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Old 01-15-2006, 10:34 PM   #1
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Is brown stock supposed to gelatinize after refrigeration?

I just made my first traditional brown stock yesterday. Everything seemed to go by the book. However, when I checked the stock this morning, it had completely gelatinized in the fridge. The stock had the constistency of gravy or jello. Is this supposed to happen? Did I simmer it too long? (The recipe had me simmering for about 6 hours)

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Old 01-15-2006, 10:36 PM   #2
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Yup. It's supposed to get gellatenous.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:37 PM   #3
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You have gold there my friend. That is exactly what you want to happen with a stock.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #4
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When I first made my own stock I thought I had really screwed it up.

But no, that, as GB and Home Chef said, is just the way you want it.

If yours did not, it would mean you did not simmer the bones long enough.

I usually let mine go at least overnight (and I typically start early in the day). A secondary advantage is the house smells so good while it is cooking.

As GB said, you have liquid gold there. Enjoy.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:49 PM   #5
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Excellent. A few more questions though: my recipe says I should be skimming the stock frequently as it simmers. However, the mirepoix gets in the way, and I'm not sure if I'm skimming the fat or accidentally picking up floating onion and other veggies. Why is it important to skim during the simmering, as opposed to doing it all at once at the end, say, after it's been in the fridge overnight and that fat has formed a skin at the top?

Second question: what is a perfect simmer? I know it's supposed to be somewhere around 90 degrees, and it should be bubbling a little, but I'm always fiddling with the element crontrols, as I'm never sure if it's too hot, or not hot enough. What does a good simmer look like? When I made my stock, I was getting medium to large bubbles at a fairly moderate pace, not too slow, not too fast. Is this what it should be? What should the temperature be?

Oh yes, and the third question: after you finish browning the veal bones, the recipe states that you should deglaze the pan with water. It doesn't go into any detail about how much water. It simply says that you dissolve the brown bits in the liquid and then add them to the stock. But the brown bits don't dissolve. How much water should go in? How do you know when it's properly deglazed?
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:01 PM   #6
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What you are skimming for is the "scum" that forms on the top which is actually protein, not fat. It forms a bubbly mess that you can just scoop out with a spoon. Think of going to the beach and seeing the bubbles and foam at the waters edge. It is the same exact thing.

For a perfect simmer you want to see just a few little bubbles coming up every once in a while. The temp will still be 212 at sea level (I think I am right on this point, but maybe I am not) but is just just that much more gentle. If you had a rolling boil then that protein that forms the scum that you want to get rid of would just get mixed in with the stock as it is vigorously boiling. If it is simmering then the liquid is not moving around enough to mix that all in that much.

For deglazing, you want to use just enough water to get those bits up. How much is hard to say as it depends on what size pan you are using. I would say use just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour the water in and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. Forget the word dissolve as that could be confusing. What you want to do is lift all those brown bits (called fond) off the pan and into the water. The fond is loaded with flavor and will add a lot to you stock. The amount of water should be as little as you need to get those bits up off the pan. for most pans I would guess this would be between a quarter and a half a cup give or take.
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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Pretty much all of your questions were answered, so just a few more points.

Poaching liquid is about 180 so simmering would be more of a very, very light boil. 90 degrees would be something like a hot shower I would think.

If you get some of the vegetables while you're skimming, don't worry about it. A few less carrots, onions, leeks, etc. won't affect the flavor.

I guess you could just skim the fat after you've strained it and let it sit overnight, but that would only work if you weren't going to use the stock in a recipe that same day. If you're going to make a consomme I wouldn't do it though. You'd want to get the stock as clean and clear as possible.

As for the water, it depends on how much stock you're making. For the amount of bones that it would take to make say, 4-6 quarts of stock probably a 1/2 cup would do it. If you're making a large quantity of stock and are using big hotel roasting pans, then probably you'll need upwards of 1 cup or more.
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Poaching liquid is about 180 so simmering would be more of a very, very light boil. 90 degrees would be something like a hot shower I would think.


I was speaking in celcius, of course. Hot shower indeed!

But thanks for all the advice everyone. Next time I make stock, I'll try to incorporate what you've all been telling me. Maybe next week I'll move on to brown sauce, demiglace, and finally my goal all along: bordelaise. Talk about a big production. I think once I know what I'm doing and I don't have anything to prove anymore, I'll just buy the demiglace, lol.
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:15 AM   #9
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Here's how I combat skimming off any herbs or veggies...

After I get all the bones, veggies, and fresh herbs in the pot I take my veggie steamer basket and place it over the goods upside down and place a weight on top of it. Then I fill the pot with water, covering the ingredients including the steamer basket.

As far as skimming off all teh scum, skim every 15 minutes after the liquid comes to a simmer for the first hour. Then I skim every 1/2 hour to 1 hour after that.

Once the simmering is complete, transfer the broth to an awaiting vessel through a strainer and two layers of cheese cloth. After the broth has been strained it needs to be cooled downimmediately to prevent any bacteria growth. What I do in the summer is fill a coolerwith ice and put the hot pot of broth on top of the ice. Then fill the cooler with enough water to make the pot almost want to float. Let it sit in the cooler for about an hour then transfer to the fridge. After about 24 hours you will have 2 things... A layer of fat than can be easily skimmed off and reserved for future use and your pot of liquid gellatenous gold.

I make broth about 2 times a month. I love making broth. The down side is I make so much that friends know when to come over to "borrow" some broth.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
Oh yes, and the third question: after you finish browning the veal bones, the recipe states that you should deglaze the pan with water. It doesn't go into any detail about how much water. It simply says that you dissolve the brown bits in the liquid and then add them to the stock. But the brown bits don't dissolve. How much water should go in? How do you know when it's properly deglazed?
You've gotten very clear and complete answers to all of your questions in your post except however, it is not clear that you are deglazing properly.

The deglaze process is done while the pot is still on the heat. Put your deglazing liquid (here water) into the pot and turn the flame on so that the liquid heats up to a boil. The warm water or deglazing liquid will dissolve nearly 100 percent of the fond that is left in the pot after you drain the raw stock and remove the rendered bones. Keep stirring the deglazing liquid while it is heating and continuously scrape the pot bottom with a wooden spoon to physically dislodge the brown bits. This may seem like a lot of trouble, but there's deep flavor in those browned particles. The answer to the question of how much liquid you need to deglaze will depend upon the size of your pot. You only need enough deglazing liquid to cover the bottom of your pot with about 1/8th to 1/4 inch of liquid to deglaze. Enough liquid is the amount necessary to dissolve the fond easily but not too much to dilute the stock unnecessarily.
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