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Q&A for Simmering the Basic Stocks - Unit 2 Day 2


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A good tip I learned recently is you can make a good "second stock". After making your stock and straining it into a new container, just pour in more water a do it again. You wouldn't use this as a soup base because it doesn't have as much flavour, but good where a recipe says stock or water. Good as a base for something with it's own strong flavours like a laksa or szechuan braised dish. And I saw it first as a base for your next stock, although I get through too much stock to have that luxury.

I often throw in a pig's trotter to add more gelatin. It seems to carry more flavour like that.

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Rochelle, I have filters installed on the taps. Ottawa water isn't horrible but the filtered tastes so much brighter. So I always uuse filtered water for soups and stocks.

If it's easy to do it, it's worth doing it.

A double or triple reduction of chlorine...

Las Vegas has an intolerable level of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) naturally present in the tap water.

Stock (which already mentioned is alkaline) made in alkaline baking-soda water is abomination. I use reverse osmosis water for stock. If pressed, I would purchase bottled water for stock fabrication rather than use Las Vegas tap water. (Dissolve 1 tablespoon of Arm and Hammer per gallon and make stock if you'd like to see why so many sauces in Las Vegas fall so very short of the mark....)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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  • 1 month later...

I've recently bought Julia Childs mighty French cookery book and decided to make some beef stock yesterday.

It seemed to go pretty well and having now come to scrape the fat away and found it to be very jellied.

I know that it can go very jelly like but she didn't mention this stock going that thick and I wanted to check with you knowledgeable folk if you'd expect that to happen and if that's ok then should water be added to it when using it?

I used Beef shin meat and bone and another bone...possibly shin as well!

It cooked for about 5 hours just about simmering and I left it covered over night afterwards.

Sorry if I'm being a bit vague but any help would be apreciated!

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Your stock sounds great. Judge whether to water it down or not by flavour. Then judge from the resulting consistency, what applications you can use it for / what else you need to do for the consistency you want.

Probably one night left at room temperature is OK, but as you probably know stock is particularly prone to spoilage. Take care, or revel in your cold kitchen, whichever is appropriate.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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When you heat it up it will be liquid again. You may decide to reduce it even more based on flavor. If it tastes good, go with it. I usually reduce stock by half and clarify it, so it's pretty stiff when refrigerated, and doesn't take as much freezer space as unreduced stock. Sometimes I reduce it to around one tenth the original volume to make glace de viande, a tablespoon or two of which can add depth to a sauce or braised dish.

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Some years ago I made a recipe for an excellent meat stock, and over the years have made it several times. Lately, however, it's becoming more difficult to get the veal bones that the technique calls for (the recipe calls for both beef and veal bones), and I was wsondering just what the veal bones brings to the pot. What do I gain when using veal bones that beef bones won't give me?

Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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Veal bones contribute more gelatin, and a more neutral flavor. The flavor of veal sits in the background more than the more assertive flavor of beef. If you can't get veal bones, there are some alternatives that can be good even if not identical. You can use beef bones without much meat on them, and get additional gelatin from fairly neutral sources like pig's feet, chicken feet, chicken or turkey wings, or even packaged gelatin.

Notes from the underbelly

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Making stock is so personal. For me, veal broth is more neutral and versatile -- you get all the depth without that strong beefy taste.

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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Some folks claim that there is no substitute for veal, but I think a mix of non-meaty beef bones plus poultry frames will work. But the only way to find out for sure if it will be an acceptable substitute for you is to make a batch and play with it.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Your stock should be fine ... what matters is how concentrated the gelatin is in the final dish you prepare with it. You just need to make sure that your final sauce isn't over-reduced. Check by sponing a bit of your final sauce or jus onto a room temperature plate. Check the consistency after a few seconds. If it's gluey, you've gone too far and need to cut it with liquid and maybe also fat.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 7 months later...

I finally bought a 16 quart stock pot and I want to make what Fat Guy said near the beginning of the thread -- years ago, a triple stock. Since I plan on adding several additions of bones and veggies would keeping the lid on for the first two parts of the cooking be better for the flavor? I'm thinking less of the aromatic will boil off into the air, or would the amount be negligible.

A second question has to to with making stock only from bones vs the combination of bones and meat: should we try to make up for the missing flavor in the meat by adding either more vegetables or a longer cooking time?

Finally, I wondered if there was any role for adding wine to a stock. Would adding wine improve the flavor or create a distinct flavor? I was really interested in the discussion on the Mallard reaction (again, near the beginning of the thread) and wondered if the wine would add or take away from the flavor in that reaction.

Cheers,

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  • 4 weeks later...

I finally bought a 16 quart stock pot and I want to make what Fat Guy said near the beginning of the thread -- years ago, a triple stock. Since I plan on adding several additions of bones and veggies would keeping the lid on for the first two parts of the cooking be better for the flavor? I'm thinking less of the aromatic will boil off into the air, or would the amount be negligible.

A second question has to to with making stock only from bones vs the combination of bones and meat: should we try to make up for the missing flavor in the meat by adding either more vegetables or a longer cooking time?

Finally, I wondered if there was any role for adding wine to a stock. Would adding wine improve the flavor or create a distinct flavor? I was really interested in the discussion on the Mallard reaction (again, near the beginning of the thread) and wondered if the wine would add or take away from the flavor in that reaction.

Cheers,

cteavin,

I don't think it will hurt you to keep the lid off, or on, as you choose.

As for your second question, I've been in the habit, in the last few years, of using just the bones, skin and incidental meat of whatever animal I'm using (chicken, turkey, pork or beef), and NOT adding vegetables. I've also made stock from bones only (well, as much as I could, by not using meaty bones), and while that doesn't have much flavor, it does have a lot of body. It's more neutral, which makes it useful for a wider variety of things.

Experiment! See what you like.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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  • 9 months later...

Apologies for resurrecting this thread, but I must!

As someone who is now getting into cooking and looking forward to making my own stocks, I simply had to join to say thanks for this excellent primer and discussion. Now for some questions.

I currently don't have a stock pot, but I'm looking into getting one. I was wondering what the consensus on using a pressure cooker for stock making is. Surely it would speed up the process? Are there any downsides?

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Hi metea, and welcome to eGullet! And no excuse needed to bump up an excellent topic like this one.

There's been a bit of discussion on the subject over in the topic pressure cooked stocks and in the general pressure cooking topic starting here.

So far my experience with pressure cooked stocks has been limited to chicken but the results have been great.


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