Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to Basics: Stock

Just starting 

Restaurants have the luxury of being able to break down their own chickens, lamb and beef, so they have plenty of fresh bones, which are then washed, dried and covered with tomato paste and roasted.  Here's how to make a less prep-intensive cooked chicken or meat bone stock.

In my kitchen I have two containers, one on the counter for compost, and the other in the freezer for parts of vegetables and chicken/meat bones that I can use for stock.  So you need to save trimmings from onions, carrots, celery, celery tops, celery root tops (celeriac), garlic and parsnips -- stick to these vegetables.

In a large pot, like a canning pot, add the saved chicken carcasses or meat bones (with fat mostly removed), add veggie trimmings, one cup white wine, two bay leaves, one tablespoon tomato paste, and a couple of sprigs of rosemary and thyme.  The pot should look so heaping full that it looks like there may be no room for water.  Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil.  Once it has boiled for a minute, reduce the heat to a really low simmer -- you just want to see a bubble once in a while, but be sure it's still simmering.  (I always check about 10 minutes after turning down the heat.)  Now leave it on the stove for 8-12 hours; restaurants make stock just before going home at night!  Trust me, your home will smell wonderful and so will your clothes, so close the closet door...

After 8-12 hours it's finished cooking, so fill your sink up with water and ice, then strain the stock though a colander into a stainless steel bowl which has been placed in the sink filled with ice and water.  When cool, skim off any fat with a ladle, and then transfer to containers for freezing, leaving any sediment behind.  If you must use plastic containers, make sure the liquid is completely cold to avoid being exposed to the toxins in plastic...

Bon appetit!  (Warning, if making fish stock do not cook it for more than 1-2 hours.)


No comments:

Post a Comment