Day 5 – Stocks

7 Jul

Today was all about stocks – brown stock (veal), white stocks (fish, chicken, and white beef stock with blackened onions), and vegetable stock.  We made/started 5 different stocks today.  This was the first time I’ve seen veal bones. 

Check them out:

I think we roasted around 100 lbs. of veal bones to make stock. Crazy. One of the very common sense things I learned was that the larger the bones, the longer the “cooking” time for the stock, and the larger the mirepoix cuts. Mirepoix is generally: 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery. There are a few variations on this, and the fish stock we made today didn’t contain carrots, but all stocks require some form of vegetables, either roasted, sweated, or simply thrown in the pot raw and brought to a boil along with the bones.

Here are two students straining a 100 lb. pot of stock:

This required some muscle power.

I also learned that the brown bits in the bottom of the pan caused by the Maillard Reaction are called “sucs”. The Maillard Reaction is a series of chemical reactions produced by carbohydrates (sugar) and an amino acid (protein molecules) reacting to high heat. It is named after a French physician and chemist, Louis-Camille Maillard. The sucs at the bottom of the pan from the roasted bones are what bring the yummy goodness to the stock and sauces.

This is a picture of me, I think after I deglazed a pan and decided to save some of the brown bits on my uniform for later. Notice the nice, white uniform on Mark, behind me. Sigh.

Anyway, the stock recipes aren’t all that complicated and I’m happy to share in a later post. A few last important points: watch the stock. Skim the skum off the top until stocks become clear. Although those are arguably also “tasty” parts, you want your stocks to be clear so they are versatile in their uses. Also, don’t salt or “season” your stocks until you decide to use them. What if you decide to use your chicken stock in several different dishes? You want to be able to control the salt content, when combined with the other ingredients, right?

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3 Responses to “Day 5 – Stocks”

  1. Bev July 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Oh dear – 100 lbs. of veal bones – excuse me while I get sick. Good for you for hanging in there. Thanks for the tips about making broth clear. Looking forward to the next lesson:)

  2. Brian July 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    So after the stock is made, what is done with the remaining vegetables? Are they stored and used for other purposes or typically discarded?

    • rachelogdie July 13, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      Good question, Brian. Nothing is done with the remaining vegetables. They have been in the stock water, heating thoroughly to release flavors in the stock. So, they’re pretty much toast at the end. They should be composted. But, there is a process through called remouillade in which the stock bones go through the same stock process a second time, as a basis for a new stock or sauce. The stock won’t be as powerful, but it’s a way to extract as much flavor out of the bones as possible.

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