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Brown stock and gravy advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello

I did start a similar thread about a year ago but I can't find it.

Anyway I just wondered if someone can give me a bit of advice on stock and gravy.

The last gravy I made was very tasty but it had a tiny little hint of bitterness. Only a little and if you weren't looking for it you probably wouldn't notice it.

Now I made a brown chicken stock to make it with. Now I roasted the vegetables and chicken bones first. I was very careful not to burn the chicken bones at all as I know this can make it bitter. And I was careful with the veg as well but after I had finished the stock I noticed some of the vegetables had gone a bit black. They weren't at the beginning but after cooking in the stock for hours they were a bit.

I'm not to sure how to stop this happening as when I have watched chefs cook the veg they take it further than I did so not to sure what to do.

If I were to roast the bones but not the veg what would happen?

But I think the problem with my gravy might have been the red wine I used. A chef told me that bitterness wouldn't come from the wine but I'm sure it did. Should I go for a more sweeter fruity wine or perhaps a port?

post #2 of 16

I'm confused........Brown stock comes from beef or veal bones, chicken bones make chicken stock roasted or not.

Don't know what you did to make your veggies burn in a stock, never happen to me. Veggies are not going to burn simmering in liquid unless they were on the bottom and the pot is at a boil for hrs. A chicken stock should only take a couple of hrs.

 

I know terms can be confusing from one side of the pond to the other, so what are you using the brown stock/gravy for?

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I thought if you roasted the bones it was a brown stock even if it was chicken. I have seen this on quite a few videos. It might be a term that english use that americans only use for veal stock ect. My chiken stock was finished of in a slow cooker. It seemed quite bland adter 8 hours so i went to work and came back so it had about 16 hours on a very low heat
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ow and im using the gravy for roast dinners
post #5 of 16

16 hrs is way too long to cook a chicken stock, roasted bones or not. If you have no flavor, there are not enough bones to water.

 

I poached 8 thighs yesterday with an onion, celery, peppercorns and a bit of salt. They cooked for about one hour and I had a very flavorful broth  that was used in the final dish.

 

Gravy is another term that does not translate the same here and there. Gravy here would be a thicker consistency "sauce" most often thickened with a roux. From my observations, gravy in the UK is more of a jus or just slightly thickened.

 

Also, if you are serving "Sunday Roast" wouldn't that be beef? I wouldn't use chicken to make my gravy for that.

post #6 of 16

The term gravy is ambiguous at best.

For instance to Italians, gravy means what we call spaghetti or marinara sauce.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
In england gravy generally refers to a jus made with the meat juices. It appears as if it has a more ambiguous meaning in America in England if you say gravy everyone knows what you mean.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just wondered what happens if you do cook a stock for to long?
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I do apologize if these questions are quite basic despite being in the kitchen for 2 years I only have moderate training
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBristol View Post

I just wondered what happens if you do cook a stock for to long?

It becomes cloudy and bitter. 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBristol View Post

I do apologize if these questions are quite basic despite being in the kitchen for 2 years I only have moderate training

 

Are you using a non reactive pan?

Red wine (as well as other acidic low pH ingredients) will not only leave an off taste but may also discolor the lighter colored ingredients if you are cooking in aluminum.

 

mimi

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I use a slow cooker for convenience.Once I have cooked the bones and vegetables I put them in the slow cooker and add cold water. How long would you recomend giving it then? Bare in mind the water will take quite a long time to heat up? Also if I taste the stock and it is a bit bland before I reduce it is that anything to worry about? Or will it probably be OK once it is reduced?
post #13 of 16

I often use my crockpot/slow cooker for making stock. I usually heat the bones and water on a pot on the stove to just under a boil, then transfer them to the crockpot. This way there is not time lost  waiting for the crockpot to heat it all at once from cold. Then about 2-4 hours for chicken stock. 

    For the time being, I wouldn't add wine, certainly not red wine, to the chicken stock. Just stick to chicken bones, vegetables(onion, celery and carrot) and a few spices (thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns) and water. While the stock is cooking for about an hour, remove a little and taste it. Add some salt to the little you removed and taste that. After an hour or so, remove a little and taste it. Then salt it and taste that. Keep the stock cooking until you think it's ready. Tasting as it cooks helps you understand what is happening and at what point to stop cooking. A chicken stock made with non roasted bones cooked for no more than an hour will taste much different than the same stock several hours later. Tasting without salt and then with salt helps you understand what the end flavor will be when used in further cooking. 

     Wine is not added during the making of a basic stock. Stock is a simple extraction of flavor from the bones and vegetables.  white wine is added when using chicken stock and red wine is typically added when using beef and veal stock but this is done when the stock is made into something else. 

Browning the bones whether chicken, veal or beef depends only on the end use for the stock. For most general purposes, white stock made without roasting the bones is the most versatile.               Browning bones adds color and changes the character of the stock so many chefs use white veal stock for its blander flavor when adding body and character to a sauce. White chicken stock is used for soups and adding a background note to various dishes without adding a prominent chicken flavor. Beef stock because of it's strong flavor is typically only useful for any dish where a strong beef flavor is acceptable. 

     So I would suggest making some simple white chicken stock, tasting as you go. Then make some simple brown chicken stock, tasting as you go. Then move on to veal and beef, always tasting. Keep in mind too that while the bones need a relatively long cooking time, the vegetables do not. So you can cook the bones for a while before adding the vegetables. A little experimenting will serve you well. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBristol View Post

I do apologize if these questions are quite basic despite being in the kitchen for 2 years I only have moderate training


Don't apologize for learning. Ever. 

post #14 of 16
As in the post prior, use. White pepper corns, you want a hard roast on your chx bones and a light roat on you veg. Bo caramelized veg. Simmer never boil. And skimy often!when th stock is properly cooled you can just lift the solid fat from the stock. Reheat and adjust the seasonings
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well it does appear as if it was the wine that was making it a bit bitter. I used a port this time and it was much better. However it still had that tang of alcohol in it that you get when you drink alcohol and a tiny bit of bitterness. Could this be reduced by reducing the wine for longer?

post #16 of 16

Yes, reducing the wine by at least half will remove most of the alcohol. I would suggest you reduce to au sec (dry) and add some chopped shallots to the mix when reducing. Moneyknife83 is on point. Low simmer will ensure a more clear stock. If you are seeking more flavor, follow Monkeyknife83 process and place strained stock in sauce pan and reduce by half. 

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