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Veal stock


ktdid56
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Hello all. My first post here. Been lurking around awhile. Hope I can come in.

My name is Kate, I usually go by KT. I have been cooking a long time. Basically since I've been 7 or 8. I'm 48 now. Watched my mom. She was a fabulous cook. Worked in a few restaurants for about 9 years or so. Dishes, waited tables, helped do prep, stocked, cleaned out the walk-ins. In one restaurant, I was even able to help on the line when we got in the weeds. Very cool. Seems to be in my blood. I worked with a caterer for about 14 years. She let me do a few of my own parties. That was so much fun. Made my bones to some degree. Now, I manage an estate in Northeastern Illinois. My husband's family estate. I live there as well. Nice to be able to roll out of bed and go to work. Anyway, I digress. I'm real happy to be here.

I have been studying some of the masters for the last 10 years, and I am pretty proud of myself. I like to call myself a self-made chef. I do, however, run into snags now and again and I miss being able to walk over to the chef and ask him/her questions. So, I must ask chefs like yourselves and hope to get an answer.

Here goes: I am making veal stock as we speak. I acquired about 21 lbs of fresh veal bones. Picked them up yesterday afternoon. So I roasted half of them with mirepoix, put in pot, added H2O and it smells great. Started with the second batch. This time, the aroma in my kitchen didn't smell like nicely roasted meat and bones. It had almost an acrid smell. I took the pan out of the oven and stuck my nose in there and thought wow, what happened? I realized I had put some marrow bones in along with the knuckle bones. Is roasted blood and marrow that smell? I put those bones in a pot with all of the goodies and now the stock's essence is that smell. I haven't tasted it yet, almost afraid to. Does it stay in the pot to finish it out, or does it go? I sure hate to think of throwing that love potion away. Expecially since I've been making and stockpiling gallons of the stuff for the last few months in preparation for summer. The first batch I made this morning smells heavenly. Can't wait for the finished product - glace de viande. That's food of love. What do you suggest I do with this stuff? Please be kind.

Thanks for letting me babble. I may do that now and again, especially when I'm overtired.

KT

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Hi KT, and welcome.

My initial suspicion is that you roasted the second batch of bones for too long at too high a temperature, and they burned. This can easily happen if you do back-to-back roasting, because by the second batch your oven is really going to be cranking so an equivalent time and temperature-setting can cook the second batch much more than the first.

If indeed the bones burned, the stock is going to taste bitter and I don't know of any way to repair that.

In the end, though, you need to trust your tastebuds and nose. There's no harm in finishing the stock, tasting it at that point, and then making the final decision.

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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Welcome to eGullet KT,

and congratulations on finding a place that will sell you 20 lbs of bones! I usually have to collect them from different butchers, a couple of pounds at a time.

Were the bones fresh? Sometimes, when they're on the verge of going off, you can just miss the warning signs until it's too late. Let us know how it turns out.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Hi guys and thanks. Glad to be here. Glad you're here to help, especially at this hour.

I can't figure it out. Bones are fresh. Used half from that 20 lb batch for 1st pot. Wonderful stuff. Didn't smell like they were too roasted. I usually roast at 375-425 for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Turn after 45 minutes and put vegies in for 2nd hour of roasting) Maybe some of the femur bones were going bad. I'm so goofy, I added some tomatoe paste and a bay leaf to see what would happen. I am a coward however, when it comes to tasting stuff I think may taste bad.

I love my butcher. He will inquire, and usually get me anything that I ask him for. As a matter of fact I asked him to check on some ox cheek and boar for my Easter supper - Daube de boeuf. Yummmmmmm. Anxiously awaiting til Tuesday.

Another digression. Very tired. My bad. I'll see what happens with the morning light and let you all know sometime this weekend.

Love this site. :biggrin:

kt

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Hi KT,

If you added marrow bones to roast with the knuckles, burnt marrow may well be what's accounting for that nasty smell. Your butcher was probably just being a sweetie and giving you some extra treats in your bundle o' bones.

Burning fat stinks, and glorious marrow is nearly 100% fat! It's always good to trust your own nose when cooking...a general rule of thumb is that acrid=burnt. And what doesn't smell nice to you is not going to taste nice to your hungry summer guests! Bye bye bad stock...

But just think of how delicious batch number one will be :-)

Tate

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Marrow bones are great for stock, but they certainly will burn before knuckle bones. I still think, assuming you roasted these two batches of bones back-to-back, that it could have a lot to do with the time and temperature considerations. You're already doing quite a long roast. But if you roast starting with a cold oven at 400 degrees for 90 minutes, you'll really only be roasting at full blast for about 60 minutes because the first 30 minutes will be occupied by the oven getting fully up to temperature, retaining heat in its walls, and otherwise creating a real roasting environment. If you then immediately put another batch in that same oven for the same amount of time, it will cook at full blast for all that time so you'll effectively cook it almost 50% more.

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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I just made a big batch of veal stock on Thursday! I've been pouring over the Balthazar cookbook recently and like all good French food, veal stock is in order for all the best recipes. You can obviously tell by my signature I've been making it a lot lately.

Anyway . . . I think the suggestions so far have been on the mark. If the bones weren't off-color or odor when you received them, I'm sure they're fresh. It was probably marrow. I typically roast mine at around 400-degrees, rotating them often. Brushing them with tomato paste during the last part of the roasting is also great as you get a great caramelized finish on them. Rob Feenie's recipe from the Lumiere cookbook calls for coating them in honey, though I've been reluctant to do that lest they completely scorch during the last few minutes. All that patience during the roasting process just to lose them at the end.

So did you end up tasting the stock or not? I'm curious if in the end the funny smell ended up affecting the stock or not. Veal stock in general has a pretty robust aroma as it's cooking, so maybe it was just the normal smell?

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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:sad:

Well kids, the stock didn't make it. Had to bury it. (dead you know) I was never able to get past the smell. It left an aftertaste that was really hard to get over. And, as I was reducing it, it only got worse, so the only humane thing to do, stock met drain pipe. Too bad. The funny thing was the mouthfeel. So velvety. That really makes this a shame. I was going to call my butcher, but then I read the replies and have come to the conclusion that it probably was burnt marrow. I needed to pay more attention to the roasting process. Alas, my bad. I hated to throw it away considering those little bones weren't cheap and the time spent waiting for that glorious brown gold. If I were working under a chef that saw that, I would probably have to pay some sort of consequence for my actions. Oh well, chalk it up to experience.

I still have batch number one that is absolutely devine. Pure gold. :smile:

Comfort, I live about 40 miles northwest of Chicago. My butcher and fish monger is in Barrington, about 7-8 miles from me. Called Meeske's. 847-382-1745. Guy that I work with is Jerry. If you call, tell him I sent you. He likes talking to people who are creative with cooking.

Thanks for all your help everyone.

kt :smile:

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I agree that good veal stock is liquid gold. I can't imagine not having it on hand all the time because it makes everything I cook that much better. I think the Balthazar cookbook sums it up best:

The long cooking time extracts every bit of the protein from the gelatinous shin bones of the veal, which translates to an unbelievably silky stock, enriching everything in its path. Without a doubt, making veal stock at home is hard-core, the domain of the most dedicated cooks. But 8 hours of cooking time is rewared with a stock that can transform a dish.

Sorry the stock didn't work out. Lesson learned at least. When I make a kitchen mistake the benefit is that I learn what to look for the next time. That's how I justify my failures anyway. ;-)

How much are you charged for veal bones by your butcher? I think I pay .99 cents a pound from my local Bristol Farms. It's the only good deal in the whole store. Ironic of course when veal demi-glaze is sold fresh for about $10 a pint from the same counter I pick my bones up from.

Edited by SiseFromm (log)

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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This time, the aroma in my kitchen didn't smell like nicely roasted meat and bones.  It had almost an acrid smell.  I took the pan out of the oven and stuck my nose in there and thought wow, what happened?  I realized I had put some marrow bones in along with the knuckle bones.  Is roasted blood and marrow that smell?  I put those bones in a pot with all of the goodies and now the stock's essence is that smell.  I haven't tasted it yet, almost afraid to.  Does it stay in the pot to finish it out, or does it go?  I sure hate to think of throwing that love potion away.  Expecially since I've been making and stockpiling gallons of the stuff for the last few months in preparation for summer.  The first batch I made this morning smells heavenly.  Can't wait for the finished product - glace de viande.  That's food of love.  What do you suggest I do with this stuff?  Please be kind.

Veal stock has yielded the occasional disappointment for me as well. Others here have zeroed in on the likely cause of your problem (marrow bones must be treated with the utmost care). I would hasten to add that some of my very best culinary experiences involve roasting /simmering / clarifying / reducing veal stock. :smile:

I have been cooking a long time.  Basically since I've been 7 or 8.  I'm 48 now.  Watched my mom.  She was a fabulous cook.  Worked in a few restaurants for about 9 years or so.  Dishes, waited tables, helped do prep, stocked, cleaned out the walk-ins. 

I have been studying some of the masters for the last 10 years, and I am pretty proud of myself.  I like to call myself a self-made chef.  I do, however, run into snags now and again and I miss being able to walk over to the chef and ask him/her questions.  So, I must ask chefs like yourselves and hope to get an answer.

OK, now you're starting to sound like me! Welcome to eG, KT!

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I punch out the marrow in my femur bones and reserve that for finishing, as in bordelaise, or making something with them - crusted, fried, persillade for something truly decadent. As they are essentially nothing but fat, I'd rather remove them up front rather than in the deglazing or clarifying portion of the stock.

That said, and I'd agree with most folks it is likely you fried either the marrow (or your bones from a high heat), one thing I'd ask is whether your second batch nicely filled the brazier or whatever it was you were using to roast the bones in? May be a simple question, but if there was space around the bones, they would be more likely to burn (glaze turning to charcoal) in shorter order. Just a thought. I think you are spot on with your final thoughts - paying more attention to the roasting process. No more important lesson have I discovered than to trust no "rule" of roasting, braising, etc. - inherently, each batch is radically different and, in the instance of roasting bones, I try to pick them at the nexus between that rust red/brown and just over the top.

Shame about the 2d batch. I hold the animals I cook and eat in high regard, and when I have dumped something in waste I feel it (not as much as the animal, of course).

Good luck.

Paul

p.s.: edited to add, like you I have been cooking since I was a kid. I worked through La Technique by the time I was 12 or so, and had the high honor of torching my eyebrows and forelocks with a rather ebullient crepe suzette, before a collected company of 20 or so, at the tender age of 10. From a fellow self-taught cook, cheers.

Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Absolutely, breast is great. Loaded with gelatin, nicely trimmed with meat. I'd use it exclusively if I could afford it (on a commercial basis).

Paul

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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I make chicken and beef stocks regularly and I have for years. I also have been reducing them to glace and find that a magical ingredient for oh so many uses.

I have never made veal stock. Veal anything is just too expensive and it is not all that popular here so I would have to haunt butcher shops to get enough of anything to make stock even if I thought it was worth the money.

And there lies the stupid question. What is it about veal stock that would make me want to do that instead of beef? I know I have had it in restaurant preparations but you could fool me on that one, too.

Do I need to bite the bullet and go out seeking veal parts so I can join the circle of the enlightened?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Fifi, I find veal is neutrally flavored when compared with beef, so that its concentrated stock won't add a definitive, overriding character to whatever I use it for; rather, I find it adds a wonderful mouthfeel, and a mild, savory sweetness without screaming "beef." Its versatility as a carrier is its beauty - fruit reductions as much as mushroom, etc. Stuck for dollars, I find brown chicken stock is nearly as good, if not having as much depth of character - "length."

Paul

Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Thank you for the description, paul. I think I get it. I also use the brown chicken stock glace when I am after the mouth feel and not the beefy flavor. Glace does wonderful things to vegetables. :rolleyes:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Fifi, I'm a big advocate of beef stock, which is not used much by professional chefs but is nonetheless a great ingredient. Beef bones are cheap and plentiful and make a rich, flavorful stock -- more flavorful than veal stock. For the kind of advanced amateur home cooking many of us on eGullet do, having beef and chicken stocks on hand should get you anywhere you want to go.

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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Fifi, I'm a big advocate of beef stock, which is not used much by professional chefs but is nonetheless a great ingredient. Beef bones are cheap and plentiful and make a rich, flavorful stock -- more flavorful than veal stock. For the kind of advanced amateur home cooking many of us on eGullet do, having beef and chicken stocks on hand should get you anywhere you want to go.

I agree with that. But, I just might have to try it once out of curiosity. I do love a project. But, I have to say, dumping veal breast into a stock pot gives me pause. :blink:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I typically buy beef bones and veal bones for the same price per pound so it might just be an assumption that veal is more expensive, or hard to find for that matter. Any butcher that sells veal should have bones on hand as well so give it a try. I find beef stock to be more pronounced in flavor with less subtlety and that luxurious, velvety goodness found in veal stock. I think chicken and veal stock are my two primary stocks with vegetable coming in third. I use beef and fish stocks sparingly and only when recipes specifically call for them. I can use veal stock on a whim to make everything better.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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I first learned to use the veal breast through Madeleine Kamman, in "Making of a Cook." Some state an arguable axiom, "all meat and no bones yields flavor and no body, all bones and no meat yields body and no flavor," but, personally, I have never found that to be strictly true. Using bones only, with only the barest of meat on the bone, I obtain a wonderfully rich, flavorful stock - aided by a prodigious amount of aromatics, of course, and a very long remouillage. Nevertheless, there is no denying that using the breast or meaty scraps yields more flavor. When I have used the breast, I would strip it down, grind it, and make a ravioli out of the meat that is there, in concert with other things.

Additionally, as Kamman warns, there is a danger of so much body in a bones-only stock that viscosity can turn to a clinging mouthfeel - lips "stick together," and so some portion of the animal contribution to the stock should be made up of meat. I feel I avoid this effect by using tomatoes in good amounts, which to her is anathema but which helps to cut the "clinging effect" and, in my view, aids in clarification by the effect of the organic acids.

I hold to no dogma. My veal stock leans towards the no roast method of Thomas Keller, as I use it so much as a base and appreciate the "clean" character resulting from the no roast method Keller advocates. I use a ton of stocks - duck, lamb, chicken (white and brown), quail, pheasant, fish, lobster, shrimp, just about any animal I use is also extracted into its own stock, with the exception of pork, which I find too sweet as an integral stock (although my veal stock contains a split pig's foot for its gelatin and touch of sweetness). If you use beef stock you are certainly not alone. Unless I'm mistaken, no less than Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, for example, use it and do not, to my knowledge, use veal stock. They, too, use a combination of meat and bones in their stocks.

Paul

Edited by paul o' vendange (log)

-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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  • 1 year later...

I spent today on my first attempt at making a veal stock. After 6 hours+ of simmering 1.5 lbs of very meaty veal bones and a few veggies in a 3 quart pot, I ended up with a very thin stock and some extremely tender and (surprisingly) still tasty stewed veal. Unfortunately, I wanted a rich stock, and was expecting all the flavor to be cooked out of the veal. Any ideas what went wrong?

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there is an excellent course on stock making in the eCGI.

Part one

part one Q&A

part Two

part two Q&A

part three

part three Q&A

Apart from those, it doesn't sound to me like you simmered for very long. 6 hours isn't that much. I tend to simmer veal or beef stock for a minimum of 12 hours and preferably overnight. And while your stock pot was small, 1.5 lbs doesn't sound like a lot either.

did you roast the shanks first?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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