already gave part of the explanation):

albumEn is the white of an egg;
albumIn is a class of proteins found in muscle and bone.

It's the albumin-with-an-I from the bones that dissolves in water, and then coagulates when heated, making your stock cloudy if you don't remove it. Acid, often from tomatoes for a brown stock, helps coagulate this protein. It also helps break down the collagen in cartilage, which is the source of gelatin.

2. Wine -- which is acidic -- also breaks down collagen. By adding wine to your stock, you will get more gelatin into it. If I remember right, we were taught to use wine in white stocks, especially quick-cooking ones like fumet, for that reason.

3. There's a lot more to be gotten out of veal bones than you would get in just four to six hours (btw, I was taught 6-8). That's why you can do remouillage (literally re-wetting) that Cape Chef mentioned and get another stock. But that's the one that must cook much, much longer.
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #11 of 23
Actually, albumen (the white of the egg) and albumin are more or less the same thing (see link below) . Split hairs regarding spelling, if you will, but do your research first. The release of albumin is important because as it coagulates, particles (impurities, etc.) stick to it, so to speak. You then skim it off the top, resulting in a less cloudy stock. Think of it: why would you use egg whites as an ingredient of a raft for a consomme' if it did not help clarify? I've made fond de veau estouffade from necks that were so meaty they were almost roasts, yet the wine was sufficient acid to help coagulate the albumin. Made darn good demi out of it, too! :D

Regarding albumin and albumen: http://www.bartleby.com/64/C004/004.html
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #12 of 23
Great thread, everyone. I recently read "The Making of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman and also perused the CIA's "New Professional Chef" on the stock and sauces. I've made stock for chicken soup for years, and beef stock for onion soup or vegetable beef soup, but now I know I could've gotten a much better product by following these procedures. I also know why. Thanks for the discussion of albumen/albumin, too; it helps me understand clarifying, which I always did by straining, which is an awkward mess. Now: to find some decent marrow bones!
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post #13 of 23
And now a word from a home cook............The last two stocks I made were turkey and pheasant and were, I believe, the tastiest I have made in years. Followed a hint I picked up at some web site or another. For each, after the meal was finished, I crammed the leftover meat, bones, skin and everything into my crock pot (I know this isn't 'professional' but it sure did work!), added usual vegetables, filled the crock pot with water and let it cook on Low for 3 (three) days. It was lovely!

This made wonderful amber colored stock with a great aroma. I didn't skim it, I didn't add extra water, I didn't do anything but let it cook away. At the end of three days I strained the liquid through 3 layers of cheese cloth and that was it! Such great results for such little work. Of course, the volume probably wasn't great enough for a professional chef (2 quarts), but for home use, it was the tops!!!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses to my stock questions. In my original post I said I was making my veal stock as it says in Escoffier(no tomato or wine) Usually I add tomato product and then use red wine to deglaze. I think that my stock was beautifully clean and clear. However it didn't have the body I would have liked. I was making your basic bordelaise sauce with it, and as it was reducing and reducing and reducing and reducing ... It just wasn't getting to the right thickness. From twenty pounds of veal bones I would have probably wound up with about 1 or 2 cups of sauce. I chickened out and thickened it with some roux. Since you guys said that the acidity from the tomato and the wine helps to extract the Albumin I can see how that would have helped my yield.

So now, my question is: When do you like to add the tomato product and do you use strictly paste?

I know that to many of you Chefs out there this is a basic question. But I don't just want stock, I want Perfect stock. I want the kind of stock that is so good you just have to show it to someone.

I would love to hear as many different opinions about this as posssible. I am sure that with so many different people from so many different parts of the world reading this, there are a lot of very good ways to make stock that I haven't tried.
post #15 of 23

hmmmm....

Ok bro/bra,

It's like this.

1. Roast, or don't roast the bones.

2. If you roast the bones, carmelize your mirepoix; if not, lightly sweat'em

3. After Sweat/Carm. add tomato product (usually paste); let this cook-out for bout 10 min. (depends on how high heat your working with and who you got breathing down your neck).

4. Degalze; white wine for white veal, red for roast veal.

5. Add cold water for appropriate vessel/bone volume , bring to a boil and simmer 6-8 hours.


Of course you can add all the bouquet-garni or whatever bout 1/2 way through, but here's the kicker.

If you are making reduction type sauces, to thicken without roux, cornstarch, arrowroot etc. You NEED HIGH gelatin content (that's the body you're looking for). Good veal bones got lots O gelatin, however, you can get away with more derogatory bones by using Pig hooves (Raw, unsmoked, pig shanks, split in half).

ITS NOT CHEATING, IT's common sense.

Oh, and no need to roast the pig shanks with the veal bones.
also, use about two pig paws per 10lbs. veal bones.

GOOD LUCK, and don't tell nobody I told ya ::)
"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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post #16 of 23
Okay this is one of MY quirks. I like to simmer my veal bones for 24 hours. I also like to keep the water level high, I feel that more water gives a better extraction. Here is my theory. Whatever you're extracting (flavor, gelatin, aromatics, etc.) or "stuff" goes into the water. Once the water has as much "stuff" or achieves equilibrium flavor with the bones, it can't extract anymore. This is why I believe that the water level should be kept at maximum, at least six inches above the level of the bones. If you let the water get too low the flavor and "stuff" goes back into the bones.

That's my thinking :) what do you guys think?

Kuan
post #17 of 23

I agree Kuan.......

I see your point, in an intuitive way. I don't know how much truth there is in that theory though--It would be interesting if we could scientifically validate this somehow. However, I agree with your replenishing of liquids AND that the level should be about 6-8 inches above the bones. I'm a bit skeptical (and for good reason) of letting your stock simmer for 24 hours. In a Hotel Restaurant I worked at in Northern California, we had just put our stocks on the burner when the lights went out--big blackout. This didn't affect the gas of course so we opted to keep the stocks on a slow flame, stead of putting in the walk-in which would only drop the temperature of the walk in and possibly ruin everything. Anyway, to make a long story short, we had no lights for three days, and manager didn't want to open the restaurant without lights sooooooooo stock simmered for 3 days--though water was repenished and it appeared to be fine. When I came back from my unexpected--black-out --vacation, first thing i did was taste the stock and WHOA!!!! it was the most ACRID, METTALIC, BITTER, VILE taste I ever had the opportunity of putting in my mouth. This is what I think, IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO with the alluminum stock pots we were using--and most kitchens use alluminum cause its cheaper (not me, not anymore). I have not been able to verify this completely, once i did read something about alluminum reacting with acids (ie: wine and tomato product) to the point were SOME chefs claim it imparts a bad flavor--this implies that it could be a genetic trait of mine, none of the other cooks seemed to be as put off by this as much as I. So, just in case, I never cook my stocks for more than 8 hours, and NEVER USE ALLUMINUM for stocks PERIOD!!


Flash
"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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"Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity." --from the Tenzo Kyokun
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post #18 of 23

ChefTalk should start a school!

I got more info out of this thread than I did from my New Pro Chef book! I know Im gonna have to re-read this. Im probably gonna print it as refrence material also just to be safe!

I do have a question though. Im cooking at home....maybe I should invest in a crockpot if Im gonna leave this stuff simmering overnight? I don't wanna burn the ole homestead down.

Jodi
Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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Jodi


I don't know about you but I think I need a nap.
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post #19 of 23
I once cooked a beef stock for five days, and when it sat overnight in the reefer, it cooled to a solid plug of gelatin. I was sorry to use the last of it.
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post #20 of 23
Jodi -- would a crockpot be big enough? Don't have one, so I don't know the capacity.

Actually, it's okay to leave on the stove overnight, because it will be on just the slightest simmer, NOT a rolling boil. Gently, gently. Or you can start it first thing in the morning, then strain it and put it away to cool the last thing at night. The bigger the pot, the less likely it will all cook out. And if you use one that's enameled (doesn't have to be LeCreuset! -- could be even somthing like a diaper pail, no diapers, though ;) ) you get around the problem of acids and aluminum reacting. In fact, then your biggest problem is chilling it fast enough when it's done. But even that's easy enough if you split it up into small amounts.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #21 of 23
TBH,


Your stock reminds me of that small place, 4 tales, that sells only Vietnamese soup, Pho. he makes his stock twice a week. If you go on Monday, the soup lack body and flavours. Go on Wenesday and it's the best soup you can have, thick stock so flavourful, you'll dream about it for days.

I tried to get the secret of his soups, all he told me was to use only oxtail to make the stock with, of course, lots of spices but that he says is his secret and he won't share it.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #22 of 23
I actually used that technique when I worked at an Italian place. The first day we made the meat sauce it was raw-tasting. By the end of the third day of sitting in the steam table, that sauce, ladled on the homemade fettucine tossed with a little unsalted butter, black pepper, and the real GOOD cheese, was one of the most sublime things to eat. Almost as good as the tartufo I just ripped off of Mario in the NYTImes. Try those yet?
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post #23 of 23
Isn't it amazing how the flavour of a dish can be so different from one day to the next.

The Tartuffo recipes do look good. I printed the recipes. One day I'll try that is if we get summer weather back.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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