Stocks on the Rise

Thank gosh Wall Street is up and things are hopefully turning for the better in the U.S. economy.  The other stock that is so important, in the culinary world, is a staple when it comes to any cuisine.  After mastering my knife cuts, making stock is the first thing I ever cooked.  Few at home cooks or chefs take the time to properly make a good stock.  While nothing is wrong with popping a can of stock or adding some bouillon cubes to some boiling water, although salty, it is not the correct way to prepare stock.  Like anything else in cooking, stocks take patience, love and most of all care.  As you can see in most of my recipes, I often use stock.  Whether it’s to braise, make a sauce, add some juiciness, deglaze, heck I use it A LOT!

So how exactly do you make stock?  It’s actually much easier than most think.  In all stocks I recommend roasting everything, starting with the carcasess.  It does not matter if it’s veal or chicken, rub those bones down with a bit olive oil, place them in a large pan and bake in the oven on 375° for at least 90 minutes or until golden brown.  In the mean time cut up your mirepoix (50% onions 25% celery 25% carrots) with some smashed garlic and a ridculously large pot on medium-high heat, with a hint of olive oil simply caramelize these vegetables making sure they are beautifully golden brown.  With the chopping and roasting, could take around 90 minutes which is perfect timing, because the bones will be roasted.  Once your bones are roasted and the veggies are caramelized you want to deglaze the bone pan with wine, white wine for chicken and red wine for veal.  You want to release all of the fond from the bottom of the pan bone roasting pan.  Fond is all that delicious flavor stuck to the pan!  Next you pour the pan with all the juices and bones into the veggie pot fill it up with water until it is two inches above the bones! Now for the seasonings, and if you do not want to make a sachet that is fine with me, but just make sure you have a fine strainer.  Add into the stock pot, bay leaf, fresh thyme, fresh parsley stems and a few black pepper corns, and now you wait.  A very light simmer is where you want to be in the heat department while taking care to skim all of the impurities off of the top of the stock using a ladle.  You will easily notice the impurities, because it looks like dirty foam, so get rid of it!  You want to cook chicken stock for 3 to 4 hours and beef stock 6 to 8 hours.  Like I said, patience is key here, but I promise in the end you have the most important element in soups, sauces, demiglaze, braising liquids, etc.  So next time be sure to invest in your own stocks…

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