eye of newt, wing of bat..Part 2

Stock, broth, bouillon and consommé are very often used interchangeably, which is sometimes confusing to the beginning cook, so let’s start with just a brief definition of the terms.

Broth generally means the liquid that results from cooking meat, fish or vegetables in water.

Stock is the liquid that remains after the broth has been strained. Most soups begin with a stock and many sauces are based on reduced stock.

Bouillon (BOOL yawn) is the French word for stock, as is fond (fahnd) de cuisine.

Consommé (KAHN suh may) is bouillon that has been clarified. It may be served as a soup or also used as a base for other recipes.p

Defintions out of the way, stocks add a depth of flavor to many dishes and play an important part in the dishes of most cuisines. It is the main ingredient of many sauces and of course soups, and adds wonderful flavor to ingredients as they poach, braise or stew.

Stocks require long cooking to extract the most flavor from the ingredients, but they require almost no attention as they cook apart from skimming once and awhile. It is easy to keep stock on hand by making it in large batches and freezing it in small containers. Freezer space is at a premium at my house, so I freeze stock in 2-cup portions in ziploc bags. However, there are times when the freezer is empty and stock is needed for soups, voilà canned chicken broth and beef broth can come to the rescue with just a little bit of preliminary treatment.

Stock Making Tips
Use a tall, narrow pot to slow evaporation.

Start with cold water to extract the most flavor.

Cooling the Stock Stock should be cooled quickly so that it doesn’t spoil. Place the stockpot on bricks in the sink and fill the sink with cold water and ice cubes. Then refrigerate or freeze in small containers.

Removing Fat from the Stock The easiest way is to refrigerate the stock and as it cools the fat will solidify on the surface. It can then be scraped off with a spoon.

Quick Beef Stock

Makes 1 quart of stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 2 lbs. chopped or ground meat (as lean as possible, your choice)
* 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
* 5-6 cups cold water
* 2 small carrots, chopped
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 2 cloves
* 3 large leeks, well washed and chopped
* bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig fresh thyme & 10 parsley stems tied together
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 black peppercorns
* Gravy Master

PREPARATION:

  1. Put meat in a small stockpot and sprinkle it with gelatin.

  2. Add the cold water and bring to a boil very slowly.

  3. Add the vegetables and all the seasoning except the Gravy Master.

  4. Skim and simmer for 1 hour.

  5. Strain carefully. If brown stock is desired add the Gravy master. It will provide color and flavor.

    To Store:

May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months

Basic Beef Stock

Makes about 8 cups of stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 4 lbs. of beef bones (chopped in a few pieces by the butcher)
* 2 stalks celery, cut into 2" pieces
* 2 medium onions, unpeeled, quatered (trim root end)
* 2 carrots, scrubbed, cut into fourths
* 2 bay leaves
* 12 parsley stems (no leaves)
* 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
* 3-4 whole black peppercorns
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 450°

  1. Put the bones in a roasting pan and roast them for about 30 minutes. Turn them occasionnaly. They should be just beginning to brown.

  2. To the roasting pan, add the onions, carrots and celery and roast all together for another 30 minutes.

  3. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the bones and vegetables to a stock pot. Do not add the fat from the pan.

  4. To the stockpot add the bay leaves, parsley stems, garlic, peppercorns and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming the foam that collects on the top.

  5. Stir in the thyme. Reduce heat to low so that the stock continues to bubble very gently.

  6. Partially cover, and cook for at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours. Make sure to skim every now and then.

  7. During the first 2 hours, make sure to keep adding water so that the ingredients stay covered.

  8. Strain the stock into large bowls. Discard solids. Cool to lukewarm.

Basic Beef Stock

Makes about 3 quarts of stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 3 lbs. of beef bones
* 1-1/2 pounds lean beef
* 1/2 pound carrots, scraped cut into eights
* 1/2 pound turnips, cleaned, cut into fourths
* 1/2 pound leeks, very well cleaned; fold the green parts down around the white parts and tie into a bundle
* 3 quarts cold water
* 2 whole yellow onions
* 2 whole cloves

PREPARATION:

  1. Put bones and meat into large stockpot. Add the carrots, turnips and leeks.

  2. Cover with the water and bring to a boil.

  3. Peel onions, keeping them whole. Stick cloves in one. Cut the other onion in half and put it cut side down in a iron skillet that is on low heat.
    Burn it down to about 1/16 of an inch. Burned onion will give the stock a rich brown color.

  4. Remove scum that has collected on the top and add the onions.

  5. Simmer 3 hours, skimming the top regularly to remove impurities.

  6. Remove meat and bones. Discard the bones. Cook another 3 hours, then strain and cool.

    To Store:

If stock is not to be used immediately, cool to lukewarm before refrigerating. Refrigerate in bowls until cold and remove fat from the surface. The stock can now be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Makes about 10 cups

INGREDIENTS:

* 3 pounds chicken: wings, backs, necks and giblets
* 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
* 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
* 2 bay leaves
* 10 parsley stems
* 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 16 cups water

PREPARATION:

  1. Put all the ingredients (EXCEPT THYME) into a large stockpot.

  2. Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and skim the foam that collect on top. Now stir in the thyme.

  3. Reduce heat to very low so that the stock bubbles gently.

  4. Partially cover and cook, skimming occasionally, for 2-3 hours.

  5. Strain the stock into large bowls. Discard the solids.

    To Store:

If stock is not to be used immediately, cool to lukewarm before refrigerating. Refrigerate in bowls until cold and remove fat from the surface. The stock can now be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

Veal Stock

Makes 10 quarts of veal stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 10 pounds veal breast, cut into large chunks, remove as much fat as possible
* 2 cups dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
* 6 medium yellow onions, quartered
* 4 medium carrots, coarsely cut up
* 10 large leeks, white and light green parts, cut up
* 1 center celery stalk (the pale yellow stalks in the center)
* 4 cloves
* bouquet garni: 30 parsley stems, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf
* 2 1/2-inch chicken bouillon cubes

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Roast the meat about 45 minutes or until it has browned to deep golden russet color. Do not allow meat juices to burn in the pan.

  2. Transfer meat to stockpot. Drain fat from roasting pan.

  3. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and deglaze the with some wine or water. Add this to the stock pot.

  4. Add the 10 quarts of water and bring to a boil.

  5. Add the vegetables, cloves, bouquet garni and bouillon cubes and bring back up to a boil.

  6. Simmer, partially uncovered, for a “number” of hours, depending on how the stock tastes to you, at least 4 hours. Add water throughout the cooking time to keep the level even.

  7. Cool before refrigerating. Make sure to defat the broth before storing.

    To Store:

Refrigerate up to 4 days, then reboil, and reboil every 4th day to prevent spoilage. Can be frozen up to 6 months.

Pure Vegetable Stock

Makes 5 quarts of stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 1-1/2 lbs. carrots, cut up
* 10 leeks, white & light green parts, washed and sliced
* 2 lbs. medium yellow onions, cut up
* 1 celery rib, from the center of the bunch
* 3 bunches scallions, cut up
* 5 quarts water
* bouquet garni: parsley stems, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig fresh thyme tied together
* salt

PREPARATION:

  1. Wash and drain all the vegetables and add them to a large stockpot.

  2. Cover with cold water and slowly bring to a boil. Skim if necessary.

  3. Just when it reaches the boil, add the bouquet garni. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to 8 cups, about 1-1/2 hours.

  4. Strain through a conical strainer that has been lined with a cheescloth. Salt to taste.

    To Store:

May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months

Fish Stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 2 pounds fish bones, tails and heads
* 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 medium onion, peeled and slices
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 7-1/2 cups water
* 1 bay leaf
* 8 stems parsley (without leaves)
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

PREPARATION:

  1. Put fish bones in a bowl in the sink and rinse with cold water. Let water run over the bones for about 5 minutes.

  2. Melt butter in stockpot over low heat, add onion and cook until they are soft, but not brown.

  3. Add the bones, wine, water, bay leaf and parsley stems. Mix well and bring just to a boil.

  4. Skim thoroughly to remove scum and add the dried thyme.

  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Skim surface occasionally.

  6. Strain through a fine strainer into large bowl. Discard all solids.

    To Store:

If stock is not to be used immediately, cool to lukewarm before refrigerating. Refrigerate in bowls until cold and remove fat from the surface. The stock can now be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days or frozen up to 3 months.

Improving Canned Beef Broth

Give more depth to your sauces and soups by improving the flavor of canned beef broth.

INGREDIENTS:

* 4 cups canned, undiluted beef broth
* 2 Tablespoons butter
* 2 small onions
* 3 2-inch pieces of carrot, scrubbed but not peeled
* 3/4 cup dry white wine
* 2 cloves garlic
* bouquet garni: 4 sprigs parsley, 2 celery tops, 1 leek (white part only), small bay leaf all tied together
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

PREPARATION:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. When foam subsides, cook the onions and carrots until the onions are soft and just lightly browned.

  2. Pour in the wine, bring it to a boil, and let it boil rapidly until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup.

  3. Stir in the broth and all other ingredients.

  4. Bring to a boil once more, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for at least 30 minutes. Strain before using.

    To Store:

If stock is not to be used immediately, cool to lukewarm before refrigerating. Refrigerate in bowls until cold and remove fat from the surface. The stock can now be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days or frozen up to 3 months.

Improving Canned Chicken Stock

INGREDIENTS:

* 4 cups canned, undiluted chicken stock (Swanson's Low Sodium)
* 1/2 cup sliced onions
* 1/4 cup chopped celery
* 1/4 cup diced carrots
* 1 leek, white part only, sliced
* 1/2 small bay leaf
* 1/4 teaspoon thyme
* Optional: uncooked chicken bits; bones; cut-up gizzards; mushrooms

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy stockpot.

  2. Bring to a boil and reduct heat so that the stock is barely simmering.

  3. Cook, partially covered, for at least 30 minutes. Skim when necessary.

  4. Strain through a fine seive before using.

    To Store:

If stock is not to be used immediately, cool to lukewarm before refrigerating. Refrigerate in bowls until cold and remove fat from the surface. The stock can now be kept in the refrigerator for 2 days or frozen up to 3 months.