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Stock making: Proper ratios


jsmeeker
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Looks like I found my pot.. Local homewbrew supply store has a 20 qt stainless pot (with lid) for $50 and a 16 qt pot for $39. That works. Nice thing is that the store is closer to home than the restaurant suppy store and even the SuperTarget.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I do it somewhat unconventionally by first making a meat only stock at first. Once I've strained out the meat and skimmed off the fat, I'll put it back on the stove with a fine dice of vegetable and set it on a hard boil for 3 minutes to reduce in volume by 1/3 to 1/2.

This way, the vegetables stay fresh and vibrant right through to the end of the process.

I dont know, you might be missing out on the flavor of the vegetables roasting. Maybe not.

Last night I made a pork stock.. I used 6 pounds of bones, two smoked pigs tails and an equal, leek, onion, carrot, celery ratio and a couple cloves of garlic.. I roasted the bones and tails with vegetables and garlic.. Then added the vegetables and bones, then added some vegetables and some thyme, peppercorns, and a little salt.. Brought to a slight boil and then cooked on low while skimming.. I put the pot on at 8 o'clock last night and took it off the stove this morning at 7 am..

It is so good, I am sad I am making it for other people. :biggrin:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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. . . . .

I have also taken to adding a tablespoon of salt or so to the pot, even though I'm not sure there's a reason to.

. . . . .

I think there's a very good reason to add salt. Way back when, I did a little experiment:

. . . . .

As for salt, last weekend I made two batches of stock, each using four pounds of legs and two quarts of water. In one I used 2 teaspoons of salt; in the other, I used none. Before doing this, I grabbed few books to check proportions. Cooks Illustrated, Joy and The Way to Cook all listed salt in this amount for two quarts of stock and four pounds of scraps. Rene Verdon and Michelle Urvater omitted it (both are more likely to use stocks as glaces than straight). So I'm not without precedent here.

A visual inspection showed that the salted stock had developed much more gelatin. I believe this is because the salt accelerated extraction of the gelatin proteins. Presumably this could be overcome with longer simmering of the unsalted stock.

We did a tasting of straight stock, a 50% reduction and a 75% reduction. There were no real surprises. By the time the salted sample was down to 25% of its original volume, it was roughly the equivalent of seawater, though the chicken background was still quite robust. What was a little surprising was how little salt was needed to make a big difference in the fullness of the taste. By combining samples, I determined that 2 parts unsalted to 1 part salted rounded out the stock without a hint of identifiable salt flavor (one taster commented that she felt like she was "drinking chicken"). Oddly, adding salt directly to the unsalted sample did not have the same effect--tasters could tell the difference.

So unless you're making glace de voillaile, I recommend kosher salt at the rate of 1/4 teaspoon per quart.

. . . . .

That's 1/4 teaspoon per finished quart, so Steven's seven-quart batch would benefit from just less than two teaspoons of salt without adversely affecting the ability to reduce for concentrated flavor, until you get down to a glaze consistency.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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So unless you're making glace de voillaile, I recommend kosher salt at the rate of 1/4 teaspoon per quart.

Most of the chicken used in my stock is carcasses from roasted birds. The amount of salt remaining in thesse probably contributes at least 1/4 tsp per final quart ... another reason I'm shy about adding more.

Notes from the underbelly

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You can also omit them entirely and just add them when you make your final sauces.

Bingo. I try to avoid adding a lot of flavors to my stocks: no need to have a complex, multidimensional stock as a base when you are going to go adding more stuff to it later in the process anyway. I try to keep mine as basic as possible so they are more flexible. It's not like I drink them straight or something.

I've quit adding celery and carrots, but onions IMO are a must.

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  • 7 months later...
Are there "standards" for this? I want stock that I can use for anything from soups to sauces.  I'd like to know what it is for chicken stock, as that's all I have ever made since having chicken parts on hand is a by-product of normal cooking for me.  But I'd also like to get ratios for beef, veal, or any other sort of stock.

When I make stock I rarely know what it will be used for. Consequently, I'm very casual about how much of what goes in. That being said, I like the stock techniques from Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook: Home Collection. For brown stock they suggest roasting 3 lbs beef marrow bones at 450F for 40 minutes, add 1 onion, 2 carrots, a leek and a celery stalk. Simmer for 3 hours in 4 quarts water, 2 T tomato paste, 1 bouquet garni and six peppercorns. Skim and strain, makes 8 cups.

Today I had no leeks, no tomato paste and no bouquet garni on hand so I went without. I added a bulb of garlic and intercepted one roasted bone before the water was added. The stock is now cooling in the fridge.

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Pro Chef 8 (aka The Professional Chef, 8th Edition, from the Culinary Institute of America) proposes the following ratio:

[...]

This is I think as good a formula as any.

I disagree on this point: I have never been fond of the Pro Chef stocks. I think they include far to much "other stuff" as compared to the amount of meat. I don't want a stock that tastes like mirepoix, I want one that tastes like chicken! I generally use half that amount of mirepoix, and go light on the carrots, which seem to have the most assertive flavor of the bunch in terms of "contaminating" the chicken flavor. Then again, maybe I just enjoy being contrary...

Having used the Pro-Chef book, and Glissan's book, your stock will not taste like mire poix, at least not in the cases that I've used it.

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